Why Should You Pay More in Rent For Having A Dog?
I have been renting for five years now. One of the most frustrating things I find about renting is the attitude landlords and estate agents have towards dogs. It has been in the news recently about the true cost of owning a dog, and how those who are renting reluctantly end up paying more.
You cave when it comes to price, because you don’t want to part with your fur baby and you want to find a nice place to live. Why in a country where 25% of households have dogs, and 45% of households have pets.
According to Business Insider, ‘there’s a £10,000 hidden cost to owning a dog in London’. lettings specialist E J Harris says that tenants with a dog end up having to pay a two third rise in their deposit compared to non pet owners. It’s not just the deposit you have to pay more for either.
Many estate agents and landlords will make you pay to have the carpets and house professionally cleaned and treated, which costs more than you would think. For example, we had to have our carpets professionally cleaned and treated with insecticide at a cost of £90, even though they were not cleaned to the same standard when we moved in. On top of this, we ended up having to pay £25 more a month in order to tempt the landlord to allow us to move in with a dog. It shouldn’t be this way.
Dog ownership in the UK is growing, which means more and more people will have to deal with this problem. Your choice of properties is literally cut down to 1 in 50 places (at a guess) because so little rental properties allow pets.
In London, more than 40% of ‘prime’ properties don’t allow dogs as there are stipulations and clear rules in the leases of buildings. In this case it isn’t even a case of convincing the landlord, as dogs aren’t allowed in the building anyway. Is there a way to get this percentage down somehow?
You get endless rejection from estate agents who practically put the phone down on you when you mention you have a dog. It is not only costly to rent when you have a dog, but it is very difficult to find a place in the first place.
Unfortunately some dog owners spoil it for all the rest of us responsible owners. Those who let their dogs ruin a rented property are only making the situation worse. There may be some irresponsible dog owners, but that doesn’t mean everyone else should be punished. It’s understandable that landlords worry about damage and wear and tear, but that is why you pay a deposit.
The UK’s stance on renting with pets also contributes to a large number of animals ending up in rescue. People are forced to give up their animals because they can’t find somewhere to live that allows pets, or their landlord kicks them out. Thankfully I could always move back home with my dog if we really couldn’t find a place, as I could never part with my dog, but some people don’t have any other choice. When will the rules change? Will dog owners ever have more choice and less discrimination when it comes to renting?