At my wits end – long distance move with pets! | The Tenants' Voice
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At my wits end - long distance move with pets!

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683 views 1 replies latest reply: 14 October 2015

Basically I’m moving from Belfast to England for work. I’m married and our pets are like our babies. The thought of even having to leave one of them almost brings me to tears. I have two dogs and a cat – and I have rented before with no problem. Our dogs are even crate trained so they can’t roam the property and cause destruction. Our cat does nothing but go outside or sleep. Why are landlords so put off by good pet owners? Even if one of our pets caused damage and we were irresponsible enough to not fix it, that’s what a deposit is for! I just spoke to a letting agent who said three pets is too much for most landlords. I can understand if the property just isn’t suitable for pets (e.g. a flat or unsuitable back garden) but how can I find a house without having to leave any of my poor pets behind? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

PS I have tried looking for private landlords and it’s difficult enough trying to do a long distance move when I have no family or friends in the area.

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Hi Michelle

I have a dog and he has caused less damage in the time I’ve rented than some of the house mates I used to have so I completely agree with you on this topic. Unless they have had pets themselves (and looked after them responsibly) then most landlords just instantly say no. This could be for a number of reasons – it may be that they are worried about damage or noise or it may be that they own a leasehold property and this doesn’t allow for pets.

Obviously, offering the additional deposit should be enough for most landlords. You can also provide a ‘pet reference’ from an old landlord that is reassurance for some people. In my experience, the slightly more expensive properties tend to be less bothered about pets and if you opt for unfurnished then you’re always going to get a better reception. 

Sometimes agents are problematic so it might be worth going direct to a landlord via sites like gumtree or or magnolia properties. Just make sure you’re dealing with a professional landlord who will protect your deposit etc as the law requires so if there are any issues when you leave, you can handle it all via the deposit protection scheme. Equally important with pets is taking a full inventory when you move in, take your own photos (even videos) and do the same when you leave so you can’t be charged for any damage just because landlords think they can get away with it when there’s a pet around. I’ve been meticulous about this – over the top some might say – but I’ve never lost any deposit, despite the dog.

There are a lot of good properties out there that will take pets so you can find them, don’t give up looking.


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