Renting with pets

(24 Posts)
Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 07:06:27

Hi, apologies if this is the wrong place to be asking this.
We are returning from overseas at short notice and will be bringing our 3 dogs and 3 cats with us (leaving them behind is not an option). I've been warned that we'll find it difficult to find a landlord who will let us have pets at all, and certainly not that many. Our animals have always lived in rented houses and are adults (2 of the dogs we've had for over 15 years) and we'd be looking for somewhere unfurnished.
Am I better looking for something semi rural - my husband can't drive so we can't be totally remote - or will it not make much difference? Wherever we are we'll be at the lower end of the market, not sure if that'll make a difference too.
Thanks for your help.

cathpip Fri 26-Jun-15 07:49:11

Most rentals say no Pets but you can always ask, your problem is the amount of pets. Are you able to get references as to the dogs behaviour, ie, when we were looking at renting and said that we had 2 cocker spaniels, people were a bit put off but as soon as we said they were trained gun dogs and kennelled outside when we were out they were a lot happier. Or are you able to give a larger deposit?

diydolly Fri 26-Jun-15 08:18:45

As a landlord myself I can tell you you're going to find it VERY hard if not impossible to find a rental that will accept pets. The only way I can imagine you achieving it is to offer a VERY large deposit, agree an inventory of the condition of the property on moving in & agree to bear all the costs of reinstating that condition at the end of the tenancy. It can be very hard to re-let a property that has previously had pets in it as many potential tenants won't touch it & I've personally had lots of problems from upset neighbours & barking dogs/chewed bannisters & doggy smell imbuing everything. Quite possibly, you won't be able to choose where to live but your pets will dictate what's available to you. Fingers crossed you find an understanding landlord, you've got your work cut out.

Shakey1500 Fri 26-Jun-15 08:30:46

Not impossible at all. I'm a LL, not an animal lover and my tenant has 5cats and 1dog. She had no need to ask as I hadn't said "no pets".

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 08:32:05

Thank you both for your replies.
The country we are in is not known for being pet friendly so, while I understand it from the landlord's point of view, I'm rather shocked by the situation. With so many abandoned pets here the only option is to take them or have them put to sleep!
A reference isn't an option as we rent from a large corporate landlord but we are happy to pay a larger deposit and pay for the house to be cleaned on leaving (not sure if that is a standard requirement).
Thank you, will have to hope that we find an understanding landlord!

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 08:32:54

Thank you Shakey1500, that gives me hope!

diydolly Fri 26-Jun-15 08:33:55

cleaned on leaving is always standard in my tenancies

ovumahead Fri 26-Jun-15 08:35:14

We rent with two cats and just had to pay an additional pet damage deposit. But we were already in the house for over a year before we got them. Dogs are harder I think, as generally more potential for them to be destructive and also they can really stink a house out. If semi rural would you be willing to house them outside?

CurlsLDN Fri 26-Jun-15 08:37:38

We have two cats and have always rented. It does mean you can't necessarily have your pick of homes, but it isn't impossible. Many adverts for houses will say no pets, but if you like it it's worth showing your interest and asking about the pets, as each house I've moved into has been fine once we asked.
It's important to make yourself an attractive tenant in other ways, eg if you have good jobs or are a family or are a settled down older couple, make that known to the estate agent or landlord right away, then ask about the pets. We've been chosen over other, non pet, tenants as we have good jobs and a baby so are expected to be sensible respectful tenants

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 09:16:41

Thank you for the rays of hope! We are both 40 with 2 DDs of 12 and 8 and, although we're moving due to redundancy and aren't arriving with jobs, that situation hopefully won't last long.
Our cats are all house cats and, unfortunately, due to their age, kenneling the dogs is not an option, but it is many years since they have chewed anything!
We don't yet know the area we will be moving to, but is is worth contacting agents and being up front or finding a property we like and then asking?
Thanks!

Sunnyshores Fri 26-Jun-15 09:29:33

I dont want to worry you, but the number of pets would be a problem for me and the fact you wont have jobs. Lls try to limit the number of red flags when chosing a tenant.

To make up for this youre going to have to sound great in other areas - lots of good references from employers, friends, landlords, proof of funds to pay the rent for say 6 months without jobs (dont offer to pay upfront Im always suspicious about that). Next of kin in UK, home owning guarantor....

Get all this sort of paperwork together in a folder, go in and see agents (or send your guarantor if youre still abroad). Your best approach is to be really professional and likeable so agents recommend you despite the 'issues'.

specialsubject Fri 26-Jun-15 10:00:45

ok, here is what would make me consider you and why I need these things. None of this is personal and I'm not suggesting you'd do any of this, but as a landlord I need to protect my business from taking me down)

- six months rent up front; you won't pass any credit referencing due to being out of the country so I need this to get insurances. (if you move in and decide not to pay rent, it takes months and a lot of money to evict you so I need insurance)
- very big deposit to cover chewed woodwork, chewed/excreted on carpets and so on. If these things don't happen you get the deposit back. Your two elderly dogs are a big incontinence concern.
- agreement for major steam clean at end. Animal smell/hair is not normal wear and tear.
- you must be non-smokers.
- you must have run a home before; I want someone who will tell me about leaks/fixes that need doing, and also knows to heat when appropriate, ventilate daily, clean up sometimes and so on.
- you must have a steady source of income to show if you want to renew the tenancy, or continue to pay six months in advance. And I hope you can afford big vets bills as well!
- the house needs to be suitable for all those animals; a big secure garden for example. And a system for dealing with all the excreta.
- who is looking after the dogs? (the cats can be left to it although they can still cause severe damage, been there...) If you are both out at work all day, this is clearly not compatible with dog ownership unless you employ sitters/walkers.

so; have answers to all those ready to 'sell' yourself to prospective landlords.

not impossible but needs work.

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 12:59:13

Thank you! As landlords, do you think that a certificate of good conduct from the local police and something from our current bank to say that we have no debts and a good record with them would help?
We are non smokers who are leith coming from jobs in the education sector. We are all house trained and even happy to show them my children's school reports to show how well behaved they are!
I do appreciate the landlord's point of view, and I'm sure I would feel the same, it's just that I know how careful we are! It wasn't until I started looking at houses that I even thought about carpets, everywhere we've lived since we found the animals has had tiled floors!

specialsubject Fri 26-Jun-15 14:38:33

I think that normal references are to check for debts and criminal records; so if you can't be reference checked then it sounds like you have some similar evidence, always worth a go.

there are houses about with tiles/laminate, and you could consider restricting the animals to those areas (stair gate?)

QuintShhhhhh Fri 26-Jun-15 14:42:20

You have 6 pets, that will be 6 times harder than finding a landlord that accepts 1 pet, I should think.

Cleaning the property upon vacating it is standard anyway.

In your shoes I would suggest larger deposit, professional cleaning including professional carpet clean at the end of the tenancy, along with paying for a gardener to ensure the garden is immaculate - dog piss "burns" any lawn.

Meandyou150 Fri 26-Jun-15 15:36:42

I'll be honest, I used to be a letting agent and you will really struggle.

Having 6 pets will be a no go for almost every landlord I've ever dealt with unfortunately.

Also not being employed right now is a major red flag.

Good luck but it will be very tough

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 15:44:25

Thanks all! We didn't set out to have 6 pets, for those who think we're mad - we had 4 of each until recently when 2 died! We have found them all on the streets and not found other homes for them. Fortunately we have found homes for many or we'd have ended up with at least 14 dogs and goodness knows how many cats!
I know it seems that we are rather naive and unprepared but we have had very little notice after my husband's employers, overnight, made the decision not to renew any expat contracts!
Thank you all for your help.

QuintShhhhhh Fri 26-Jun-15 17:20:38

So, overseas street dogs brought into the UK? Do you have the relevant vaccinations and health records for them?

This was just in the news, www.express.co.uk/news/uk/586819/Rabies-risk-Britain-UK-foreign-animals-European-Union

Are you a journalist seeking opinions?

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 18:14:55

No QuintShhhhhh, I'm not a journalist!!
I'm someone who has less than 4 weeks to pack up a family of 2 children and 6 pets from a country that I have lived in for 19 years and is trying to make the best of a seriously stressful situation. The country I live in has been rabies free for many years. My animals have been vaccinated against rabies annually since we found them - a legal requirement for pets here which must all be registered too. The original ones cost us over £150 per animal to have them blood tested years ago to make sure they were fit to travel. With modern advances in vaccines it is no longer necessary for them to wait six months after vaccination as long as it is given annually. The paperwork requirements are stringent at this end as well as the other, and it will cost us over £5,000 to transport them!
I'm sorry to rant but my questions were genuinely asked.

sianihedgehog Fri 26-Jun-15 18:26:24

Ooft, it's going to be hard to find somewhere with that many. Honestly, I'd do every possible thing to make yourself look good, but start by offering a huge deposit. It's probably worth looking in undesirable areas so that you're not competing as hard, and it's definitely worth trying to find a private landlord rather than an agency - agencies are a load of absolute unremitting arseholes, but you might be able to talk sense to a landlord.

specialsubject Fri 26-Jun-15 18:42:55

this won't go down well - but if it is a long journey, is it kind to elderly animals to put them through it? (and brutally, is it likely that they will die en route?)

re agencies: almost all ads will say no pets, but if a property looks suitable ask to be considered by the landlord, explaining your measures to prevent/deal with the issues discussed.

Don't be surprised if you are asked to prove your right to be in the UK. Landlords in many areas now have to check this and all landlords in England will have to do it soon. Assuming you are British this is of course just a matter of showing your passport.

as you also hopefully realise, you won't have any access to any benefits although you can use the NHS as you are returning to live.

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 18:52:37

Thanks specialsubject, we are British, the children were born here but have British passports.
Not bringing the old ones is something we've thought long and hard about - our oldest dog wouldn't have been able to travel but took the awful decision from us in her inimitable style by dying on her own terms a couple of weeks ago. The other 2 are old but the vet feels they're fit enough to travel.
We've both been in full time employment to this point and wouldn't dream of trying to access benefits. I'm happy to increase the deposit and we've been warned that coming from overseas will probably be asked to pay 6 months up front.
Thank you all for your advice smile

specialsubject Fri 26-Jun-15 19:22:56

I really hope it all goes well for you.

final advice: please look on gov.uk for advice for tenants, know your rights to things such as deposit protection, gas safe cert, quiet enjoyment and a decent home. Most landlords do it right but not all.

in short - don't rent a dump, and don't rent it from a crook!

Arabiankelpie Fri 26-Jun-15 19:34:47

Thank you specialsubject �� great advice! We can afford a bigger deposit but would hate not to get it back!

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