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‘Lets With Pets’ – sniff out the opportunity

publication date: Jul 1, 2010
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The recently launched Dogs Trust ‘Lets With Pets’ campaign – designed to encourage agents to embrace tenants with pets – has proven a success with the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) licensed firms embracing the initiative.

Caroline Pickering, Chair of NALS said, “Since the launch of the campaign the interest and support from agents and landlords looking to make properties available to pet owners has been really strong. This campaign has raised awareness of the challenge pet owners face and has demonstrated there is a very real opportunity for landlords and letting agents to tap into, if they take the right precautions - we are after-all a nation of animal lovers, with more than 43 per cent of the population owning pets.”

Finding ‘pet-friendly’ accommodation can be challenging as antiques expert Paul Martin, presenter of the popular BBC2 show – Flog it! has previously found. “In the past I have experienced problems trying to find suitable rental accommodation for me and my pets and most landlords were very negative. This not only severely limited the market, but was difficult emotionally as my pets are very much part of the family.  

“Pet owners are usually more than happy to pay a little extra rent for a suitable property and arrange for it to be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy so I would encourage landlords to always consider renting to pet owners as they are very often responsible people that will make excellent long-term tenants.”

Nicki Marshall at WSB Group, based in Warminster, displays the Lets With Pets leaflets in the reception area of their office. “It’s amazing how many tenants and potential landlords take these away with them. Quite often we find that landlords are initially not happy to accept pets but once we have had a conversation with them and make them aware that responsible pet owners often stay longer in their properties, they see the benefit and are happy to accept pets. By having in place a Pet Information Form with details of their pet, their veterinary practice and more we encourage a more open, trusting relationship. We also build in a minimal pet fee and have a pet policy. This all helps to create confidence in both parties.”

The campaign devised by canine welfare charity Dogs Trust aims to help pet owners find accommodation within the private rented sector and offers downloadable advice booklets and practical tips for landlords, letting agents and tenants on its website