Demand for pet-friendly rental properties soars during the pandemic, says Rightmove

Comfort of creatures: Demand for pet-friendly rental properties DOUBLE as tenants who bought pets during lockdown flock to real estate websites

  • Demand for pet-friendly homes soared 120 percent in the past year of the pandemic
  • The government’s model lease has lifted restrictions on pets
  • More than three million homes have added a pet since the pandemic began


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Renters are increasingly looking for pet-friendly homes, and online interest in such homes is rising 120 percent.

Pet ownership has been well documented over the past year of the pandemic, and Rightmove’s findings show it’s not just for those who own a home.

Demand was measured by comparing the demand for its website in July last year with the same month this year. The increase of 120 percent can be compared with the total demand from tenants on the website, which increases by 13 percent.

Pet rentals: Demand for pet-friendly pads has doubled, according to a real estate website

Pet rentals: Demand for pet-friendly pads has doubled, according to a real estate website

The second largest increase in demand was for homes with balconies, which increased by 70 percent, while the need for parking increased by 48 percent.

In the midst of the so-called ‘race for space’, it is perhaps not surprising that gardens were also held in high esteem. It is in third place, with an increase of 39 percent.

At the same time, a home with all the bills is also becoming increasingly popular with a demand increase of 38 percent.

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘The increase in pet ownership during the lockdown periods has been well documented and we see this translating to the rental market.

“Owning a pet is a long-term commitment, so what’s really interesting to consider is the impact this could have on the rental market in the future, and it’s a signal to landlords that if they were to consider a well-behaved pets, it can open them up to a larger pool of potential tenants.”

More than three million households have purchased a pet since the start of the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association.

It said young people are the main driver behind the increase, with more than half of new pet owners aged 16 to 34.

It follows a new model lease published by the government earlier this year that sought to make life easier for animal lovers.

A major change to the government’s model lease is the removal of restrictions on renters with pets.

The government introduced this to encourage landlords to accept tenants with pets. In reality, though, the template is just that — and hosts aren’t required to use it.

But pet owners can try to encourage landlords and real estate agents to be more open minded and should not be discouraged as it is possible to find good rental properties.

Ian Gibbs of Get Living: ‘Over the past year we have seen the priorities of residents and future residents change.

‘We are seeing a significant increase in people looking for a house where cats or dogs are allowed. Get Living became pet-friendly in all neighborhoods last summer, and one-fifth of potential residents specifically mention pets as part of their needs.”

And Richard O’Neill, of Romans Lettings, said: ‘There has certainly been an increase in demand for pet-friendly homes over the past year, which we attribute to the pandemic and a consequent shift in priorities.

“People have more generally been looking for larger family homes, and this demographic usually enjoys the company of a pet living next door to them.

“In addition, where more people are spending more time in their homes and now have more space, it is likely that they will fulfill previous aspirations of owning a pet and now feel they have the environment and lifestyle to make that happen.” .’

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