Dog on a sofa, REalyse

REalyse’s resident Dachshund Bronn argues for more lets for pets and their human companions. From pet premiums and tenant fees to build-to-rent developments, no stone will be left un-sniffed!

Read time: 5 minutes

Almost half of the UK population is lucky enough to own a pet. Around 14% of the population live in a flat, with those numbers increasing significantly in big cities. Yet finding an apartment the accommodates both you and your human friend can often prove troublesome, whether you’re renting or buying.

Renters face an especially hard task of finding somewhere to live that accommodates Archie and Coco. Landlords are reluctant to let their properties to tenants with animals, as they’re often anxious that we will cause undue damage. Tenants with pets are usually asked to pay a higher deposit.

With city-centre living on the rise, there needs to be more living options for those pets with humans. Which is why it’s in the interest of developers to build pet-friendly residential developments. But what does the future of residential property developments look like for those lucky enough to have us furry sidekicks in tow?

Are we seeing a shift to pet-friendly solutions? And if we are, will they come with a pet-friendly premium?

Lets With Pets

Owning a pet is more than having a little (or big) companion – we are part of the family, and the emotional attachment between us and our human is strong. For that reason, tenants are often willing to pay higher prices to secure a property for furry friends.

In the past, there was no doubt that renters have felt the need to fork out more for a rental property if they have a pet – especially as far as renting from a private landlord is concerned. Where tenants typically pay four-to-six week’s rent as a deposit, those with pets need to cover eight week’s worth of rent.

With the tenant fee ban limiting deposit amounts to five-week’s rent, it’s not yet clear just how those rule changes will impact tenants with a four-legged friend. There is, however, another option that is growing in popularity…

The Rise of Build-to-Rent

Developers have taken note of the trials and tribulations faced by pet-owning property searchers. The last few years have seen an increase of build-to-rent developments, with flexible contracts and pet-friendly properties becoming major selling points.

It makes sense to bring these features to the fore: flexibility and the ability to live in a property with Rocky or Bonnie are two of the most important aspects for renters.

West Tower Deansgate, a build-to-rent development in Manchester, highlights the importance of renting with pets with their ‘Very Important Pets’ motto. Blackhorse Mills in Walthamstow is another build-to-rent development that champions pet-friendly apartments.

Developing With Pets in Mind

Thankfully, the trend of pet-friendly developments looks set to continue, especially as the demand for build-to-rent increases. It doesn’t make sense for developers to ignore almost half the population as they construct new properties set to innovate traditional rental markets all over the UK.

Today, there is more information readily available about renting with pets. What started with a few disgruntled renters with animals has evolved into the majority of letting agents having a specific “pet-friendly properties” section. It’s only natural that the next step is pre-designed pet-friendly accommodation in the form of build-to-rent.

Value Impact

The big question about pet-friendly property developments centres around price. Does the pet-friendly premium that relates to deposits apply to the renting in a development that lets you bring Rover or Felix?

The short answer, unfortunately, is yes. Tenants in build-to-rent developments pay, on average, 11% more than those renting from private landlords. However, the premium isn’t as cut and dry as it might seem. Many of these developments offer more than simply allowing pets in the property.

The majority of them include broadband in the rental price, plus communal-friendly amenities such as residents’ lounge, meeting rooms, gyms, and a 24-hour concierge. Yet some may argue that they don’t need the amenities, and it’s unfair to have to pay a premium just to live somewhere with little Rex.

Furry Friends and Everyone

There has certainly been a sea change in the world of lets with pets. Renters have more information readily available, which makes it easier to find pet-friendly accommodation. Landlords are becoming more flexible to allow tenants with pets, and developers are factoring pet-friendly environments into their plans before building.

However, the premiums placed on pet-friendly properties is likely to irk many renters, who want to bring Buddy and Milo with them. From a developers point of view, it’s a chance to maximise earnings and tap into a market that is growing in demand.

Want to find out more about the demographic in an area your interested to buy in? Bronn can sort you out in a jiffy! But first, sign up here for a trial here.

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