We are a nation of pet lovers: statistically almost 50% of the UK population own a pet, whether that’s a cat, dog or some other creature. London, our capital, has a population of 8.6 million, according to news from February 2015 – so if the statistics across the country were replicated in London, that’s potentially over four million pet owners.
In this article, I’ll share some useful advice with you for housing options for pet owners in London.
London, like any major city, has a broad range of property types from new-build studio flats to exclusive detached period properties. If you’re lucky enough to be able to buy, pet ownership shouldn’t present a problem – unless there are restrictive covenants in place, which you need to check with estate agents and owners when property searching.
The lettings section is less straightforward though; some property owners accept pets, others don’t. It’s always best to check first. Your landlord may not be that keen, but if he interviews you with the pet in question, you may find him or her more amenable. You can get a testimonial from friends or family about your pet and even write a CV!
There are specialist websites too that cater for pet owners and offer great advice. You should look at these.
Another good strategy is to offer your landlord a bigger deposit and offer to pay for a professional clean when your tenancy expires. Make sure, if your landlord acquiesces to a pet, you get it in writing in the tenancy agreement, so there are no surprises later on.
You need to make sure that your pet is fully house-trained and de-fleaing has taken place, pre-moving. Specialist tablets to deflea your dog are essential in making sure nothing goes wrong in your new rented accommodation.
London is a fantastic city for people and pets. Green spaces and parks are common and easily accessible via the road and public transport network. Some of the best parts of London for pet owners are Stoke Newington, Kentish Town, Battersea, Clapham and Richmond. Close to large open spaces, these five areas act as agents for pet owners, with all the services you’d want nearby: vets, grooming salons and dog walkers.
One of my favourites from the five mentioned above is Stoke Newington. I’m sure you’d like it too. Here’s why. It’s in the north-east of London and has several dog-friendly parks: Abney Park is one you should definitely check out. Close by are Finsbury Park and Clissold Park. There’s a great pet shop there and there’s a superb dog friendly pub on Kynaston Road. I’ll let you discover that one.
If you’re letting, start your search online, looking for pet friendly accommodation. Prepare well in advance by getting a CV for your pet or references and check your tenancy agreement to make sure it does not exclude pets.