Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Think tank targets landlords’ pet peeve

Think tank targets landlords’ pet peeve

HOUSE- and flat-share website SpareRoom has launched a think tank for pets to help address the lack of pet-friendly rental accommodation in the UK.

The firm was responding to the news that more than two-thirds of landlords say they won’t allow pets in their properties.

With 78 per cent of tenants saying they struggled to find pet-friendly accommodation, the situation has prompted 21 per cent to keep a pet without their landlord’s knowledge.

The think tank was formed by SpareRoom in partnership with charities the RSPCA and Crisis in a bid to generate new ideas and policies that could encourage landlords to accept more pets in rented properties.

SpareRoom spokesperson Matt Hutchinson said: “We believe home is the most important thing in our lives. If we’re not happy at home, we’re not happy full stop.

“But home isn’t just where you were born, or somewhere unlocked by a mortgage. Home isn’t about things, or even a place. Home is more special than that.

Whether they’re family, friends or a bunch of flatmates you met online, the people you share your space with are what makes it home. They’re there to celebrate the good days and help you through the bad. A friendly face when you walk through the door goes a long way.

And that doesn’t have to mean just people. Sharing our homes with animals can also have a huge positive impact on our quality of life and emotional wellbeing. Indeed, 97 per cent of pet owners we surveyed told us they consider their pet part of their family. Yet finding a place to live when you have a pet can be incredibly difficult, especially if you rent.

“But why? What are the reasons landlords prefer not to let to tenants with pets? More importantly, what can we do to change that?

“We can’t force anyone to want pets in their property, and there are legitimate reasons why landlords might not, so we wanted to find out what’s driving the issue, from both sides, and find some solutions so we can start a conversation and make a change for the better.”

Research by the think tank for pets suggests that the UK’s landlords could earn extra income if they let pets in their properties — not to mention reducing the number of pets given up for adoption each year.

The firm now plans to employ cats and dogs as “research assistants” to help better educate landlords to emphasise the positive effects that pets can have on tenants and properties.

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