We are a nation of pet lovers. Surprisingly, there are more households with pets than households with children in the UK with 11.58 million children compared to 51 million pets.
Despite this, for many years, renters have had to miss out on the joy that a pet can bring to a home due to restrictions in their contracts.
At the beginning of 2020, only 7% of landlords advertised homes which accommodated for pets**, meaning many renters struggled to find suitable homes.
In January steps were taken by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP to tackle the problem when he called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to have well-behaved pets in their home.
The government’s model tenancy contracts for renters (which can be used as the basis of lease agreements with tenants) was revised to remove restrictions on well-behaved pets and to ensure more landlords are catering for responsible pet owners.
However, life has changed dramatically since January, with the coronavirus lockdown shifting priorities for many renters. Outdoor areas, natural light and working-from-home space has become a must for renters and – unsurprisingly, a rise in the search for pet-friendly flats has occurred. Rental search app Movebubble reported a soar in the number of searches for pet-friendly rentals since the start of the pandemic – a rise of 109%.
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has been an unnerving, isolating and unsettling time for many people, so it is unsurprising that many individuals have decided to get a pet friend to keep them company. Pet’s have long been proven to improve both physical and mental well-being, helping to reduce anxiety and stress – which is important now more than ever. Despite the number of positives that owning a pet provides, and the legislation changes from the Government, renting with pets still has a way to go. But why?
Many renters are often misled into thinking it is the landlord’s choice whether pets are allowed but this is not always the case. In fact, landlords are becoming more open in allowing pets into their properties and will often charge a slightly higher rent to account for any potential damage a pet could cause
Restrictions on pets usually comes down to the management companies. Many buildings – specifically older properties – have a “no pets” policy written into their leases which are legally binding documents and not easy to dispute. Most older properties available for rent in Manchester will fall into this bracket.
But luckily, there’s good news for renters going forward!
Despite a disparity in the number of Manchester city centre rentals which will accept pets being the case for many years, new developments emerging across the city are incorporating ‘pet-friendly’ living into their selling points to appeal to the city centre’s ever-growing young professional population.
As pets in the city are becoming more popular, it is not just developments which are becoming more animal friendly. Neighbourhoods such as Ancoats and the Northern Quarter boast an abundance of pet-friendly bars, cafés and restaurants to ensure that you can explore your local neighbourhood without restrictions on your furry friends.
With Manchester’s city centre population expected to dramatically increase from 60,000 to 100,000 by 2025, we will be sure to see an increase in the pet population too!
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