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Agents urged to consider furry friends

Lettings agents are being urged to summons some festive cheer and encourage landlord clients to become more pet-friendly.

The National Approved Letting Scheme is urging agents to back Lets with Pets, the campaign launched by the Dogs Trust to help pet owners find accommodation within the private rented sector.

Caroline Pickering, chair of NALS, says: “By excluding pets, many agencies are discounting a very significant part of the population and potential tenants.  Lettings agents might be surprised to learn that a survey conducted by Dogs Trust clearly showed that more landlords are prepared to accept pets than agents actually realise.  

“Clearly there are some sensible guidelines to follow including a ‘pet deposit’ and a ‘pet policy’ within a tenant’s contract, but by taking a pragmatic approach, pets can be easily accommodated and it’s win-win all round”.

Jordan’s Residential Lettings has reported a surge in applications from tenants with exotic pets since launching its own Lets With Pets scheme a year ago. The letting agent expected cats and dogs to top the list of pets, but has received more applications from tenants with reptiles, including snakes, bearded dragons and geckos, with iguanas proving most popular.

Figures from the British Federation of Herpetologists reveal that there are more than eight million reptiles and amphibians being kept as pets in the UK, which compares to a dog population of 6.5 million.

William Jordan (pictured), managing director of Jordan’s, says: “The rental market is still extremely competitive, with many property owners looking to let their property rather than sell. We find tenants snap up pet-friendly properties. Pet owners make up 43% of the UK population., so landlords who ban all pets are missing out on thousands of pounds of rental income.”

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