Online searches for pet-friendly UK rental properties have soared post-lockdown to the highest level since available records began in 2004, according to data from residential development review HomeViews and data from Google Trends.
Searches for ‘pet friendly rentals’, ‘pet friendly apartments’ and ‘pet friendly’ in the real estate category have all increased dramatically since the UK’s first national lockdown ended, according to Google Trends.
Pet parents in the UK often experience difficulties in finding a pet-friendly rental property, taking much longer to find a rental property than those without pets.
The report from HomeViews found that 10 of the highest-rated Build to Rent developments, which are built specifically for renters, were pet-friendly, whereas most Build then Sell developments were not.
As a result, many Build to Rent programs are able to fill the gaps in the market left by private landlords who are unwilling to allow pets in their properties. The UK’s pandemic lockdown appears to have brought into focus the importance of things like owning pets for tenants who are rethinking their priorities.
Harry Downes, managing director at London build to rent operator Fizzy Living, said, “One in three enquiries we receive are from pet owners and, certainly over recent months, animals have been lifelines for so many.”
“Owning pets is proven to provide so many benefits to both physical and mental health, and we don’t see why living in rented accommodation should be an obstacle to that,” Downes added.
Fizzy Living’s buildings feature pet stations stocked with bags, paw wipes and treats, and staff are encouraged to bring their pets to work on designated days.
Ian Gibbs, director of Neighborhoods at Get Living, said, “Looking at new enquiries received during and post-lockdown, being pet-friendly has certainly climbed the list of customers’ priorities – in addition to outdoor space and reliable WiFi.”
“Across our three neighborhoods, we’re finding 15-20% of potential customers mention pets specifically as part of their requirements. Since 1 June, our New Maker Yards site in Manchester received 80+ enquiries on pets alone,” Gibbs said.
While the data from HomeViews certainly shows that demand for pet friendly accommodation is on the rise, the UK still has a long way to go when it comes to being a place where pet owners can rent accommodation that allows their best friends to live under the same roof.
For those who are looking for pet friendly accommodation, Rocky the Traveller has an article here which gives tips on finding pet friendly accommodation in the UK.