Lets get pet friendly

Swoffers is pleased to support a new initiative aimed at encouraging landlords to consider allowing tenants to accommodate pets in rented properties.

The Pancake Project, named after pet rabbit Pancake, has been launched by Bea Smith, who wants to create more pet friendly rental homes but also educate tenants in pet-proofing properties to reassure landlords that their rental is safe and protected.

Pancake is a registered emotional support animal, but Bea found it very difficult to find a rental property that would allow such a companion pet.

‘We always have a large number of tenants looking for properties that will accept pets,’ said Swoffers lettings negotiator, Annie Le Prevost.

‘We understand why landlords may not want to have certain pets in their properties, and some homes are just not suitable for animals. But by introducing, for example, higher pet-related deposits or ensuring tenants pet-proof a property, perhaps landlords might consider it.’

Bea recommends that landlords could agree to make tenants responsible for installing measures such as skirting board barriers, cable protectors or baby gates/room dividers to guard against any possible damage by pets.

‘This could be controlled by visits after proofing, or an inspection from the GSPCA which could include a pet reference,’ said Bea.

The GSPCA is supportive of Bea’s efforts and willing to help any landlords who are unsure how to accommodate pets.

‘There is rarely a week that goes by when we aren’t made aware of the challenges pet owners find in looking for accommodation,’ said GSPCA manager Steve Byrne, in a recent article published in Bailiwick Express.

‘Every year we have a variety of pets given up into our care as owners cannot find accommodation. There are ways and means landlords could easily make adjustments in their tenancy agreement to allow pets and this could even help benefit the owner of the property,’ said Steve.

‘It always saddens the team at the GSPCA when we speak to those keen to help give an animal a loving home but are unable to do so due to their tenancy agreement.’

To try to assist, Swoffers plans to introduce some simple icons on rental property details to indicate what sort of animals may be considered by the landlord, and, where possible, to encourage landlords to consider tenants who have pets in equal merit to those who don’t.

‘Rather than stating ‘no pets’ it may be that a landlord would be happy to consider smaller animals such as rabbits or guinea pigs or even pet fish. If they agree to consider certain animals then we will include the relevant icons,’ said Annie.

‘Obviously, this may need to be on a case by case basis, but we will try to help where we can.’

If landlords or tenants have any questions about allowing pets in rental properties then please contact our experienced team on 01481 721757 or email rentals@swoffers.co.uk

For further information on the Pancake Project see http://www.thepancakeproject.info/

 

Picture caption: Bea Smith from the Pancake Project is pictured with pet rabbit Pancake and lettings negotiator Annie Le Prevost


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