Know your rights when renting with a pet

Propertymark continues to spread the word about renting with pets beyond National Pet Month which was celebrated throughout the month of April in the UK.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic especially, pet ownership and in turn renting with pets has seen an upshift. However, in England, landlords continue to reserve the right to prevent pets from their properties, but that doesn't mean you cannot rent with a pet altogether. Remember, the reason landlords aren't keen on having pets in their property is because of the associated risks.

Unfortunately, bad ownership has made landlords dubious about renting to people with pets, as in the hands of the wrong owner, pets can lead to dirty conditions, lingering smells, pest infestations and neighbour complaints. Therefore, a renter's mission is to outline how they will prevent the risks by convincing the landlord that they are a responsible pet owner.

A survey of English landlords and letting agents was conducted by industry trade bodies Propertymark and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) along with landlord website, LandlordZone and East Midlands-based pets charity AdvoCATS.

The research showed that pet damage is extremely common in properties where landlords rent to tenants with pets and the costs are difficult to recoup with 85 per cent of landlords and agents having incurred damage to their properties by pets and 57 per cent unable to recoup the costs.

What you can do

As a renter, CV and references for your pet will help your case. Your pets age, breed, behaviour, training, vaccinations, flea treatments and a reference from your vet and/or previous landlord will help paint a picture of what your pet will be like in the property.

Although this is more common for cats and dogs, other animals will benefit from a good reference which reassures the landlord too.

It's good practice is to provide your vet's contact details and someone who can care for your pet in an emergency. You should also define as best you can when you're likely to be away from the pet during the day or night.

If you can, try to introduce your pet to the landlord so they can see how they behave firsthand. The more information your landlord has, the more likely they'll accept your tenancy with a pet.

Know your rights


Landlords in England cannot request a higher tenancy deposit for renting with a pet. Deposits are capped in England since the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019, instead, landlords can charge you extra rent for having a pet.

Whilst landlords can request a higher rent payment for pets, they cannot insist on a professional cleaning or de-flea treatment service at the end of your tenancy. Professional cleaning services are a prohibited payment under the legislation; however, you must return the property in the same condition as it was at the start of the tenancy. 


On top of your tenancy deposit, landlords can request an additional pet deposit to cover themselves against any potential damage caused by the pet at the end of the tenancy. Like your tenancy deposit, it should be returned to you at the end of your tenancy if no damage has occurred and should also be protected in a tenancy deposit scheme.


The Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 introduced changes to deposits which change what landlords can ask from tenants. From 1 April 2023 all deposits for new tenancies will be limited to one month's rent. This means that a landlord cannot ask for or accept any deposit amount over one month's rent, even if this was separate from the main rental deposit before the Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 was passed. This includes deposits for pets.


Some tenancy agreements will prevent you from renting with a pet, but you may be able to gain permission if you agree to an additional deposit. Any deposit in Scotland is capped at a maximum of two months' rent, this includes any additional deposits.

Don't forget to follow the rules

If you move into a property that doesn't permit pets, never get a pet without your landlord's permission. There will most certainly be a clause in your tenancy agreement that says you cannot keep pets, breaking this clause can be used as a ground for eviction.

If you have a pet, your landlord may also add additional clauses to your tenancy agreement relating to the pet. Examples might include what to do around fouling in the garden or inside the property or not leaving your pet alone in the property for too long.

Any damage to the property, or extra cleaning that the landlord can prove needs carrying out, can be deducted from your tenancy deposit so be sure to follow the terms of your agreement.

Find a professional agent

If you're looking to rent, our Propertymark members can help you find a pet-friendly property in your area. Our members have voluntarily chosen to become regulated by Propertymark to showcase their commitment to higher standards. Use our search to find a Propertymark Protected letting agent in your area:

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