Whilst finding the right home in London can already be a challenge for incoming expats, it becomes even more difficult if expats come over with a pet (cat or dog). We thought it might be useful to summarise what happens in these circumstances, and what to know before starting a London home search.
Main rule: there isn’t any general rule
Landlords are not obliged, by law, to accept pets. It is down to the prospective tenant to negotiate with the potential landlord. This has to be done before signing the tenancy agreement, since 90% of standard leases will forbid any pets in the properties.
It is important to know that, in some buildings, particularly in Central London, pets are forbidden by the head lease (the contract ruling the entire building), meaning that no pets are allowed in the entire building, even if landlords were open to them.
The security deposit
The general rule is that the deposit is increased from 6 to 8 weeks rent, in order to cover for possible damages to the property.
The difference between dog and cat
In general, it is easier to get a cat accepted by a landlord than a dog, as they are considered to be more quiet and cleaner. If you bring a dog, the landlord will want to know its race, size and age.
House or apartment?
In general, it is easier to get a pet accepted for a house than for an apartment.
Most tenancy agreements will enable the landlord to withdraw the permission, in case of important damages, or problems with the neighbours. Therefore, it is important that the pet is able to behave in a manner that will not be a nuisance to neighbours.