More than a quarter of tenants would pay more to live with pet, survey finds

More than a quarter of tenants would be prepared to pay more rent to live with a pet, a survey has found.

Some 28% of private rental sector tenants would pay extra, at £24 a month on average.

Women were more likely to say they would pay more than men, with nearly a third (31%) saying they would pay additional fees to live with their pet in their rental property, compared with 23% of men.

The research among more than 3,200 people across Britain was carried out by LSL Corporate Client Department, a sister company of estate and letting agency network Your Move and Reeds Rains.

By comparison, the survey found that only 4% of tenants would pay extra for bike storage, with those who would pay more willing to pay £11 typically.

Younger tenants were found to be particularly keen to pay extra if it meant living with a pet, with 31% of 18 to 35-year-olds saying they would be happy to pay extra, at £25.55 more each month on average.

Meanwhile, 22% of those aged 55 and over would pay more to live with their pet, being prepared to pay £19 above their normal monthly rental payment.

Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move and Reeds Rains, said landlords could consider offering "pet friendly" tenancy agreements to avoid missing out on a large chunk of the market.

He said: "Our research clearly shows that being able to live with a pet is a huge incentive for some tenants."

Mr Alderton suggested: "For example, landlords could request a slightly higher deposit, six weeks instead of four, to protect the property; or as this research shows, could consider increasing the monthly rent slightly to cover the cost of any pet-related damage."

David Bowles, head of public affairs at the RSPCA, said: "Pets are part of our families and, as well as being wonderful companions, they also bring us many benefits for our health and general well-being.

"We encourage landlords to allow tenants to take pets into homes as this allows the opportunity for more rescue pets from charities such as the RSPCA to find loving new homes.

"Sadly it can cause a lot of distress and upset when families aren't able to take their pet with them when they move to a new property, and charities such as the RSPCA can be left to pick up the pieces.

"We have produced booklets for housing agencies and landlords giving them useful and practical advice if they need it."

Here are the percentages of tenants willing to pay more to live with a pet and the average extra amount they would be prepared to pay per month, according to the research from Your Move and Reeds Rains:

Wales, 43%, £9.33
East of England, 29%, £27.45
North East, 29%, £24.11
London, 15%, £22.81
North West, 30%, £24.34
Yorkshire, 30%, £22.67
East Midlands, 33%, £23.47
West Midlands, 28%, £22.45
South East, 24%, £24.86
South West, 29%, £25.07
Scotland, 30%, £23.02