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Post  sleepyme123 on Sun May 06, 2012 10:29 am

When you are looking for privately rented accommodation with your pet, there are a number of things you can do to make the house hunting process as simple as possible and to show prospective landlords that you are a responsible pet owner.

1 Don't leave your house hunting until the last minute - Give yourself plenty of time to find a pet-friendly property and begin searching at least 6-8 weeks before you need to move out of your current home.

2 Be as flexible as possible - The more restrictive your search criteria are, the more difficult it will be for you to find a pet-friendly property. Try to be flexible on location and property type as this will increase your chances of finding somewhere for you and your pet to live.

3 Write a CV for your pet - Provide your prospective landlord with as much information about your pet as you can. Write a CV and include contact details for your veterinary practice and for someone who can care for your pet in case of an emergency. You could also include details of your pet's last vaccinations and any flea and worming treatments they have received.

4 Get a reference for your pet - By providing your landlord with a reference from your previous landlord or your vet, you can show that your pet is both well behaved and capable of living in rented accommodation without causing problems or damage. This will also demonstrate that you are a responsible pet owner.

5 Introduce your pet to your landlord - Meeting your pet in advance may put your landlord's mind at ease. You could invite your landlord to your current home so that they can see that your pet has caused no problems there. This is particularly important for dogs as it's an opportunity to show that your dog is calm and well behaved.

6 Offer to pay a higher deposit - Many landlords are concerned about pets causing damage to their property or furnishings. By offering to pay a higher deposit, you will reassure the landlord that you will cover any damage that your pet may cause.

7 Offer to have the property professionally cleaned - Landlords often worry that accepting pets will lead to flea infestations, excess pet hair and dirty carpets and soft furnishings. To put your landlord's mind at ease you might consider offering to pay for the property to be professionally cleaned when you move out. Some landlords and letting agents may ask for a non-refundable payment in advance to cover the cost of cleaning.

8 Be honest, don't sneak your pet in without permission - It's never advisable to keep a pet in a property without the landlord's consent. This will only lead to problems in the future and could result in the termination of your tenancy. It's possible that keeping pets in the property may even violate the landlord's own leasehold agreement. It's advisable to always be honest about your pets from the start.

9 Get written permission - If your landlord has given you permission to keep a pet in your property, make sure you get it in writing. You should ask for a clause to be added to your tenancy agreement to cover the keeping of pets and make sure that any 'No Pets' clauses are removed. This will prevent problems from arising in future.

10 Raise awareness of Dogs Trust's Lets With Pets campaign - By spreading the word about our campaign, you can help us to encourage more landlords and letting agents to accept pets. We have produced a separate booklet for landlords and letting agents which gives help and advice on renting properties to pet owners. For more information, please go to the Support Us section.

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