Pet-friendly rental property searches spike to record levels post-lockdown

Online searches for pet-friendly rental property have spiked post-lockdown to the highest level since records began in 2004.

Search queries for ‘Pet friendly rentals’, ‘Pet friendly apartments’ and ‘Pet friendly’ in the real estate category have all increased dramatically since lockdown ended, according to Google Trends.

Research by the Dogs Trust found that 78% of pet owners experienced difficulties finding a pet-friendly rental property, and pet owners can take up to seven times longer to rent a home.

Two pet-friendly rental development operators, Fizzy Living and Get Living, say that as many as one in every three of recent enquiries has been from pet owners.

Harry Downes, managing director at London build to rent operator Fizzy Living, said: “One in three enquiries we receive are from pet owners and, certainly over recent months, animals have been lifelines for so many.

“Owning pets is proven to provide so many benefits to both physical and mental health, and we don’t see why living in rented accommodation should be an obstacle to that.”

Fizzy Living’s buildings feature pet stations stocked with bags, paw wipes and treats, and staff are encouraged to bring their pets to work on designated days.

Ian Gibbs, director of Neighbourhoods at Get Living, said: “Looking at new enquiries received during and post-lockdown, being pet-friendly has certainly climbed the list of customers’ priorities – in addition to outdoor space and reliable WiFi.

“Across our three neighbourhoods, we’re finding 15-20% of potential customers mention pets specifically as part of their requirements. Since 1 June, our New Maker Yards site in Manchester received 80+ enquiries on pets alone.”

Get Living operates two London developments and one in Manchester.