While searching for a new property to rent, you'll often find somewhere in the listing "no pets allowed" and will have to immediately discount it. This can be particularly frustrating when you think you've found the perfect property with the only exception being the owners policy on pets holding you back. Thankfully in 2001 a set of guidelines were published on fair and unfair terms of rental contracts which included a section on pets, which has made it more difficult for a landlord to outright refuse pets without a good reason. Ideally you should be able to find a property you love that does allow pets, however things don't always run that smoothly and before giving up on the house of your dreams there are things you can do to change the landlords mind regarding pets.
It is common for people to try to "trick" the landlord by agreeing to the contract and then making an attempt to hide the pet for as long as possible, in vain hope that if the landlord finds out they will just accept it. This is an absolute no no because sooner or later you will be found out and then be out on your ear for violating the terms of your contract. However just because an advert says "no pets" does not necessarily mean there is no possibility of negotiation. If you have a small caged animal such as a rabbit, snake or fish then ask the letting agency if these pets would be allowed, as it is unlikely the owner will have a problem with an animal that does not have the run of the house. If you have a dog or cat then avoid ringing up the letting agency and simply asking if there is any chance they will the owners change their mind regarding pets because the answer will be no. Instead you should try to make the prospect more appealing by giving your offer and the positives of your situation (e.g able to move straight away, have a good job etc.) then add in at the end that you have a well-behaved pet.
Usually when landlords state "no pets" they are thinking about young dogs chewing door frames or puppies who aren't housetrained. With this in mind the landlord is likely to reconsider if they know that your pet is well-behaved. Create a resume for you pet with information on age, breed, references from a vet and any other useful information and finally give the landlord the opportunity to meet the animal.
As they say "money talks" and if you are prepared to offer more money per month or a higher deposit than what the owner's are asking for then that will certainly sway things in your favour. Sometimes properties that allow pets will have already taken this into account and it will be reflected in the price. If you come across a reluctant landlord suggest to them that you will completely remove any trace of your pet when you leave the property, and offer to have this written up in a clause with the contract. To remove the traces of your pet you will probably need to deodorise the carpets and treat them for fleas.
Remember to treat the house like you would if it was your own. If you say that your pet is going to be no trouble then mean it, you will have to ensure the pet is house-trained and doesn't make too much noise. If you have a puppy then it is a good idea to invest in obedience training before moving.
If you have a cat then you should not just be thinking about whether the property allows cats, but also is it suitable for you cat to live in. If you are moving to a flat and your cat likes to go outdoors then a ground floor flat is really your only option. You will also need to ask the landlord if it is ok to put a catflap on the door. When you are searching for a rental property which accepts pets you may find it takes a lot longer than you anticipated. You must make arrangements to stay with family, friends or a pet-friendly B&B if you haven't found somewhere soon enough. Although searching may take longer than you thought, in the end it will be worth the wait for the perfect place.