In The Dog House
Imagine spending thousands of pounds on your new home, only to discover a member of your family may not be allowed to move in with you.
Buying a property
It may seem a little far-fetched, but this may be the case for those families purchasing a new build who own a dog. Home builders can sell a property, but still impose a range of surprising restrictions on the families purchasing the homes.
You may or may not have heard of a ‘Restrictive covenant’. This is something house builders can put into place in order to restrict what new owners can do with their homes. It’s not uncommon to come across these covenants which restrict things such as sign written vans on driveways and washing lines in gardens. These restrictions are put in place to maintain the aesthetics of the development and ensure there are no impacts on sales of subsequent plots.
But, did you know, these ‘Restrictive Covenants’ could also prevent you from bringing your dog or cat to your new home?
Once you have purchased your home, you would think it is yours do with as you wish, within reason. The restriction of pets in properties tends to apply to those properties with shared communal areas, such as apartment blocks or multi-floor developments without private garden space, which is understandable. However, there have been cases where developments have refused pets in a variety of home types.
Before signing any paperwork for your new home, ensure your solicitors have thoroughly checked any contracts to ensure there are no limitations for families with pets.
Renting a property
Britain is famously a nation of animal lovers… except when it comes to landlords. The difficulties tenants experience when trying to find a property to accommodate their family and pet have been widely reported in recent months.
We understand that for some landlords, the idea of a potentially smelly, noisy and destructive hound in their property will be a huge no-no. So why should a landlord take the risk?
Unfortunately for pet owners, landlords offering pet friendly accommodation can charge a premium, as pet friendly properties are few and far between. However, a pet owning tenant may be more likely to stay in that particular rental accommodation for longer a tenancy if it is a good home for them and their pet.
We caught up with Friends of Buddies, Lewis and Jen, who are proud Pawrents to little Bennie the Cavachon.
‘Back in the summer of 2018, we found a new build with a perfect pet friendly plot. We were aware of the limitation’s developers could impose on pet owners, so we were sure to check the legal packs before putting a deposit down on our new home. We didn’t have a dog when we reserved our home but knew we would be adding a dog to our family in the future.’ Says Lewis.
‘As our new home was still almost a year away from being built, we were itching to get a dog, but knew it would be difficult in our current rented accommodation. We fully expected it to be a no, but when we spotted a litter of Cavachons in Lincoln, we decided to run the idea past our landlord.’ Adds Jen.
To Lewis and Jen’s surprise, the landlord came back to them to say he would happily let them have a dog in the rented accommodation.
‘Our landlord thought the puppies in the litter were adorable and agreed to let us have a puppy in the apartment, as long as we agreed to pay an additional deposit to cover any damage a new puppy may cause.’ Says Lewis.
Luckily, little Bennie settled in really well and is now almost 1 year old with no damage to the home caused.
Always discuss the option for a pet with your landlord first, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Remember, If you bring a pet into the home without your landlord ‘okaying’ it first, you could be in breach of contract and on course to receive some hefty fines.
Looking for a pet friendly home? ‘Lets With Pets’ was set up by ‘Dogs Trust’ back in 2009 to encourage landlords and letting agencies to accept tenants with pets, and to make the house hunting process easier for pet owners. Find out more info here.
At Buddies, we truly believe a dog makes a house a home.