This property feature has become a must-have for renters...and it isn't a garden

Gardens are no competition for man's best friend

While demand for gardens and balconies spiked in popularity among renters during the pandemic, according to Rightmove a new feature has jumped into the top spot.

Pet-friendly rental properties have become one of the most in-demand features among renters over the last year. Once a no-go for renters, pet ownership has grown increasingly common since the start of the pandemic.

Now renters are ready to pack their best vacuum for pet hair and bring their furry friend with them to their new homes.

Increase in demand for Pet-friendly rental properties

Data from Rightmove found that demand for pet-friendly rentals had more than doubled during the pandemic. The demand for rental properties that allow dogs and cats increased by 120 per cent compared to last summer.

living area with white wall and fire place and wooden floor and dog

(Image credit: Future)

The data measured the demands of prospective tenants enquiring about properties via Rightmove. Pet-friendly, balcony and garden all proved to be the three most popular search terms.

A large part of this growth in demand is due to an explosion in pet ownership. Data from the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association found that 3.2 million households acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic.

'The rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods has been well documented, and we’re seeing this translate to the rental market,' says Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister.

green door with bricked wall and doormat and dog

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

'Becoming a pet owner is a long-term commitment, so what’s really interesting to consider is the impact this could have on the rental market in the future, and it’s a signal to landlords that if they were to consider allowing a well-behaved pet then it may open them up to a bigger pool of potential tenants.'

Previously, finding a landlord who would accept pets was a challenge. However, a new Model Tenancy Agreement introduced by the government this year made it easier for responsible tenants with well-behaved pets to secure leases more easily.

living area with couch and coffee table and table lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

While outdoor spaces have been knocked off the top spot as the most in-demand feature for renters that didn't mean they gave up on their garden ideas. Balconies and gardens both saw a significant uptick in demand too.

Searches for outdoor space with a balcony increased by 70 per cent, while the search for gardens also rose by 39 per cent since July last year.

We wouldn't mind betting if you are hunting for a rental with your pet, your furry friend would be keen to add pet-friendly with a garden to their criteria.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.