As the government announces plans to make renting a property more pet-friendly, we look at some simple ideas for pet-proofing homes for landlords and renters alike.
Image: Cox & Cox
This week, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced changes to its model tenancy agreement with the aim of making it easier for renters with pets to find accomodation.
The changes, which are non-binding, outline that while landlord's properties should be protected from damage by pets, that total bans on pets should only be implemented where there is good reason, such as particulary small or impractical homes to keep pets in.
At present, it's estimated that only 7% of landlords actively promote that their properties are pet-friendly.
So, with potentially more renters than ever getting to experience the joy of having a pet in their home, we've collected our top tips for helping to avoid damage caused by pets – for both landlords and tenants.
Choose appropriate flooring
Image: Alternative Flooring
As a tenant, it's unlikely you'll be able to change your floors, but if you're looking for a home when you have a pet, or you're a landlord looking to fit out a property, it pays dividends to know what flooring types will endure cats and dogs best.
Carpet isn't necessarily the most practical choice, however, where carpets are present in your property, look for styles that have cut loops. Looped carpets can easily snag on pet claws. Look for easy clean carpet options in a rental property - the likes of polypropene carpet often come with anti-stain technology included.
Hard flooring is generally a better choice for rental homes with pets, however, avoid real hardwood flooring which can dent easily and on which any pet-related accidents will need to be mopped quickly to avoid damage to the wood. Laminates and vinyl floorings are good durable options.
Create durable entryways
Whether it's a front entrance or a back entrance, having somewhere tough enough to stand up the potential mess of a muddy dog returning from a walk is must to keep a home in good condition. Easy-clean flooring in a hallway is the good idea, while you may also want to consider washable paint for the inevitable splashes when your four-legged friend decides they want to shake themselves dry.
Protect soft furnishings
Image: Living It Up
If you're providing a furnished property, choosing the right fabrics for soft furnishings from the get-go is the key to longevity. Again, look for easy clean fabrics, especially for the likes of the sofa, but also pay attention to a textiles 'rub count'. This outlines how durable the fabric is to wear and tear.
If you're a tenant, it's worth your while covering soft furnishings with blankets if you have a pet to protect the furniture and your deposit. There are some clever products out there on the market to help protect sofas in particular.
Invest in cleaning equipment
As a tenant with a pet, it's your duty to help keep the space in good condition. In a carpetted space, pet hair may become a problem in particular, so consider investing in a vacuum cleaner with pet hair removal properties.
Pick chew-proof furniture
Image: Cox & Cox
Furniture with metal legs is a great choice for rental properties that may have pets in - fabric, wood and the likes of wicker and cane are all prime candidates to be made into scratching posts for cats and chew-toys for puppies.
Create a play space
Image: Cult Furniture
Cats and dogs inevitably end up in the places you don't want them to be, but ensuring their toys and treats are in a dedicated space can help contain the play, mess and, potentially, damage to your home to just one more enduring spot.
Do you rent with a pet already? How do you find looking after your home? Let us know on social! Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page, or post a picture of your furry friend in your home on Instagram using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome for your chance to be featured on our Instagram.