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Most pet-friendly places to rent – and tips for lockdown pet-owner tenants

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Owning a pet became a growing trend during the past year as people looked to combat the stress of successive lockdowns with the help of a furry friend.

But for those who don’t own their home, pets can cause a problem when the time comes to move, as landlords are not often animal lovers.

There may be specific clauses in many tenancy agreements against keeping pets, but it is still possible to track down pet-friendly properties.

We take a look at what pet owners can do, the most pet-friendly locations according to a letting agent report, and spoke to tenant, Letitia Randell, about her experience of successfully renting a pretty flat in London despite owning two dogs.

Lettings agency Mushroom analysed the most pet-friendly cities by calculating the percentages of rental properties that allow pets in cities across Britain

Lettings agency Mushroom analysed the most pet-friendly cities by calculating the percentages of rental properties that allow pets in cities across Britain

A new model tenancy agreement was published by the Government earlier this year, which tried to make life easier for animal lovers. 

main change in the Government’s template tenancy agreement is the removal of restrictions on tenants with pets.

Letitia Randell with one of her two dogs that she shares the flat with in Little Venice

Letitia Randell with one of her two dogs that she shares the flat with in Little Venice

The Government introduced this to encourage landlords to accept tenants with pets. However, in reality the template is just that – and landlords are not compelled to use the template.

But pet owners can try to encourage landlords and agents to be more open-minded and shouldn’t be disheartened, as it is possible to find good places to let. 

Dog owner Ms Randell rented the ground floor apartment with a private patio in London’s Little Venice. She declined to say how much she pays in rent, but the price includes council tax, water and electricity.

It was let by a private landlord – who preferred to be known only as Joel – via lettings agents Savills. 

She said: ‘I had been searching for a flat to rent where I could live with my two dogs, Esme and Guiness, for a while and was quite open in terms of the area. 

‘I tended to find that where a landlord was open to a tenant having pets, often the accommodation wasn’t what I was looking for. 

‘I was really pleased to find where I’m living now as it didn’t feel like I was having to make a compromise because I have dogs. Not only is it a lovely flat, but the neighbourhood in Little Venice is brilliant too.’

One of Letitia Randell's two dogs (which are both cocker spaniel cross huskies)

One of Letitia Randell’s two dogs (which are both cocker spaniel cross huskies)

The ground floor apartment in London's Little Venice, which was rented by Letitia Randell - with her two dogs - via Savills

The ground floor apartment in London’s Little Venice, which was rented by Letitia Randell – with her two dogs – via Savills

Some places appear to be more favourable than others when it comes to tenants with pets seeking a place to rent.

Lettings agency Mashroom analysed the most pet-friendly cities this month – collecting data between May 10 and May 14 – by calculating the percentage of rental properties that allow pets in cities across Britain. 

The number one slot was occupied by Glasgow, where more than half of rental homes – at 50.2 per cent – allow a pet.

It is followed by another Scottish city – Edinburgh – where almost half of homes were listed as pet friendly at 49.7 per cent, and Cambridge at 44.4 per cent.

By contrast, Sheffield has only 12.7 per cent of rental properties currently listed as pet friendly. Other cities on the list include Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool. 

How to find properties or convince landlords or agents to take pets

What can tenants do to improve their chances of being able to rent a property that allows their pets? 

Suggestions include looking at property portals that display pet-friendly rentals and getting a ‘pet reference’ from a past landlord. 

Sarah Tinsley, of the rental homes operator Quintain Living, says it is important that pets are part of today’s rental experience. 

She said: ‘We believe that being pet-friendly is more than merely allowing residents to keep pets. It’s about welcoming pets as part of our community and creating facilities that enhance the living experience for everyone, on two legs and four.’

Here are some tips on how to find properties or convince landlords or agents to take pets:  

1. Use a portal which displays pet friendly rentals. Zoopla, for example, has a ‘pets allowed’ filter in it’s letting search.

2. Get a pet reference. Ask past landlords and letting agents for a written reference for your pet and their behaviour in the property.

3. Write a pet CV. Include key medical details about your pet such as vaccinations and micro chipping as well as a local vet contact who could provide additional references.

4. Offer a Meet & Greet. Offer to meet the landlord or letting agent with your pet in advance so they can get to know them and their character.

5. Explore the breed of pet-friendly landlords such as Quintain Living. All its homes are pet friendly and feature a range of four-legged amenities such as dog runs, bark parks and grooming salons.  

Ms Randell said that she loves her new flat and its Little Venice location and one of the positives for her new landlord is that she would like to stay for the forseeable future.

She said: ‘As well as lots of great restaurants and cafes, there’s plenty of green space and of course the canal, so it is a relaxed and peaceful setting but with the benefit of being close to central London, too. Now that I’m here, it’s definitely somewhere I’d love to stay long term.’

The landlord of the property, Joel, explained: ‘Generally, most things are fixable so when it came to renting out the apartment, I was open to tenants with a pet because I felt that any potential damage or wear and tear could be sorted if needed. 

‘The property let quickly for this reason. Obviously the area is perfect for dogs because there are so many great parks and open spaces nearby.’ 

A pet in the pretty interior of the rental flat in Little Venice was welcomed by the landlord

A pet in the pretty interior of the rental flat in Little Venice was welcomed by the landlord

The two-bedroom flat in Little Venice comes with a private patio and is close to many of the area's parks and open spaces

The two-bedroom flat in Little Venice comes with a private patio and is close to many of the area’s parks and open spaces

Parliament introduced the Animal Sentience Bill on Thursday, as the Government recognises the importance of pets in people’s lives – and it may be the case that in future more landlords are open to animal lovers’ needs.

Stepan Dobrovolskiy, of Mashroom, said: ‘We’re seeing more and more renters looking for properties that welcome pets, especially for graduates and young professionals. Pets have become a support system for many of us, and the government is beginning to recognise this. 

‘We recommend to landlords take into consideration the needs and requirements of current renters, as tenants are prioritising properties that prove to be pet friendly.’

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Orange warning in place for five counties on west coast

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Violent storm force 11 winds are expected off the west coast as Storm Barra approaches on Tuesday morning.

Met Éireann has upgraded its marine weather warning to red, the highest category, on Irish coastal waters from Galway Bay to Bantry Bay from 3am on Tuesday morning to 11pm tomorrow night.

A status orange warning is in place on land for the counties of Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am on Tuesday morning until the same time on Wednesday morning.

Counties included in orange warning could see damaging gusts of up to 130km/h which will head to high waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge.

The rest of the country will be under a status yellow warning for the same period with the possibility of localised flooding.

Met Éireann head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack told Newstalk Breakfast that the storm system is developing rapidly over the Atlantic at present and will hit Ireland’s western seaboard on Tuesday with strong gale force winds which will quickly extend across the country.

There will be heavy rain turning to sleet and snow on higher ground, she warned.

Met Éireann will meet with gardaí, local authorities and emergency services this morning to update the progress of the storm and provide advice on what precautionary measures should be taken.

“It will be a pretty horrid day,” added Ms Cusack who advised against cycling.

The high winds and heavy rain will continue throughout Wednesday but they will have moved on by Thursday.

On RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, senior meteorologist Liz Walsh warned that trees could be knocked down during the high winds. She also advised that outdoor street furniture should be taken in or tied down and cautioned that Christmas decorations could be damaged.

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Coronavirus rules for driving tests spark complaints

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Claims of rude testers, of not being allowed to cough and having to drive with windows open due to Covid-19 were among the complaints received from people who failed driving tests recently.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which oversees driving tests nationally, released a sample of the 1,505 complaints received since the start of last year under the Freedom of Information Act.

New figures show the driving test centre in Cork had the highest pass rate with 75 per cent of people passing, while the lowest was Charlestown in Dublin with a 42 per cent pass rate.

One person complained he had told his tester he had asthma and might need to cough because he had recently changed inhalers, causing irritation to his throat.

“I was advised that if I coughed at any stage, the test would be over immediately. This was difficult to control while under exam pressure and added a huge amount of unnecessary stress and pressure,” the individual complained.

Another individual complained their tester said if their face mask slipped “a little bit from my nose” while driving, the test would be ended.

“I’m in shock how he treated me that day,” said the complainant.

Another learner driver who failed said their car was hot and “very uncomfortable” because the tester said the hot air de-misters had to be kept on to prevent the windows fogging up because the back windows had to be kept open due to Covid-19.

One complainant said the tester seemed to have prejudged the test when they spotted a small stain on the driver’s seat as the car was supposed to be “spotless”.

‘Anxious’

“The tester was clearly taking it too far. I was complying with all Covid precautions as I had just Hoovered and sanitised the car and it was simply a mark on the seat.”

There were general complaints beyond Covid-19 issues. One person complained about feeling “anxious” because the tester was “sitting there shaking his head”.

Another said their tester repeatedly shook his head and sighed several times, and then made notes on the score sheet, which was “extremely off-putting and really unfair”.

Another driver said the tester was “extremely condescending and patronising” and mocked their answer to a signpost theory question about an “unguarded cliff edge”.

“We don’t drive along cliff edges in this country,” the tester was quoted as saying.

The RSA has been dealing with a backlog of driving tests due to the pandemic.

The centres with the next highest pass rates were Clifden (71 per cent), Killester in Dublin (70 per cent), Birr, Co Offaly (70 per cent) and Cavan (69 per cent).

The test centres with the next lowest pass rates were Dublin’s Churchtown, since closed (44 per cent), Nenagh, Co Tipperary (44 per cent) and Mulhuddart (45 per cent) and Raheny (46 per cent), both in Dublin.


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Former US presidential candidate Bob Dole dies aged 98

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Bob Dole, the long-time Kansas senator who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, has died from lung cancer. In a statement, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, founded by Dole’s wife, said: “It is with heavy hearts we announced that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died earlier this morning in his sleep. At his death at age 98 he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”

In late February, Dole announced that he had advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment. Visiting him, President Joe Biden called Dole his “close friend”.

On Sunday the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, like Biden a Democrat, ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Dole served in the US infantry in the second world war, suffering serious wounds in Italy and winning a medal for bravery.

His wounds cost him use of his right arm but he entered state politics and soon became a longtime Republican power-broker, representing Kansas in the US House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and in the Senate until 1996. He had spells as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as Senate minority and majority leader.

In 1976 he was the Republican nominee for vice-president to Gerald Ford, in an election the sitting president lost to Jimmy Carter. Two decades later, aged 73, Dole won the nod to take on Bill Clinton.

Against the backdrop of a booming economy, the Democrat won a second term with ease, by 379 – 159 in the electoral college and by nine points in the popular vote, the third-party candidate Ross Perot costing Dole support on the right.

Dole received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honours.

In the Trump years and after, Dole came widely to be seen as a figure from another time in Republican politics.

On Sunday, the political consultant Tara Setmeyer, a member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, tweeted: “I cast my first ever vote for president for Bob Dole in 1996. A war hero with a sharp sense of humor ? another piece of a once respectable GOP gone.”

However, Dole remained a loyal Republican soldier, telling USA Today this summer that though Donald Trump “lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did”, and though he himself was “sort of Trumped out”, he still considered himself “a Trumper”.

Dole called Biden “a great, kind, upstanding, decent person”, though he said he leaned too far left.

He also said: “I do believe [America has]lost something. I can’t get my hand on it, but we’re just not quite where we should be, as the greatest democracy in the world. And I don’t know how you correct it, but I keep hoping that there will be a change in my lifetime.”

On Sunday, Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said: “Sending heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Senator Bob Dole. We honor his service and dedication to the nation. May he Rest In Peace.”

– Guardian

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