Nadia and Lola, co-founders of WagIt, met with Russell and Biscuit who co-founded PetsLets. A website that helps pet parents find homes that welcome them with their pets, there was an immediate synergie between the two companies. At the heart of both – the happiness of canine companions.
Here is what Russell and Biscuit had to say.
Nadia: What made you think of PetsLets?
Russell: Pets Lets https://petslets.com/ came about as I inherited 3 dogs living in London because landlords said no to pets. Working in property for over 20 years, I have seen first-hand how landlords and agents are towards pets. I have come across numerous blocks with antiquated no pets’ clauses. For pet owners, moving to or within the UK, it can be really complicated unless you are properly advised.
Biscuit: Years later, I came along and we Co-Founded PetsLets. I am a basset/ beagle and now 5 years old, I was the first dog he had since being a puppy.
Lola: Four legged co-founders are the best!
Nadia: Do you think the issues renting/buying affects the decisions people make?
Russell: Looks like it. 51% of the UK dog population weighs less than 10kg, with the most popular breeds being Yorkshire Terriers, Mini-Dachshunds and Chihuahuas. One of the reasons for this is because in cities it is easier to find a rental with a small dog. Landlords are much more open to renting to someone with a ‘handbag’ size dog or a cat. Larger breeds of dogs and more than 1 pet, the number of willing landlords reduce.
Biscuit: This has got to change! Size shouldn’t matter. I behave way better than my friend Tilly the Chihuahua!
Nadia: Do you think things will change?
Russell: Half the UK owns a pet and over lockdown there were an additional 3.2million pet owners. Of that 59% have been under the age of 35 years old and it has been predicted that by 2025, 1 in 3 pet owners will be millennials. Why aren’t landlords and agents listening to that?
Biscuit: Mate, that’s what we are here for! We’ll change things.
Nadia: What else can be done to convince them to embrace the pet pound?
Russell: An interesting emerging statistic is that pet owners spend 26% more when they shop then non-pet owners. People spoil their pets just like you would a child. Children and pets are both bought ‘treats’ and are pampered with gifts and taken out to restaurants, cafes and pubs, just as you would take your children. They are ‘fur kids’.
Lola (interrupting): Tell me about it! I love going out with Nadia and that’s why we founded WagIt. There are still so many places that don’t allow dogs.
Biscuit: Lola, we should go for a drink….
Russell Hunt, founder of https://petslets.com/ sees the solution as finding a compromise between landlords and pet owners. Landlords need to be educated about the merits of renting to responsible people with pets and give it a go. It is up to pet owners to behave responsibly as there are a few who give dog owners a bad name.
PetsLets want to create a community where people with pets can look for properties, knowing that all their properties will consider pets. Some may be just a small dog or a cat. It takes away that uncertainty of not knowing.
They welcome people to get in contact with questions:
Pets & Property Tips Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/petsandpropertytips
The [UK Government]( https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-standard-tenancy-agreement-to-help-renters-with-well-behaved-pets) recently brought in guidelines to help pet owners looking to rent. However, these are merely suggestive and not enforced by law, so many landlords have continued to say no to renting with dogs or cats.
Andrew Rosindell MP, is spearheading the changes in the UK Parliament with Jasmines Law. You can see his speech https://www.rosindell.com/news/jasmines-law-andrew-rosindells-speech-full form October 2020.
This article in the Guardian discusses Jasmines Law https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/apr/04/dog-house-moves-to-end-blanket-bans-on-pets-in-rented-home-jasmines-law and the changes in renting with pets laws that Andrew Rosindell is pushing hard to get through the House of Commons and be made law.