House hunting tips for pet owners

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If you have kids, their current and future needs will quite rightly be at the top of your priorities when looking for a new place to live. Pets, on the other hand, are often far lower down the list of priorities but finding a home that is right for them is equally as important and can be quite difficult.

Be upfront if you’re renting

 It can be difficult finding suitable rented property that accepts pets – but you should never try to ‘sneak’ your pets into a new home. Some landlords and agencies will accept pets even if the listing suggests otherwise, especially if you offer to pay a higher deposit, have the property professionally cleaned when you leave or provide references from previous landlords. It is important to make sure that you get any agreements in writing, including having any existing ‘no pets’ clauses written out.

Check the area

 If you’re in a position to be able to be looking at properties to buy such as the new houses in Exeter, take a good look round the area. This is good advice in any circumstances of course; try to get a feeling if it’s a pet friendly area.

Think about the layout

 The ideal home for yourself and your pet will depend on what kind of pet you have. A boisterous boxer will need more space than a hamster and you should think about the requirements you’re looking for. Gardens and fences can be particularly important factors, especially for dog owners. You might also have special requirements such as access to an outdoor tap for hosing down after a particularly muddy walk. Flats and apartments might have rules about pets, even if you are buying rather than renting – so it is important to ask.

Consider your home insurance when you move in

 Unless you own an elephant your pet is unlikely to cause any structural damage so this pertains more to your contents than building insurance. Some policies exclude damage caused by pets so if you want to be covered for any accidental damage they do cause, make sure you read the small print.

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