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Video: Jennie Delelis told 'dogs not allowed' in rental property search

A financial adviser says she is finding it impossible to find a new home to rent with her daughter, because she owns two dogs.

Jennie Delelis, 39, has recently separated from her husband, and has been looking for a two-bedroom home to rent in Ashford with her six-year-old daughter.

She wants to move away from her former home in Galloway Drive in Kennington, but says there are no private landlords willing to let out their property to her because of her two dogs.

Jennie at home with Bailey and Gypsy. Pic by Brian Green
Jennie at home with Bailey and Gypsy. Pic by Brian Green

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Ms Delelis said: “It has been impossible. I have dealt with 25 estate agents and looked at more than 20 houses.

“I’ve looked everywhere for a rental property where I can keep my dogs. It is ridiculous that there are no landlords who allow them.

“I can understand that there are issues with landlords and pets, but I’m a clean person, perhaps slightly OCD, and I work from home. You could never tell I have animals living at my home.

“I have offered private landlords to see my home, and come and meet my dogs and see they are good, clean and calm pets.

Video: Jennie explains her situation

“I also offered an extra six months of rent, offered to pay more to spend on cleaning, and even offered to provide references for them, but it hasn’t worked. I think it’s outrageous.”

Ms Delelis said her four months of searching have led nowhere, and fears that other animal owners face similar problems trying to find a place to call home.

She added: “Both of my dogs were rescued. I wouldn’t want to get rid of them because they are like a family member. That’s my last option, but it seems like my only option at the moment.

“It’s not fair. Animals should be considered as family members. It might be the easier option just to leave them in a shelter, but I’m just not that type of person.”

Jennie Delelis is looking for a rental home with her daughter. Pic by Brian Green
Jennie Delelis is looking for a rental home with her daughter. Pic by Brian Green

The National Landlords Association has warned landlords the issue of pets is tricky for those seeking to let out their property.

A spokesman said: “We understand the reluctance of some landlords to accept tenants who keep pets because of the perceived added risk of damage to the property and furniture and the costs of repairing it at the end of the tenancy.

“While in reality a landlord cannot prevent their tenants from keeping pets once the tenancy has started, they are allowed to refuse permission so long as they justify their decision – for example, if the property is not suitable.

“However, it is important to note that tenants who keep pets do tend to stay for longer periods of time.

"There are a few simple steps that landlords can take in order to mitigate the potential risks they perceive around letting to tenants with pets, such as including inserting pet clauses and policies into their tenancy agreements.”

For a best practice guide for landlords visit the My Deposits website.

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