Pets and private renting: a rapid evidence review of the barriers, benefits, and challenges

Pet ownership or animal companionship is increasingly found to be beneficial to mental and physical well-being. Despite this, housing situations and tenure, such as living in a private rental, can impact the ability to realise these benefits. Pet ownership is seldom the primary focus of discussion in housing research to date. This paper brings this issue to the forefront of housing research, recognising it as a crucial component of the overall experience within the private rented sector (PRS). We present findings from a rapid evidence assessment of the existing international evidence to provide a broad understanding of pet ownership in the PRS and, based on this review, set out a novel typology of the economic costs and benefits of renting to pet-owners. The review involved scrutiny of 51 sources published after 2000, representing the most comprehensive evidence review of the subject to date. We identified the benefits, costs, and management practices associated with allowing pets in rentals across three key stages of the tenancy. This paper highlights the need for a combination of policy measures to facilitate the acceptance of pets in rental properties and sets out a future research agenda to better understand the experience of renting with pets.