Dog on the Move

Airbnb London: Renter spends £4.5K on residences in two months after landlords refuse to deal with her canine


A canine groomer who’s so dedicated to her rescue pooch that she spent £4,500 in two months on Airbnb residences and moved 15 occasions as she couldn’t discover a London rental flat to simply accept him has been compelled to desert her hunt and transfer again in along with her mom.

Going through redundancy in August 2020 and along with her lease expiring on her rented flat within the October, Kirsty Hunt, 36, who’s single, says her four-year-old French bulldog Harper was her lifeline and he or she refused for them to be parted.

Following pet pleasant proposals made in a latest authorities white paper, ‘A fairer rented sector,’ together with a proper tenant’s proper to request an animal of their property and requirement for landlords to justify refusing, Kirsty revealed how she needed to take out a mortgage to finance a yr’s hire upfront to safe a flat within the capital.

Kirsty stated discovering a dog-friendly flat in London was a ‘nightmare’ (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Pressured to maneuver again to Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, this month with Harper to reside along with her mum, help instructor, Julie Hunt, 61, as the price of residing disaster bites, she stated: “My canine means every part to me.

“I’m not in a relationship and I don’t have youngsters, so she is like my child.

“I attempted to be sensible and do every part proper and wait till I had a steady job and good cash, so I may look after a canine, however that was all taken out of my management.

Little Harper when Kirsty first adopted her as a rescue (Gather/PA Actual Life)

She added: “I don’t need anybody to undergo what I’ve needed to undergo.”

A accountable animal lover, whereas Kirsty has at all times been potty about pooches, she didn’t get one till she thought the time was proper.

She stated: “I’ve wished a canine for so long as I can bear in mind, but it surely was by no means the proper time.”

Little Harper when Kirsty first adopted her as a rescue (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Kirsty added: “I did doggy day look after some time after which short-term fostering whereas I used to be in shared lodging, however then I received to the purpose the place I assumed I used to be prepared.

“I used to be in my 30s, had my very own rented flat with a shared backyard and a steady job.”

So, in February 2018, Kirsty adopted Harper from a rescue and instantly bonded.

Kirsty Hunt, 36, with French bulldog Harper, 4, on a stroll (Gather/PA Actual Life)

She stated: “I liked her immediately,

“She is the sweetest canine, however she was abused as a pet so she was very low vitality and struggled to indicate feelings at first.

“It took her a really very long time to play with me or let me cuddle her, however now she is like my shadow and we are able to’t be aside.”

Kirsty stated she doesn’t need anybody else to undergo what she did (Gather/PA Actual Life)

However every part got here crashing down shortly after the pandemic hit in 2020, with Kirsty initially being furloughed from her position as a retail operations and mission supervisor.

Then, simply as she was advised she could be going through redundancy in August, her landlord knowledgeable her that they’d be promoting the property the place she rented – leaving her with two months to organise her life.

She stated: “I used to be in sheer panic.”

Harper loves having enjoyable now (Gather/PA Actual Life)

She added: “All of it occurred directly and I assumed, ‘What am I going to do for work? What is going to occur to Harper? The place will I keep?’”

For these weeks, Kirsty frantically looked for each work and a brand new dog-friendly flat.

Fortunately, she landed a job as a retail assistant and canine groomer at a pet store in London, however was no nearer to discovering a brand new house and all of a sudden discovered herself on a a lot tighter finances.

Kirsty first adopted Harper in February 2018 (Gather/PA Actual Life)

She stated: “I couldn’t stick with household as a result of they had been outdoors London, the place I labored.

“It was by no means a query of leaving Harper – she is my every part, I may by no means depart her.

“Nevertheless it was an absolute nightmare. Nowhere would take canines.”

Harper is Kirsty’s ‘little shadow’ (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Quickly approaching the tip of her tenancy, Kirsty was compelled to search out pressing and quick lodging, resorting to the vacation properties and house rental service, Airbnb.

Forking out £86 per week for storage for her furnishings, Kirsty left her flat with Harper in a single arm and a suitcase within the different.

She stated: “I managed to search out an eco cabin with a sofabed in Wimbledon, south west London for per week, which was pet pleasant, so I stayed there.”

Kirsty and Harper chilling collectively (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Kirsty added: “Then I discovered an Airbnb for one night time, one other for 3 and one other for 5.

“I’d drag my suitcase to and from work with Harper coming with me.

“I felt like I used to be homeless.”

Kirsty Hunt, 36, on the bus with Harper travelling between one rental flat to the subsequent (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Whereas a lot of the properties had been well-kept, Kirsty stated some had been much less so.

She stated: “A few of the locations had been horrible and I’d be sharing with different folks.

“It actually careworn Harper out too which was heart-breaking. I attempted to be resilient, however I felt so alone.”

Kirsty says Harper is the ‘sweetest’ canine (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Within the house of two months, Kirsty ended up staying in 15 properties at a price of £4,500.

Getting an increasing number of determined, when she lastly discovered an house in November 2020 that stated it might settle for canines, she supplied every part.

She stated: “I discovered a two mattress flat in Richmond, south west London, which might take a pet.”

French bulldog Harper, 4, at Christmas in 2021 (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Kirsty added: “I put down a deposit, stated I’d clear, defined that Harper was a little bit canine, who by no means made any noise.

“It went to a bidding frenzy and I used to be so determined, I supplied to pay six months hire up entrance.

“I assumed, absolutely, they’d take it, however they requested for an entire yr.”

Kirsty Hunt’s French bulldog Harper, 4, along with his buddy, Mick (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Kirsty accepted and took out a financial institution mortgage for £23,200 so she may finance the transfer.

She stated: “It was such an enormous aid, however I used to be completely fearful of not incomes the cash again.

“I dramatically reduce on every part, I’d take Harper to work with me, walked all over the place as a substitute of utilizing public transport, prevented meals out and simply grew to become a hermit, actually.”

Kirsty Hunt, 36, and Harper, at Christmas in 2020 after lastly discovering a flat (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Most upsetting to Kirsty, nevertheless, was the impact it had on Harper.

She stated: “She was so unsettled and so protecting of her new surroundings as a result of she had moved round a lot.

“I felt terrible that I had accomplished that to her, however I knew she could be higher staying with me.”

I do not need anybody to should undergo what we went by.

However when Kirsty got here to the tip of her contract this yr, she was compelled to maneuver again house to Somerset.

She stated: “With the price of every part now, I couldn’t afford to pay one other entire yr up entrance.

“I used to be fortunate that I may go house with Harper this time, as a result of my mum’s canine had handed away, however it isn’t preferrred.”

Kirsty Hunt’s French bulldog Harper, 4, rolling round within the grass (Gather/PA Actual Life)

Kirsty added: “I’m going to have to start out in search of one other place to remain in London – it’s the place my buddies are and that’s the place I work and my life is.”

And even with the proposals within the new white paper, geared toward making renting simpler for folks with pets, Kirsty isn’t hopeful.

She stated: “I don’t need anybody to should undergo what we went by.”

“My concern is that landlords will nonetheless have the ability to slip by the cracks and get away with issues, however I’m hopeful that the white paper proposals may assist.

“We’re a nation of pet lovers, so how many individuals are susceptible to their tenancies being terminated and never with the ability to discover a place with their canine?

“Our pets are family members and placing folks in these conditions is horrible.”

  • To search out out extra about Battersea’s Pet Pleasant Properties marketing campaign and signal a pledge to indicate help for renters to have the chance to expertise the thrill of pet possession, please go to www.battersea.org.uk/pet-friendly-properties.



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