Danish town gets rental complex for dog owners


In the doghouse: the canine complex for dog-owning tenants

It’s just one of the frustrations generation rent deals with: landlords don’t like pets. If you don’t have the cash for a deposit on a home of your own, your chances of having man’s best friend as a roommate are low.

One apartment complex in Denmark is going the other way – however – and building 18 units that will only be made available to dog-owning tenants. Niels Martin Viuff is the brains behind the project. He says that he had the idea after hearing from dog owners about the sense of isolation they felt when their pets weren’t allowed and the difficulties they faced finding suitable housing.

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The new apartment block will be built in Frederikssund, a town in the northern part of Zealand that’s roughly an hour outside of Copenhagen. The complex’s working name is Hundehuset (the doghouse) and it will be specially designed with its four-legged inhabitants in mind. Furnishings will be chosen for their durability and for ease of cleaning, so that scratch marks and shed fur won’t be as much as an issue as they might be in other rented spaces; floors will be particularly hard-wearing. Communal spaces will be canine-proof too, and there’ll be a dog washing area in the garden. The Danish Kennel Klub has been consulted on the plans to help ensure that the accommodations are suitable for dogs.

It won’t be a fur-filled free-for-all, however. Viuff says he will insist on meeting all the dogs before leases can be signed, presumably to weed out problem tenants who might react aggressively to the other dogs. Size matters, too. Dog breeds over 45 kilograms are unlikely to be accepted due to the floorspace available in the apartments, meaning Great Danes are – perhaps ironically – out. Tenants will be allowed to have more than one dog, so long as they are small breeds.

There’s no strict anti-cat policy, but Viuff suggests that a feline-focused complex could be the next step if the Hundehuset proves to be a success.

Emphatically pet-friendly building projects like this could become a welcome compromise for animal lovers unable to get onto the housing ladder. Spiking demand for properties in major cities has priced out much of the local population from home ownership. For example, in London (according to research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers) only 26 per cent of 20 to 39-year-olds (so-called generation rent) will own a home by 2025, compared to 60 per cent in 2000.

Read more about how to heat proof the city here.


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