The UK’s largest cat welfare charity has launched a national campaign to persuade letting agents and landlords to remove ‘no pets’ clauses from tenancy agreements.
Sussex-based Cats Protection is backed by several high-profile sponsors including pet food giant Purina, which recently donated £100,000 to the charity. It operates 36 centres across the UK and rehouses or reunites some 46,000 cats every year.
But it says the difficulty of finding rental accommodation where pets are allowed is one of the top five reasons why cats are placed with it by owners.
The charity says that only 42% of the UK’s private landlords allow tenants to live with their cats, research conducted for it by YouGov reveals.
“More and more people are renting their homes either by choice or necessity, yet very few rented properties accept cats,” says Jacqui Cuff (left), Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.
“It’s heart-breaking that so many renters are not able to own a cat but this needn’t be the case.
“Tenants are missing out on being able to own a cat, while landlords may be losing out on attracting responsible and settled tenants.”
The charity has launched a website where letting agents can download legal wording to add to their own tenancy agreements, setting out simple conditions on cat ownership to protect and benefit both landlords and tenants.
“We hear from renters who tell us most adverts state ‘no pets’,” says Jacqui. “Often, the reason for not allowing cats is simply habit, with a third of landlords saying they didn’t proactively choose to ban cats, but instead followed a standard template or advice from a letting agent.”
Read more about the ‘no pets’ policy debate.