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Labour’s pet policy is “bizarre choice” says National Landlords Association

Policy chief Chris Norris says Labour should focus more on problems within housing that "really demand attention" and that current laws already protect pet owners.

The Negotiator

National Landlords Association

Labour’s recent proposals to give tenants greater rights to live with their pets has been questioned by the National Landlords Association.

In a podcast covering a wide range of subjects published today, its Head of Policy Chris Norris (pictured above, right) says he thought Labour’s decision to back the right to keep pets for tenants a “bizarre choice”.

“I’ve got to say I despair with this sort of announcement from the Labour party,” he says.

“The NLA is completely neutral when it comes to party politics but of all the things in housing that really demand attention, whether private tenants have the default right to a pet is a bizarre choice.”

Chris went on to say that the policy is puzzling because current legislation and case law means consumers are protected, because landlords cannot refuse a tenant with a pet unless they can give a good reason.

“You can’t put a ‘no pets’ clause into a tenancy agreement and if a tenant asks a landlord about pets and the landlord says no, they must put forward a valid argument why not,” says Chris.


He also says the government’s proposals to cap deposits at four weeks will make it more difficult for tenants to bring pets into their homes.

This is because, he argues, in the past many landlords have asked for enhanced deposits from tenants with pets to reflect the extra risk of cleaning a property after the tenant moves out.

Labour has promised to consult landlords on a tenant’s right to keep a pet “unless there is evidence the animal is causing offence”, all part of a push to improve animal welfare in the UK and grasp issues “close to people’s hearts” including a ban on the import of foie gras.

Listen to the NLA’s Chris Norris and Richard Blanco plus The Negotiator’s Nigel Lewis discuss pets and other subjects in the NLA’s latest podcast.

March 8, 2018

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