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Political and industry figures back campaign to help landlords accept pets

New report highlights how a simple change to the Tenant Fees Act could enable thousands more landlords accept pets in their properties.

Nigel Lewis

A cross-party group of 35 MPs, peers and industry figures have joined forces to write an open letter to housing secretary Robert Jenrick urging him to amend the Tenant Fees Act to make it easier for landlords and agent to accept tenants with pets.

They are calling for the legislation, which is the main barrier to solving the ‘lets with pets’ challenge, to be amended to enable agents and landlords to either charge tenants a pet deposit or require a tenant to take out specialist insurance.

New data in a report being published today, ‘Heads for Tails by pet charity AdvoCATS, finds that almost one in five landlords who previously allowed pets in rented accommodation have stopped doing so since the passage of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019.

This is because, as the report explains, “the Act effectively prohibits landlords from asking for pet damage insurance and it fails to include a separate pet deposit as part of its list of permitted payments”.

As a result, many landlords have imposed a blanket ban on pets or increased rent for pet owners.

The report finds that three quarters of landlords back the report’s recommendations, and that half of tenants would take out insurance to enable them to rent with their pet.

Andrew Rosindell (pictured), MP for Romford, says: “Since I first proposed Jasmine’s Law to Parliament it has only become more clear to me that we need to urgently find a solution to the problem of how to bring pets into rented accommodation.

“Jen Berezai’s recommendations on changing the Tenant Fees Act are clear, simple and easily achievable. They have the support of pet charities, landlords and the public. The Government should urgently be looking at making this change.”

Dawn Howard, the Chief Executive of the National Office of Animal Health adds: Renting in the UK with a pet is extremely challenging, with a small number of properties on the rental market advertised as pet friendly.”

Sean Hooker imageSean Hooker (pictured) Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme, says:  “A simple law change will set the framework for an understanding between the parties on a pet policy and the needs of both. I am confident the measures, will lead to less disputes and complaints and I and the PRS, am very pleased to endorse it.”

September 2, 2021

5 comments

  1. Dissolve the 35 member party – and use the common sense of Mick Roberts. As both a landlord and a tenant in my time, a financial bond is the surest way to ensure that Zara’s of this world can inhabit the same space as their human counterparts.

    When will the government learn that for each new layer of red tape, all it does is impacts the real estate vertical in ‘costs’ going up for one or more stakeholder.

  2. I rented a property in Wales to a Tenant who had a dog ( that I had met
    and ‘ interviewed ‘ ) and a Two month deposit was offered, because Wales have NOT put a limit on the amount of Deposit.

    Had the property been in England, it would be sorry, No pets because the Government had prevented me from mitigating against the ( very real and expensive ) risk.

    MHCLG don’t have a scooby. ! and sadly its Tenants suffering from many of their policies meted out on Landlords.

  3. Absolutely spot on Mick Roberts a superb anaylsis – the Gov.”experts” always get it wrong and make laws that are contradictory and will not work in the real world…when everything is working well lets change it and make it 10 times worse!

  4. Unbelievable-Wasn’t this how we used to do it till the Govt & Generation rent wrecked it for Renters?

    My repeated notes on this:

    Gees, how simple was it when we could just charge higher deposit and those that did no damage got all money back. So so simple.
    No better insurance than the tenants own money.
    Now look what Shelter and Generation rent and the Govt have done. Made it MUCH MUCH worse for tenants yet again.
    My text below I’ve done before.

    Landlords: pets are okay if you pay for extra insurance to cover any damage.
    Gov: in that case we will make it illegal to charge extra insurance.
    LLs: well then we will have to slightly increase deposits for those with pets.
    Gov: in that case we will cap deposits at 5 weeks rent.
    LLs: okay well we can’t really allow pets anymore then.
    Gov: in that case we will force you to take tenants with pets.
    LLs: well then we have no choice but to increase rent across the board even for tenants without pets.
    Gov: oh.
    Tenants: why is rent so high??

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