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 (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.”