The Rental Reform Bill will make it easier for tenants to request a rental with their pets. Landlords will not be able to ‘flatly’ say no to cats and dogs. However, they will be able to ask tenants with pets to take out insurance to cover any damage a pet may cause to their buy to let property.
Many tenants are living with their pet in rented accommodation and have not informed their landlords. This new legislation should prevent landlords from being able to ‘evict’ them.
The 2019 Tenant Fees Act made it more difficult to rent with pets. Landlords were concerned with deposits being capped at 5 weeks. With the new legislation allowing landlords to request insurance cover for pets, it will bring more ‘peace of mind’ to landlords letting a property. Animal charities have hailed the Renters Reform Bill as a game changer It would give tenants the legal right to request a pet in their home, which landlords cannot unreasonably refuse.
“Tenants being unable to find anywhere to rent with their pet is sadly one of the most common reasons people bring their animals to Battersea. Not only will this Bill bring us one step closer to significantly reducing the number of dogs and cats we see being needlessly separated from their owners, it will also open up the many joys of pet ownership to millions of renters in the future. As this Bill now begins its journey through Parliament, we look forward to continuing to work with the Housing department, tenants and landlords to help ensure a fairer rental sector for pets and people alike.” Michael Webb, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Battersea Cats & Dogs Home
Battersea Cats & Dogs Home have a great pet friendly property pledge which you can sign up to as a pet owner as well as a landlord. We forget that a lot of landlords are pet owners themselves and are quite happy to rent their buy to let properties to pet owners.
Landlords will be looking at the finer points & potential ‘loopholes’
One landlord's association wants more information on the circumstances in which landlords can refuse pets. This may be quite difficult to narrow down to specific cases. Some obvious circumstances would be as follows:
- Buildings with no pets clauses. The landlord may say yes, but the building says no to pets. As a leaseholder, the landlord would get into trouble.
- If there are multiple offers, many landlords will opt for the non-pet owning tenant, especially if it has been newly refurbished.
- A property which is totally unsuitable for pets. How do you define the word ‘unsuitable’. A point many a landlord will look to argue.
o A large dog in a small 1-bedroom flat for example
o Multiple pets in a small property without any outside space
Love is a four-legged word
50% of the UK population owns a pet. Everywhere you go you see a dog walking the street or sticking a nose out of a car window.
Pets bring joy to people’s lives during hard times. They are part of the family. Research has shown stroking dogs and cats can be good for one’s mental health.
We are behind other European countries when it comes to renting with pets. It is about time the UK rental system was reformed.
Introduction of an Ombudsman is a positive
Many tenants don’t know who to turn to when seeking help/ advice. Having a dedicated Ombudsman which landlords have to sign up to, will certainly help.
For any security deposit disputes we recommend Tenancy Guru. Sometimes when facing an unreasonable landlord withholding funds, you need to seek advice.
Click here for a full breakdown of the proposed Renters Reform Bill
At Pets Lets, we are encouraging landlords to consider pets. Even a small dog or a house cat. You can mix & match properties on our portal, everything from long lets, short lets or holiday lets. As long as they are pet friendly. The first month is free. Agents & landlords listing with us are getting regular leads. Why not give it a go.
This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, the UK’s pet-friendly property portal where landlords will consider pets. We work with clients from around the world looking to relocate with their pets to the UK. A hub of information & where you can create your own pet cv. Passionate about pets & property.