Landlords must allow tenants to have pets

Tenants will have the legal right to keep pets in their rental properties under terms set out in the Renters Reform Bill.

Currently only 5% of landlords explicitly allow animals in their properties according to Goodlord, as tenants with animals are often associated with higher maintenance costs.

However there’s been a surge of cat and dog ownership in response to the pandemic, leading to rising calls to prevent landlords from banning pets.

Housing secretary Michael Gove will hand something of a bone to landlords by allowing investors to request for tenants with pets to have insurance to cover any damage to their property.

However the activist group Generation Rent has spoken out against this move however, with deputy director Dan Wilson Craw saying that tenants having to get insurance “is a bit ridiculous” because “that’s what the deposit is there for”.

If property owners want to refuse permission for a tenant to have an animal, the tenant will have to the power to challenge their decision.

Chris Norris of the NRLA, said: “Our biggest concern has always been that the law, as it currently stands, prevents landlords requiring insurance to cover the significant risk of pets creating damage to a property.

“We welcome reports that the government has listened and responded positively to our concerns.”

According to The Cats Protection charity one million households would like to own a cat but cannot because they rent.

Adam Male, chief revenue officer at online lettings agent Mashroom, said: “The plans to allow pets in rental properties will most likely be welcome news to tenants who currently own or plan to introduce them to their household, however I think this will cause concern for private landlords.” 

“Landlords may be nervous about allowing pets to live in their rental properties, which can be unpredictable and could have the potential to cause damage and expensive repairs. Currently, landlords can only ask for 5 weeks of rent up front to cover the deposit for a rental property. If damage caused by pets exceeds this amount, then landlords could be out of pocket and have to cover any additional repair work.”

“A solution to this could be for the government to look into extending the deposit amount that tenants with pets will have to put down on a property before they move in, increasing it by up to 8 weeks to cover any potential damage. Insisting that tenants obtain appropriate insurance to cover the cost of potential pet damage would also be a welcome requirement to give landlords more protection.”

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