Peers in the House of Lords have rounded on the government to encourage landlords to be more pet-friendly.
Lord Black of Brentwood started the debate to discover what ministers plan to do to help those tenants who couldn’t keep animals in a rental property.
It follows the recent failure of Andrew Rosindell MP’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill which set out to mandate landlords to take tenants with pets.
His Conservative colleague in the House of Lords, Lord Lexden, implored the government to consider the importance that Winston Churchill attached to his pets, including budgies that flew round his bedroom.
He asked: “Would not the great man have been distressed that so many landlords are denying their tenants the companionship that loyal pets provide?”
Lord Lexden urged the government to bear down on the landlords who weren’t using the revised national model tenancy agreements, while Lord Singh of Wimbledon said having a pet helped to mitigate enforced isolation during the pandemic.
“A more collaborative approach between landlords and tenants in keeping tenants happy and property in good condition would benefit both,” he added.
Housing Minister Lord Greenhalgh (pictured) wouldn’t be drawn on suggestions that the government should encourage wider use of pet CVs, but promised it would continue to work with private landlords to ensure that the agreement was more widely adopted in the sector.
He agreed that a collaborative approach was needed: “The purpose of agreement is not to place a blanket ban on pets, and to consider each pet on a case by case basis,” he added. “I encourage landlords to work with tenants to ensure that there’s a solution that works for both parties.”
Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s Policy and Campaigns Manager says: “We recognise that renting with pets can make properties more desirable, encourage tenants to rent for longer and tackle issues such as loneliness, but policy makers must recognise the effect of the UK Government’s decision to cap Tenancy Deposits under the Tenant Fees Act.
“Even the best-behaved pets can have an impact on a property, therefore landlords and letting agents need to be able to safeguard against damage.
“A number of ideas including raising the deposit, pet referencing and insurance were raised by Parliamentarians and if the UK Government are serious about encouraging more private landlords to allow responsible tenants to keep pets in their rented properties, then they must have a greater understanding of the costs involved and implement rules that support the sector to take on greater risk.”