Pet campaigners have outlined plans for a new Bill to help tenants keep their animals after the failure of Andrew Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill.

The Private Members Bill set out to mandate landlords to take tenants with pets but ran out of steam during the pandemic.

Now, the AdvoCats charity, which gives support and advice to tenants and landlords, is putting together a strategy document as a precursor to a Presentation Bill (a kind of Private Members Bill), working with Rosindell’s office.

It proposes that pet rental insurance premiums should be ‘permitted payments’ alongside deposits, rent and holding deposits to allow landlords and letting agents to charge for pet insurance.

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Co-founder Jen Berezai (picture) tells LandlordZONE that it needs an MP to champion it. “We want to tie the proposal in with the Renters’ Reform Bill,” she says. “Andrew’s Bill fell victim to Covid but it’s put the debate centre-stage.

“A lot more people are cottoning onto the fact that something has got to change and there are a number of high-profile names in the PRS who are interested in supporting this.”

“She points to upcoming research that discovered three-quarters of landlords are now in favour of damage insurance for pets.”

Lord Black of Brentwood is another political ally who will be leading oral questions in the House of Lords later this month on ‘Encouraging more private landlords to allow responsible tenants to keep pets in their rented properties’.

The patron of International Cat Care recently pushed the government for an update on how many responses it received to its consultation on the microchipping of cats; last month it promised to make microchipping compulsory under a wide-ranging new animal welfare plan.

42 COMMENTS

  1. IMO LLs don’t want a pet insurance policy they want a pet deposit. A pet insurance policy, that can be cancelled at any time and which the LL has no control over would not persuade me to take a pet; a large pet deposit might.

  2. “Pet campaigners have outlined plans for a new Bill to help tenants keep their animals after the failure of Andrew Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill.”

    I note that campaigners are asking for tenants to keep their animals – not be allowed to get new pets.

    An insurance policy would not persuade me. After the very extensive, expensive, and filthy messes tenants have left me to clear up, a deposit would have to be very high.

  3. The plumber that works for my letting agency was attached by two dogs while attending a call out three weeks ago… the only safe pets are the ones in the Taxidermists window.

    • Dave,
      That was an offensive and over-the-top comment it shows just how ignorant you are, Most owners are very attached to their pets, who are responsible and have their animals insured, should you have a bad owner, take it you have accidental house insurance? Everyone should consider a degree of flexibility.

      • Keep your hair on (you could try a taxidermist) – he probably didn’t mean it literally! Over-reaction is SO popular these days!

  4. I can find no Charity Ref Number on the AdvoCATSEastMids website, nor any listing of Advocats or AdvocatsEastMids on the Charity Commissioners Website. Have you checked that they are a charity before calling them that?

    • Yep. Not listed as a Registered Charity.

      If I call myself a charity for helping out homeless people as tenants in my properties, can I claim Tax Relief, yeah HMRC will laugh at me …

      Can I claim to be a Pet Charity when I take in a homeless cat … ha ha … or a dog with it’s own Kennel (aka Dog House), down the bottom of the garden.

  5. As I had to save for decades, learn plumbing, electrics, painting / decorating, kitchen fitting etc to get my properties, I think I have earnt the right to choose who I let them to. If I choose person A over person B because they do not have a pet then that is, & should be my desicion. If the govt or these organisations wish to house people with pets then they are perfectly free to buy properties to do so. Of course, in reality they cannot be bothered. They’d rather I do their dirty work wouldn’t they? And it is dirty work. Those that have had to clear up tenants mess will atest to this.

    • JC: those days have gone! It won’t be long before Councils are forcing us to take a percentage of UC claimants while setting the rents we can charge. Being a landlord in the PRS is no longer an appealing career and Im looking to offload my protfolio because of the continuous bombardment of legislation on LLs – unfortunately, LLs have no real body working for them, I can’t think of one thing either the NLA or RLA, now NRLA did for LLs.

      • Totally true, upset reading media posts against LL’s, yet posts from NRLA… few and very far between… only have ‘friends’ in govt…(really) but none to champion LL’s in the media!!!

      • Well said, fully with your sentiments.

        Seemingly landlord associations prefer to cozy up with those who choose to strangulate us with red tape, their voice consistently unheard, yet, we’re the ones who keep them afloat!

        Mmm.. sure make one ponder what now is they’re point of existence, perhaps if many other landlords did similar to what we’ve done recently: cancelled all, as they don’t seem worth the insurance you get with some (already covered).

        Point being who’s got Landlords backs, seems nearly everyone can now railroad us with anything they chose.

        Such a dilemma, think of all the good the vast majority of landlords do, what if we all pulled out, now that would be hysterical, as it’ll be more than people on the streets!

  6. If the tenant is responsible for taking out a policy, how do landlords police this? What’s to stop the tenant cancelling etc. If the landlord holds the policy, in the event a landlord makes a claim, how are future or existing tenants of the same landlord protected against premium rises? Also, how can the landlord be certain the insurer will pay out and not wriggle out of coughing-up? Too many issues and gotchas.

  7. I will not be allowing pets into any of my properties under any circumstances. I have experienced first hand the smell and damage they can cause. Urinated carpets, garden’s full of dog mess, the scratching and chewing of door frames and parts of the kitchen units cost a small fortune to rectify. Even after a professional deep clean and replacing all the carpets’ I could not get rid of the smell as it had soaked through to the floor boards. The deposit didn’t even cover the cost of the clean let alone the damage.
    Pet insurance wouldn’t persuade me either – tenants unlikely to continue with the payments for a policy and the insurer would try it’s hardest not to pay out on a claim

  8. Why don’t we just pay tenants to stay in our houses?
    That’s the way it seems to be going!

    As for pets, what happened to being able to say ‘no’
    I don’t dislike animals just have an allergy to pet hair which makes cleaning after tenants a problem for me because I can’t breath.
    But then I’m only the owner and Landlord, heaven forbid I should have a say on what goes on.

  9. In the past I have been pretty casual about allowing tenants’ pets in spite of a few bad experiences. Now that tenants’ pets have a political pressure group my policy will be that tenants with pets will not be accepted although they will not be told that is the reason they have been turned down. I don’t have to give a reason for not accepting a potential tenant.

    • Nice idea.
      But what if they don’t declare on application and tell you and move in with the animal?
      Depends if the legislation still allows you to specify no pets in the tenancy agreement as to what would they be in breach of?

  10. They are my houses, my income and my right to choose. If people want pets then they need ideally to own their own homes. Renters need to abide by the LLs requirements. My experience of undeclared pets has always been bad. I have given permission to tenants I consider to be responsible. I will not be forced to have pets I have not agreed to and the only way to improve this for tenants is to take large deposits that are outside the control of a tenant.

  11. Tanya, I couldn’t agree more, we have spent thousands on returning properties to lettable standards thanks to lazy and uncaring pet owners. I took a tenant to court a few years ago because of the state a property was retuned in, thanks to her dog: as part of her evidence pack, she submitted several ‘adoring’ photos of her little barking rat in the hope it would soften the heart of the judge…of course, it didn’t, he saw sense and I won the case – still not received a penny of the £25000 awared to me though! Never again!

  12. FWIW we allow pets in our (two) properties, and take each enquiry on it’s merits – if necessary I’d “interview” the prospective pet. One property has a nice lady in who keeps cats, and we’ve had no problems in 10 years. We did have an enquiry for the other property last time it was empty, but we had to turn it down because it really isn’t suitable for a dog. We have had a cat in the second property before.
    As to insurance, I’d need evidence that it protected our interests, and most crucially (as Berlingogirl points out above) I’d want to see something that wasn’t subject to cancellation/expiry. There are such things as insurance policies with one up-front premium and which cover a specific event at an indeterminate time in the future – one example would be some of the non-custodial deposit schemes.
    As to an extra deposit, how much ? The tenant is likely to baulk at a huge deposit because “it’s only a little cat”. But any animal can cause a lot of damage. For that reason, an insurance policy could be better as then the insurance company takes the risk of a massive cleanup/repair bill.

  13. The PRS is becoming untenable due to all this increased legislation. It only benefits tenants in mind, and treating LLs’ as greedy money grubbers who need to be taken down a peg, fund the government’s failed covid-19 economy, and who now suffer huge losses from tenants who are in arrears or asbo and remain can without incentive to take care of property, or deliberately destroy it with impunity.
    Brexit has made us see the of the majority of good eastern european family tenants, while Romanian & Bulgarians are flooding in daily in rats leaving a burning ship. The majority of which will turn any property they can rent into an illegal HMO, filling i.e a 3 bed house with 8-10 people, soon after AST is signed.
    Now we are about to be required to take pets! In past I have only done this with a deposit large enough to pay for carpets, and only cats, if kept to ground floor only, and if urine smell is apparent on any monthly inspection, cat has to go, and deposit is lost, it’s written into contract.
    It’s the final nail in the coffin to call it quits! I’m selling up and finding better investments!

  14. What a shame that some pet owners spoil it for the rest of us, who are responsible owners. I am so sick of being shunned by landlords who refuse me because I have two cats. We are looking for a new home because our tolerant landlord is selling the property and retiring. We have searched and searched, but 80% of landlords won’t accept pets. How I hope that their tenants don’t pay them! How do landlords think that makes us feel, as mere peasants who can’t look after anything! Some of us respect property and have regard for others. Rather than accept that a deposit can be taken, were the law adjusted in that, we are all tarred with being reckless and careless and now landlords can take vastly inflated rents to account for their dirty, irresponsible tenants, which of course, we all are! ! Not all of us are! Perhaps understand that there are good tenants and bad landlords.

    • Wow, from what you write:
      “How I hope that their tenants don’t pay them” and “now landlords can take vastly inflated rents” (untrue by the way), I wouldn’t want you as a tenant either with such an attitude.

      Most landlords and tenants are reasonable people, but landlords are justifiably sick and fed up of adverse legislation and being the whipping boy of most media comment. As a tenant, perhaps you could put yourself in our shoes and ask whether you would be willing to hand over your asset, worth many £000s, to someone whose animal could cause extensive damage requiring repairs for which you could not recover the cost – because the Govt has changed from a workable solution with a pet deposit to a situation where it is now impossible to do so?

      Most of the posters on here have had very bad experiences of pet damage (I have too) and are simply unwilling to accept unlimited risk.

      It is sad that you and your cats are struggling to find anywhere to rent, but blame the Govt, not the landlords.

    • It’s not personal, it’s risk mitigation. No different from an insurer who will avoid or load those who are in a risk category that represents a higher chance of a claim. Not everyone who owns a pet will be a problem, but we don’t know who will be a problem or who wont so we have to mitigate our risk and assume all have the potential to be a problem.

    • I used to take tenants with pets but unfortunately the government changed the rules and do not allow us to take an appropriate and protected deposit to cover the additional risk. It’s not personal, it’s just the government is continually increasing the risk for landlords and making it impossible for us decent landlords to offer a full and decent service to our customers.

  15. FWIW, i am sympathetic to T with pets and have accepted pets in the past. Nevertheless, i limit to either a small dog or cat.

    In the past i was able to charge an increased deposit. This is no longer allowed. Good T with pets are willing to deposit extra, since they will get the money back. That system works.

    Regarding insurance, this proposal seems the wrong way around. There should be “pet damage” insurance that LL can take out and legally pass on the premium cost to T, as it will be LL that will need to claim.

  16. If a tenant wants to look after a pet of any type, they need to take responsibility and a large pet deposit to cover the cost of repairs when they leave is essential. No point letting them move out of the property they have damaged into your nice clean refurbished property for it to go the same way.

    If they want a new Pet Friendly Contract, then there needs to be additional terms that ensure the animals are properly looked after and the neighbours are not disturbed. There also needs to be an alternative address for the pet when the owner is incapacitated or goes on holiday, as well as vet certificates, etc all required as part of the contract.

    Then, there needs to be proper sanctions if the contract is broken. If the pet cannot be rehoused, then it needs to be put down. This is going into very difficult territory.

    Best solution is a No Pet Contract.

  17. The irony of all this legislation (current and proposed) is actually doing tenants no favours. The more landlords are legislated against the higher the rents become and the more we discriminate because we are concerned with being saddled with a problem tenant we can’t move on with limited redress. Most landlords today will not take a risk and will give priority to tenants who are A1 applicants in every respect (without pets).

  18. The problem here are meddling lobbyists, such as shelter and others like this animal rights group, who campaign for “better” rights for tenants – without a thought in the world to the implications and impact on landlord and how they may adjust.

    The majority of the new legislations being brought in to supposedly help tenants actually, adversely impact the most vulnerable tenant or tenants with circumstances such a pets.

    For example, the limitation of deposits to 5 weeks maximum rent means that before I may have considered a ‘risky’ tenant by requesting a higher deposit, I now completely disregard high risk tenants. This would include those with pets as an example.

  19. As government, shelter and the rest of the landlord bashing media keep attacking landlords the situation becomes worse for tenants. Landlords are leaving the market and as they do rent increases as supply reduces a concept the loonies can’t seem to comprehend. Landlords work on risk assessment. As the protection of landlords is reduced ( eg. Deposits limited to 5 weeks max) means higher risk tenants are turned away. Some landlords are leaving particularly due to abolition of s21. Government. Shelter etc are harming tenants with their poor policies which fool tenants into believing they are helping them.

  20. The only safe pet is the one in the taxidermists window, all others are a risk from low to high.

    If pets were zero risk then pet insurance as a business would not exist.

  21. I wonder how this would affect a block of flats built on a site with a covenant in the original deeds that does not allow pets on site?

    It is a concern to any landlord who needs to enter a property to undertake maintenance if it occupied by dogs or cats, some owners are clearly not house trained, so there is little hope for their pets.
    SJS

  22. Ridiculous idea, maybe these people should borrow a pet and see how they get on.
    Q. What size deposit to cover damage?
    I had damage when I a tenant smuggles a puppy into my 1 bed ground floor appartment, I evicted him quickly but too late.
    It stank. 2 rooms carpets completely destroyed. The chipboard tongue & groove flooring also had to be replaced as the defecation had seeped through the carpets.
    Cost £1,300.00
    Can we insist on an additional [et deposit £11,500 ?
    The deposit did not cover this, the tenant in a rage also caused damage which I was unable to claim because we are not allowed to contact at their employer, they went to live with mother, again, therefore when they rent again, they have good references because are 1st time renters.
    A puppy owner was quoted in the press that he had damage of £550.00, but didn’t mind. his dog, presumably, his house.
    It seems to me and other landlords, we are turning into a communist state where our personal properties bought with taxed income are at the beck and call of communist/left leaning bureaucrats.
    As a comment, I happen to know very many dog owners, I do not however know any dog owner who has not got a spotless house, no smells, cleans up any dog mess and disposes of the poo bags in the proper bins.
    Strange therefore, that we all keep coming across, poo on the pavements, in the public areas, including shopping centres, poo bags disposed in alleys, over fences, up trees, in bushes.
    Councils report that they collect several tons of poo from public areas including parks each year.
    Our property, our business, keep your hands off.

  23. I have a property which we renovated to a high standard including new carpets through out.
    I have a tenant in who againt our request for no pets has got one which has totally destroyed the carpet by ripping up and tearing all the edges. Plus there are several stains in places. This will need a complete new carpet throughout. After 2 years this should not be the case. Why should we as landlords bother spending our hard earned money for someone to come in and destroy what we have provided for them to make there place of residence nice to live in. These people have no respect.
    I am totally against any pet bill by the goverment.
    If people were to respect thingsI would be happy to accomadate them but unfortunately they dont.

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