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HALF of landlords say 'no pets or benefits tenants' despite looming law change

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At least 44% of landlords won’t let their property to tenants with pets and 15% won’t consider those with children, according to a new mortgages poll.

The research shows how attitudes haven’t changed despite the threat of new legislation forcing landlords to reconsider their pet policy once the Renters Reform Bill takes effect next year.

The government recently refused to relax its plans to require landlords to take pets unless the animals involved are not suitable for the property such as a huge dog in a small flat, other tenants with phobias or allergies and whether a property has common parts.

The legal test will be if a landlord’s refusal to take a pet is ‘unreasonable’ but will also cover more technical matters including when a building’s freeholder has banned pets within their head lease terms. found that 43% won’t let to tenants claiming benefits and 15% won’t rent to those with children.


However, this will doubtless change as amendments to the Bill published today include new clauses that ban landlords from “discriminatory practices which make it harder for people who are on benefits (and people who have children) to obtain a relevant tenancy”.

Landlords explained their reluctance to accept tenants on benefits as being due to the risk of late or unpaid rent (69%), the risk of benefit not covering the rent (65%) and the benefit being paid directly to the tenant (53%).

The property not being suitable for families is the most common reason a landlord wouldn’t be willing to let it to those with children (78%).

The majority of those polled (84%) wouldn’t rent their properties to someone with a history of rent arrears, while 47% would turn down students and 44% would say no to would-be tenants needing adaptations. Only 7% are willing to let to anyone.

Mortgage expert Claire Flynn (pictured) says if a landlord doesn’tallow pets - due to concerns about their impact on the property’s condition -this can be frustrating for tenants.

She adds: “Most rental contracts ask youto leave the place in the same condition as when you moved in. Due to fearsthat pets may damage the property or leave smells, landlords are often hesitantto rent to people with animals."

Pic credit: Shutterstock/Brookgardener

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