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'Landlords and tenants need clarity on how new pets rules will work'

battersea cats and dogs home renters reform bill

Animal welfare charity Battersea has called for more details on what constitutes ‘reasonable grounds’ for refusing a tenant’s request to keep a pet, in the Renters Reform Bill.

Landlords won’t be able to reasonably refuse a tenant wanting to move in their pet and can require tenants to have insurance to cover pet damage, alongside any deposit.

The government has already acknowledged that there will be situations where it will always be reasonable for a landlord to refuse a request such as a rent-to-rent contract agreement where the superior landlord prohibits pets.

Battersea’s public affairs manager, Ben Parker (pictured), says it wants further detail provided in the guidance accompanying the Bill around refusing a pet request, and to help define what information tenants should provide about their pet to a landlord.

“People being unable to find somewhere pet friendly to live is sadly one of the most common reasons that much-loved pets are given to rescues like Battersea, and we have long campaigned for a fairer rental sector for pets and people alike,” he tells LandlordZONE.

“The Bill has the potential to address this issue in the future. Battersea has been working with supportive parliamentarians to strengthen the pet measures in the Bill, such as ensuring that the approval to keep a pet lasts the lifetime of a tenancy.”


An amendment was added to the Bill by Labour ensuring landlords won’t be able to review or withdraw consent once it’s given, meaning that tenants can keep a pet for the duration of their tenancy. This has not been included in the final version of the bill as its moves into the Lords.

The charity’s recent report - collecting data from more than 2,000 private landlords and 1,000 private renters – found the average total reported cost of pet-related damage was £300 per tenancy, compared to £775 for non-pet-related damage caused by non-pet-owning tenants.

Picture credit: Battersea (Formerly Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)


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