Landlords should not be forced to take pets despite a push for pro-pet interventions, according to a leading estate agent.

David Alexander (pictured), MD of Scottish estate agency DJ Alexander, says UK legislation is moving towards greater provision for pets to be allowed in privately-rented homes both north and south of the border, and that many politicians feel allowing pets in private rentals is a vote-winner.

“In principle I welcome this trend,” says Alexander. “What I would not like to see, however, is a situation emerge whereby landlords are compelled, by law, to accept tenants with pets in yet another parody of ‘human rights’ legislation.

“Market forces, rather than the law, will be sufficient to sort this one out – as it does with so many other things.”

Landlords ‘not prejudiced’

He believes most landlords are not prejudiced against pets, and that many of his clients are dog- or cat-lovers.

Says Alexander: “In practical terms, however, dogs, especially larger ones, are seen as an addition to wear and tear. Cats not so much so but some do have a tendency to use sofas as their own personal scratching board.”

He adds that given the current over-supply of rental stock and ongoing concerns about the ability of many existing tenants to maintain rental payments once the furlough scheme ends, many more landlords will now have no objection, in principle, to welcoming new pet-owning tenants with a stable financial and personal background.

In January, the government updated its model tenancy agreement, aiming to end blanket bans on pets in rental properties, while Andrew Rosindell MP’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill has stalled on its journey through the Commons.


  1. “He adds that given the current over-supply of rental stock …”

    What over-supply of rental stock? Where I live there is a shortage of rental stock both in the PRS and ‘council’.

  2. Who should be compelled is leasehold landlords and housing communities. We had 2 offers almost accepted by a prospective landlord just for them to back out after they consulted their landlord/housing community and were told about “pet ban” and possibility of fines. What’s even more aggravating, it’s an open secret that people living in these communities own pets.

  3. Pets cause damage. Lack of financial compensation for landlords, to put things right when the property is vacated.

    Prospective tenants complain of pet smells from previous tenant’s pets.

    I have had a dogs leave scratch marks on the . Cost of new garden door £650, but wear and tear, means I only get a portion of the true cost. Such damage should not be classed as wear and tear, but should pay to re-instate the door to new.

    One tenant was breeding dogs for sale whilst in receipt of benefits. The entire garden was full of dog excrement and lots of rubbish left behind when evicted.

    Dogs barking are a nuisance.

    Dogs are noisy when walking on laminate flooring.

    Fish in tanks cause a rise in humidity and lead to mould in the property.

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