A London mayoral candidate has vowed to introduce pet-friendly tenancy clauses if she wins the election next May and branded landlords ‘unfair and cruel’ to deny tenants pets.

Former businesswoman, the aptly named Farah London, promises to work with housing associations and local authorities to promote contracts that allow Londoners to keep their animals.

The independent candidate, whose other policies include making council tax exempt for tenants under 25, says it’s unfair and cruel to deny tenants their pets.

“If this pandemic has done one thing, it’s reinforced the benefits of keeping pets, with multiple studies showing the positive impact it has on our wellbeing,” she says.

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Pet owners

Despite more than 2.7 million people renting in London, only 8.5% of advertised properties were available to pet owners in 2019.

The capital is also ranked lowest in the country for the percentage of people who own pets, which she attributes to unfair renting clauses.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill, which aims to give tenants the right to live with their pet, has already had a successful first reading and gets its second reading on 29th January.

London believes a change in policy will reduce the number of pets being abandoned and help stem the exodus of renters.

She adds that landlords often fail to recognise the benefits pets bring to tenants and points to research that shows pet-owning tenants stay twice as long, providing steady and reliable income.

There are currently 16 candidates in the capital’s election; Mayor Sadiq Khan hopes to be elected for a second term to the post he’s held since 2016.

13 COMMENTS

  1. It is unfair and cruel to LLs to allow your pet to destroy their property and leave owing thousands of pounds.

    Unfortunately the few spoil it for the many and all this will do is raise rents again.

    When will the do-gooders realise the results their actions cause? Most LLs & tenants have a harmonious working relationship and many allow pets. Stop trying to legislate for the few who are the troublemakers!

  2. “Former businesswoman, the aptly named Farah London, promises to work with housing associations and local authorities to promote contracts that allow Londoners to keep their animals.” Good – not PRS then.

    “The independent candidate, whose other policies include making council tax exempt for tenants under 25” Agist! Does this mean that a landlord with a HMO where all tenants are under 25 is exempt from CT? Why under 25? Is there an income cap on this? A savings cap?

    “…..says it’s unfair and cruel to deny tenants their pets.” No landlords are denying tenants their pets, landlords are denying tenants with pets to rent certain properties . If you want pets find a property that allows them before you get pets.

    “Despite more than 2.7 million people renting in London, only 8.5% of advertised properties were available to pet owners in 2019.” There are several reasons for this, I suspect. Flats are unsuitable for many pets, maybe the 91.5% of properties that don’t allow pets are flats? How many of the properties advertised were ‘council’ houses and how many PRS? I wonder is Ms London has actually asked any landlords in the PRS why they don’t let to people with pets…… hmmmm, I wonder. Without further information the statistics are meaningless.

    “The capital is also ranked lowest in the country for the percentage of people who own pets, which she attributes to unfair renting clauses.” Ms London is proposing that ‘council’ housing should allow pets so I presume she is referring to ‘unfair renting clauses’ in ‘council’ housing tenancy agreements not the PRS here.

    “Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill, which aims to give tenants the right to live with their pet, has already had a successful first reading and gets its second reading on 29th January.” Tenants already have the right to live with their pets – just not in certain PRS properties, and, apparently, certain ‘council’ properties.

    “London believes a change in policy will reduce the number of pets being abandoned and help stem the exodus of renters.” I wonder what she bases this on. References would be great. “Exodus of renters…” to where?

    “She adds that landlords often fail to recognise the benefits pets bring to tenants…….” All the landlords I know DO recognise the benefits pets bring but are just not taking the risk that pets bring. I can assure Ms London that cleaning up somebody else’s dog excrement from a lawn, yard, conservatory and smeared over doors, isn’t great fun.
    “…. and points to research that shows pet-owning tenants stay twice as long, providing steady and reliable income.” Oh dear. Not true on so many levels. As a landlord, I’d rather have two tenancies over 6 years with a small void, than have to clean up after 6 years of somebody else’s pet (which I’ve had to do after every pet).

    Ms London clearly has little or no idea of the realities of letting properties to tenants with pets. It makes me wonder if she has the same insight on other issues.

  3. I have lived about someone who had a dog and all day and night heard the dog running up and down. It does n’t help they had laminate flooring…..

    Then you have dog owners who foul on the roads and in the parks. May be the wannabe Mayor, will pay for my shoes to be replaced. I have had to throw away shoes, because I stepped in them.

    Then you have the thugs with the aggressive dogs.

  4. No, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that landlords should not be the ones to house those without the means to pay rent. That is the job of government & their social services surely.

  5. I’ve rented two properties and allowed the tenants to have dogs. One urinated on the carpets and ruined them, the other chewed the skirting boards and doors.

  6. Judging by her appearance alone, I would be suspicious of this woman’s lack of judgement and disinclined to vote for her. What she is arguing for only confirms this initial view that she lacks common sense and is likely to make bad judgements.

  7. Its obvious that this lady hasn’t had a house destroyed by dogs urine and faecies all over the carpets right through the property. Resulting in not only the carpet having to be taken up but also the underlay, and we were even afraid of the floor rotting it was so bad.
    We had to right through the house with disinfectant sprays in both hands to clean all the floors, the stench was unbearable.
    I’ll leave it at the one story, I have others.
    Landlady South Wales

  8. To add to my previous comment, you might suggest – oh but that’s ok, you have their bond…. yes.. okayyyy… Most of these type of tenants are months behind with their rent so the bond is already well used up. No, there is a BIG RISK with tenants with pets.
    However, saying that we have had one or two tenants who have been great with their pets, but we’ve yet to see these one or two have their dogs grow old and what the effects of this aging will be, or what might or could happen futureistically. We live in hope.

  9. The world needs to realise that we need experienced people who take authoritative positions in the role that they want.Rather than be gifted because they to seem to be in the crowd that has been elected and need to fill high profile jobs with little or no experience .

  10. Having read the above comments I am afraid she is another individual trying to get into power through populist and heart string tugging rhetoric. Basically choose something that is bound to get a ‘like’ and you are halfway there. Her language suggests a stance against landlords/property owners. The only thing I would say is that these sorts of policies will backfire, as landlords are definitely selling up in number and/or not purchasing any further stock for a variety of reasons – this being one. Therefore in the medium term PRS stock will be greatly diminished and someone else will have to clean up the sick. Landlords meanwhile can invest elsewhere and with much greater ease/lack of management.

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