Influential veterinary organisation the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has launched a campaign urging landlords to let more renters live with their pets.

The body, which represents the UK animal medicine industry, hopes to encourage wider use of the model tenancy agreement and wants to work with landlords and tenants’ associations to promote new pet-friendly policies and responsible pet ownership.

As part of its campaign – Securing the Right to Rent with Pets: Making One Health Housing a Reality – it’s urging supporters to send a letter to their local MP or the Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher, calling on him to make legislative changes to support pets in rented accommodation.

NOAH believes that despite the significant and clear benefits, owning a pet in rented accommodation remains very difficult.

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It says that according to rental start-up Home Made, only 2.8% of property owners in the UK advertise homes as suitable for tenants with pets, while Tenants Voice reports that 78% of pet owners experience problems finding a suitable rental property.

Chief executive Dawn Howard (pictured) believes that widening access to pets will actually bring benefits to landlords that outweigh their often-inflated fears.

She adds: “The RSPCA found that tenants who are given permission to look after a pet in their rental property were likely to live in that property for twice as long compared to other tenants – creating long-term, secure tenants for landlords.

“Allowing responsibly kept pets also increases the pool of prospective renters for properties, meaning landlords are far less likely to struggle to find tenants, and will in turn have a more secure stream of income.”

In January, the government updated its model tenancy agreement, aiming to end blanket bans on pets in rental properties.

However, the agreement is voluntary, and it has since hardened its position on the hurdles that tenants will have to clear before a landlord needs to allow pets into their property.

PIC Credit: Antti | Flickr

9 COMMENTS

  1. “NOAH believes that despite the significant and clear benefits, owning a pet in rented accommodation remains very difficult.”

    There are no ‘significant and clear benefits’ for a landlord and until there is landlords who don’t want pets in their properties will still refuse them or chose a tenant who has no pets.

    “Chief executive Dawn Howard (pictured) believes that widening access to pets will actually bring benefits to landlords that outweigh their often-inflated fears.”

    Not in my experience!

    “She adds: “The RSPCA found that tenants who are given permission to look after a pet in their rental property were likely to live in that property for twice as long compared to other tenants – creating long-term, secure tenants for landlords.”

    I’d rather have shorter term tenants who have no pets. I’m sick to the back teeth of scraping up tenants’ dog excrement out of my lawns – and that’s every single tenant who’s had a dog.

    ““Allowing responsibly kept pets also increases the pool of prospective renters for properties, meaning landlords are far less likely to struggle to find tenants, and will in turn have a more secure stream of income.”

    By the time a tenant with a pet is renting, it’s too late to find out if they’re responsible or not! Too much of risk for me. I don’t know of any landlords who are struggling to find tenants. Personally, I’d rather have a month’s void than let to a tenant with a pet – it’s a far, far smaller loss than the losses I’ve suffered (and the mess) due to damage and cleaning up after tenants’ pets.

    I’m not against tenants having pets, in principle, and I agree that pets can be great for mental health. It’s just that letting to tenants with pets is potentially a bad business decision and the person who clears up the damage and excrement and is out of pocket has always been me.

    • The tenant who fails to clean up dog faeces is the same type of person continually giving all us dog-keepers a bad name – the ones who let dogs off leads, and are so busy being glued to their smartphone that they don’t notice when the dog has crapped somewhere – in a park, on a pavement, wherever. Some do notice, but don’t give a damn. Same as people who chuck their MacDonald’s burger wrappings out of their car windows, I suppose. I physically couldn’t do it. We go out with a little bone-shaped plastic container attached to the lead, in which are stuffed a roll of poo-bags. On the very rare occasions when one of us has forgotten to fill it up, we have to dash back home, collect a bag, dash back out (sans dog this time) scoop up the errant poo, and hope to God that none of the uber-nosy neighbours have spotted us and reported us to Faceache for crimes against society. When staying anywhere, we conduct a search before we leave just in case a poo got missed. The same went for when we rented. But how on Earth can any property proprietor know that in advance? People will say anything to get what they want, and rarely live up to it afterwards, in my experience. And if the stupid Government had not abolished the extra fees for taking on this risk, the situation would be far less likely. With a decent redress, that actually works, it may be considered worth taking the risk. As it is, I can quite understand why proprietors don’t want to!

  2. Irresponsible pet owning tenants have made their bed and now they must lie in it! I suspect most LLs have allowed pets and then got burned (I certainly have) – hence the no pet clause!

  3. Vet$ – so commercially clever these days! I dread them as they make pet ownership so difficult and hyper costly for mere mortals – just paid over £700 for a minor op on our rescue; about 30 mins work! However I’d happily allow a tenant with a pet (maybe not nutty adorable boxers!!!) I’d met but I’d be wary of a puppy as we all know the will chew the corners of anything! I guess I would agree but I’d pass the onus on the tenant to document every item that was intact before the pup, and if they did not document it and it was later found gnawed well its on them. Separate upfront dog tenancy levy that would be returnable if no dog damage at end of tenancy too. People love their animals so its a good thing to do.

  4. Just ask the tenant if you can leave a pet unattended in their car for 8 hours, if they refuse then don’t let them a property…

    They will refuse of course because they don’t want their car seats chewed up and their car used as a toilet… The properties I own are worth far more than tenants cars…

  5. I feel torn. I love animals. I have a cat whom we live with, and we’ve had dogs before. So I fully understand why people want to keep a pet.
    I wish there was a way of making both parties happy (LL & tenants). If tenants are prepared to pay a pet deposit of say 5 weeks (as well as their normal 5 week deposit), I would accept that, I think….

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