The government has rebuffed last week’s efforts by campaigners, MPs, Lords and private rental sector organisations to help more landlords accept tenants who wish to live with their pets.

In a written House of Commons reply by junior housing minister Eddie Hughes (main picture) made in response to campaigning MP Andrew Rosindell, the government said the current deposit law set out within the Tenant Fees Act was sufficient to enable landlords to charge tenants an additional deposit.

Rosindell (pictured, left) asked: “What assessment his department has made of the potential merits of adding pet deposits to the list of permitted payments in the Tenant Fees Act 2019 for pet ownership in rented accommodation?”.

Hughes replied that: “The five week cap should be considered the maximum, rather than the default amount charged. This approach should therefore accommodate private renters who wish to keep pets, without the need for a separate pet deposit.”

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The minister’s answer, which also said the government had no plans at this time to amend the Tenant Fees Act, would suggest Ministers are unaware that the vast majority of letting agents and landlords now charge the full five-week rental deposit as standard.

This means, in order to comply with Hughes’ suggestion, landlords would have to charge a lower overall deposit, something many are reluctant to do as it become more and more difficult to recoup rent arrears through the courts.

pets jen

Jen Berezai (pictured) who has been helping coordinate attempts to move the government’s position on deposits, tells LandlordZONE: “The five week cap is near enough equal to a month’s rent, and should a tenant leave a property without notice or in arrears, only covers a landlord for that initial void, with nothing left over for any potential damage by humans or pets.

“Tenants WANT a negotiating tool, they WANT to be able to pay a deposit or insurance premium in order to keep their pets. The system is broken and the government MUST take heed and seriously consider the proposals set out in the Heads for Tails! report.”

Read more: ‘Tenant Fees Act has backed landlords into a corner over accepting pets

13 COMMENTS

  1. Eddie Hughes clearly knows nothing about the PRS! 5 weeks deposit is enough in his opinion to allow LLs to accept pets and should be the maximum not the default (a bit like £9k Uni fees then – when the Govt said it was the max and pretty much all Unis charged it!). Most LLs consider 4 weeks the very minimum in case your tenant walks off without paying the last months rent – it does happen – so there is 1 weeks rent value to cover everything else!

    I believe accepting pets is the LLs choice but the inability to take an additional deposit has probably decreased the number of properties that will accept pets & / or increased the monthly rent of those properties.

    Is it any wonder that the PRS is in such a mess when the people legislating for it have no idea how it works!!

  2. 5 weeks deposit not enough to cover for damages. What planet does that useless incompetent a$$wipe lives on? Typical politicians, low iq and parasite behaviour.

  3. Fine, then if a tenant wants a pet, there will be a higher rent to pay. I can’t tell you how many times a tenant has offered me an increased deposit in order to accept a pet. The governments current policy simply does not work for me or my tenants.

  4. This person must surely have paid for some kind of maintenance on a property before or even have some idea of the cost of materials. What a joke? No pets in my properties thank you very much. I feel so sorry for renters as both Conservative & Labour & also the likes of Shelter don’t give a damn that all these regulations brought in cost money & that it is the tenants who will ultimately be paying higher rents to pay for them all.

    • Like most socialists, they automatically think ‘Rich’ people should pay for everything. Sadly for them, ‘Rich’ people realise everything costs money, and therefore charge accordingly, or pass additional costs on. Its the primary reason why socialism, on a grand scale, has failed miserably wherever it has been applied. As Mrs Thatcher once said, the problem with socialism is sooner or later it runs out of other peoples money.

  5. Clearly when setting the maximum deposit amount the idiot MP weren’t advised about Premium Tenancy regulations.

    Had they known they would have set the maximum deposit at no more than 8 weeks.

    Anymore than 8 weeks deposit concerts the tenancy to a Premium Tenancy which give the occupying tenants more tenancy rights that few LL would wish to allow.

    So de facto no sane LL would take more than 8 weeks deposit.

    Pet deposits of any amount should have been allowed but ringfenced for pet issues.

    Even 8 weeks deposit and unlimited pet deposits would still have been inadequate.

    The current circumstances mean LL REFUSE now to take pets.

    LL can’t be blamed for responding this way.

    It is a great shame that the PTB listened to the idiot Shelter and GR.

    The result has now been that few LL will permit pets.

    MP are clueless as to the BUSINESS dynamics and imperatives of the PRS.

    If they weren’t then they would not have introduced the ridiculous TFA the way they have.

    But of course what now happens is tenants now sneak pets into a rental property.

    Few DJ will permit an eviction because of an illegal pet.

    Few LL will commence eviction proceeding if an illegal pet turns up.

    This because most tenants given NTQ will simply stop paying rent knowing it could take years to be evicted.

    So LL would be inclined to swallow and back down.

    Most tenants know this.

    It effectively means that LL are unable to viably prevent pets.

    Rent default compared to potential pet damage is massive.

    All a LL could do is give NTQ for a FTTP.

    Not sure how this would work once the AST and S21 are abolished.

    Personally I won’t care as I hope to be all sold up.

    The PRS is no longer fit for purpose.

    It is now unviable as LL can no longer control their properties.

  6. Totally agree with you Paul, I am trying to sell mine with tenants in situ as to evict is too risky if they stop paying. Therefore I am looking to keep the lack of viability of the PRS as quiet as possible and hope new entrants into the ‘business’ keep on coming forward. After all banks and large department stores are all snapping up large swathes of new builds so it must be very lucrative. How can they possibly be wrong? And if they do get it wrong the government will use our taxes to bail them out. Its a win win for everyone. So come on all you BTL investors please carry on buying.

  7. I’ve had 2 pets in 2 different properties. One of them decided to chew the skirting boards and the other scratched all the doors through the wood. Guess who had to do the repairs and bear the cost.

  8. Unfortunately, your flogging a dead horse when it comes to most MPs and housing, as Landlords are a minortiy compared to renters, they will pursue popular voter policies – hence saddiq khan and his persistent battering of landlords. In all honesty, the best way is to set a rent, then if a tenant wants a pet, put the rent up to reflect that and tell them why it is extra. If they want the pet, they pay the higher rent, no ifs or buts. Landlords need to take the matter back into our own hands, rather than argue with people who rely on votes to get back into power and will always side with the majority / popular opinion.

  9. THE ONLY SAFE PET IS THE ONE IN THE TAXIDERMISTS WINDOW.

    The plumber that works for my letting agent was recently set upon by three dogs whilst attending a tenanted property in the evening on a call out. He required medical treatment for his injuries. That is the reality of tenants’ pets. Sadly, we even hear horror stories of people being killed by their own pets.

    Pet owners are NOT responsible. If they were people would not own dangerous dogs.

    The dangerous dogs act was brought in for clear reasons.
    If there were no dangerous dogs there would be no law.

    Regardless of any legislation I will not allow pets and will find ways to circumvent the law if necessary. The govt are simply pushing law abiding investors into law breaking activity with the govts war on landlords.

    Rents are rising fast locally with very few properties available to rent as investors divest themselves of properties in a booming sales market, no doubt offloading dud properties before the new EPC move to C deadline arrives.
    I have already divested myself of all properties rated E I have just one rated D all the rest are C in that process I reduced the portfolio and kept my best tenants. I have no plans to re-invest that money in the PRS and have bought myself a nicer home instead.

    Be it pets, EPC’s. Right to Rent or draconian taxes or any of the other pointless rules set out by govt…
    No one can force me to remain in the PRS… The balance of risk to reward is totally out of line.

    Furthermore….
    With hundreds of migrants crossing the channel in boats on a daily basis the govt better requisition more hotels because no landlords are going to step up to help a govt that is beating us up on a daily basis.

  10. If the government is not going to help, then I cannot afford to let to anyone with a pet.
    Simple.
    Go shoot yourself in the “Michael” Foot, Mr Minister.

  11. We have left the PRS now its not really viable , renters want pristine houses to move into and return them in such a state you can’t re let without a complete refurb costing thousands of pounds. They think they are entitled to new kitchens and bathrooms replacement carpets after a couple of years because thats what they pay rent for. They are clueless to any costs involved and the fact that your a business entitled to make a profit .

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