MP Andrew Rosindell has vowed to carry on his fight for tenants to keep their pets in rental properties, even if his Bill doesn’t get time in Parliament.
Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill aims to give renters the right to live with their pet – provided they can prove they are responsible and caring. However, there may not be enough time to pass the law because the pandemic has led to a reduction in the number of parliamentary sittings; although it had its first reading in the Commons with cross-party support last year, no date has been set for a second reading.
The Romford MP says his Bill gives tenants and their pets the justice they deserve: an end to cruel and unnecessary separation, while protecting landlords from irresponsible owners. Rosindell vows he won’t give up on the issue if his proposals fail to become law and adds: “I will continue the fight for all the pets unnecessarily separated from their owners by ‘no-pets’ clauses.”
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 last month it hardened its position on the hurdles that tenants will have to clear before a landlord needs to allow pets into their property. Housing Minister Christopher Pincher explained: “A good reason for a landlord to decline a pet ownership request would be where a pet is demonstrably poorly behaved or unsuited for the premises in question, for example, a large dog in a small flat, or where other tenants have allergies to animals.”
The National Residential Landlords Association has called for the government to enable the level at which deposits are set to be more flexible to reflect greater risk.