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Tenants to be given right to live with more than one pet

tenant with pets

The government has promised to clarify guidance outlining that tenants can request to keep more than one pet as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill.

In response to recommendations made by the Animal Sentience Committee, it confirms that the Bill doesn’t restrict tenants from requesting and keeping more than one pet if it is reasonable to do so, and that for welfare reasons some animals should not be kept alone.

It also agrees with the committee’s recommendation that guidance should encompass a wider array of animals, not just the most common pets such as dogs and cats. It adds: “To achieve this, we have initiated dialogue with a range of relevant stakeholders such as animal welfare organisations which focus on less common pets such as reptiles, amphibians, birds etc.”

Flexible attitude

The government says giving tenants the right to request a pet that landlords cannot unreasonably refuse applies for the duration of a tenancy, which will encourage a more positive and flexible attitude towards pet ownership, as landlords become more familiar with the benefits and challenges of letting to tenants with pets.

It adds: “Allowing landlords to require, or charge for, insurance covering pet damage will provide reassurance for landlords that the cost of any damage caused by pets will be covered by the tenant and lead to a more pet-friendly PRS. As a result, we expect that over time, landlords will be less likely to reject prospective tenants simply because they have pets.”

PRS ombudsman

Claims about animal welfare are likely to feature in disputes about whether landlords reasonably or unreasonably refuse tenants’ requests to keep a pet, according to the committee, and the government has confirmed it will ensure the PRS ombudsman has the skills and knowledge to handle these complaints and disputes.


Tenants with pets
Renters reform bill