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'We won't give up' vows pets campaigner as renting reforms axed

Jen Berezai

A pet activist has pledged to continue her fight for tenants’ right to keep pets following the demise of the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Jen Berezai, co-founder of the pets charity AdvoCATS, says while the Bill’s failure is a setback, she is determined to support tenants so they are not forced to put their pets in animal shelters or have them put down.

“Our sensible proposal, to amend the Tenant Fees Act’s List of Permitted Payments to give landlords the right to stipulate pet damage insurance be held would have seen a big increase in the number of pet friendly rentals, easing the pressure on already overstretched rescues,” Berezai explains.


The charity believes it has enough existing supporters who should retain their seats and would be likely to help it put together a fresh cross-party political support base to lobby the new government. “The Conservative party would presumably pick up where they left off, and the Labour party has in the past promised to introduce ‘similar’ legislation,” she says.


“The current shadow housing minister, Matthew Pennycook, was on the Bill committee that AdvoCATS gave evidence to, and so is very much aware of why renting with pets needs to be made easier, so we have good reason to be optimistic about there ultimately being a change in the law to give renters and their pets a better deal.”

The organisation has been campaigning for four years for the government to change the law to prevent landlords having a blanket ban on pets. Its campaign gained support from more than 40 businesses involved in the property sector and animal welfare organisations, including the NRLA, Propertymark, Property Redress Scheme and National Office for Animal Health.


Renters reform bill
Tenants with pets