A Conservative MP’s bid to ensure pets are allowed in private rental accommodation reaches its next stage in the New Year.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, has introduced a Private Member’s Bill that would strictly reduce the right of landlords or their agents to include ‘no pets’ policies for their properties.
The Bill promoted by Rosindell, a former shadow minister for animal welfare, has the backing of animal organisations including the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
It’s now been agreed that its Second Reading will be on January 29. This is a stage where MPs debate the main principles of the Bill - not necessarily the fine details.
Rosindell says he is recognising the concerns of landlords by insisting renters demonstrate they are “responsible owners” with a suggested checklist including a vet’s confirmation that their pet is vaccinated and spayed or neutered, free of parasites and responsive to basic training commands in the case of dogs.
In cases where the renter proves they are a “responsible owner”, and the accommodation is suitable for their pet, the right to take a pet into rented property would be assumed.
In his First Reading introduction to the Bill in the Commons last month, Rosindell said: “Dogs are more than man’s best friend, they are equal members of the family and, for most people, being separated from your dog is really no different than being separated from your brother or sister.
“But sadly, every year pet owners who move into rented accommodation are faced with the reality that their family could be torn apart because most landlords in Britain have unnecessary bans or restrictions on pet ownership.
“And for those people who depend on the companionship of their dog and who need that loving friend to be with them, especially those who live alone, such restrictions are nothing less than discrimination, cruel to both the owner and the animal alike.”