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Property chief stands up for importance of pets in homes

As debate rages about whether pets should be allowed in more private rental properties, a senior house building figure has spoken up for the importance of cats, dogs and other animals at home.

Peter Morgan, managing director at Audley Villages, says: “Pets can be great companions, and for many people they are key to wellbeing, alleviating stress, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors. Looking after a pet is a full-time responsibility but comes with big rewards. 

“It has been a challenging year for everyone and there has never been a more important time to put health and wellbeing first. During this period, 3.2m pet lovers welcomed a pandemic pet into their home making a total of 17m households in the UK responsible for a pet’s welfare.”

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Morgan’s company operates in the retirement development sector but his arguments echo those put forward by advocates of pets in the rental sector.

“Many worry that in later life if they need to move home they will have to give up their beloved pets, this shouldn’t be the case and that’s no different in retirement villages. At Audley, property owners are welcome, and encouraged, to bring their pets, be that their Golden Retriever, pet rabbit or even lizard” he adds.

It’s currently National Pet Month and there are an estimated 34m pets in the UK, with cats and dogs accounting for 12m each. 

The pets-in-rental-properties debate has raged in recent months as a result of the go vernment issuing a new model tenancy agreement which includes consent for pets as the default position, meaning agents and landlords who opt to use this type of tenancy agreement are no longer able to issue blanket bans on pets. 

In addition Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell’s Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation and Protection Bill has had its first reading in the House of Commons; Rosindell says he favours an amendment to the Tenant Fees Act which would allow agents and landlords to charge tenants for additional insurance if they kept a pet.

  • Mark Wilson

    Who is going to win this one? the speculator or the home maker?

  • Angus Shield

    Include any pet related fees back into the 'permitted charges' then and Landlords/Agents would have the reassurance required to take any associated risk of associated damage/cleaning, etc!

  • Matthew Payne

    I dont think anyone disagrees with the sentiment, but noone until a recent insurance proposal has tackled the elephant in the room in the last 2 years as to who is going to pay for it. They tried to go down the route of, "pets dont create any extra costs, honest guv, we can get a vet to provide a certificate, whats all the fuss about" which has been laughed out of Court. Someone on the front benches just needs to grab this by the scruff of the neck and amend the legislation to deal with the remedy for LLs of tenants keeping pets, instead of all these emotional pleas. The solution is a simple one as we have been pointing out for quite some time.

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    HE SHOULD PAY IN ADVANCE FOR ALL THE DAMAGES.

  • andrew gregory

    The reality for a property owner is that animals cause problems in properties 'Period'!
    If a good tenant wants a pet and is prepared to be responsible for all and any damage caused to the property 'including deep cleaning' replacement flooring due to staining, décor, garden damage etc etc, then a well behaved pet would I'm sure be acceptable to most good landlords or agents! The problem is that for every responsible pet owner, there will be another irresponsible one...
    How do we 'as agents' or Landlords account or Levy for the bad ones? Insurance may be a viable option but the whole thing needs a proper debate!

  • James B

    Another detached commentator doing some marketing for their own benefits .. he would have a different opinion if he was a private landlord perhaps shafted by a tenant with dogs ...

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    Most retirees with pets have an old, small dog or cat not 6 Rottweilers or similar! I'm not sure Peter has the same issues with pets as those of us renting to a younger market!

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