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Agents tell politicians to better understand cost of pets in lets

Propertymark has waded into the controversy over whether private rental tenants should be allowed to keep pets in their properties.

As reported yesterday on our sister publication Landlord Today, various Conservative and some Labour and cross-bench peers spoke in a House of Lords debate earlier this week, mostly in favour of allowing pets to be kept by private tenants.

Although the government spokesman in the Upper House - Lord Greenhalgh - said the issue was ultimately up to individual landlords, most of the peers contributing spoke of their wish to see the Model Tenancy Agreement more widely used.


The latest version of this agreement calls for pets to be allowed.

Now Propertymark has had its say, with policy and campaigns manager Timothy Douglas commenting: "We recognise that renting with pets can make properties more desirable, encourage tenants to rent for longer and tackle issues such as loneliness, but policymakers must recognise the effect of the government’s decision to cap Tenancy Deposits under the Tenant Fees Act.

“Even the best-behaved pets can have an impact on a property, therefore landlords and letting agents need to be able to safeguard against damage.

“A number of ideas including raising the deposit, pet referencing, and insurance were raised by Parliamentarians and if the government are serious about encouraging more private landlords to allow responsible tenants to keep pets in their rented properties, then they must have a greater understanding of the costs involved and implement rules that support the sector to take on greater risk.”



In the debate this week, Lord Berkley asked if the government was aware of clauses that can be added to the tenancy for cleaning and Lord Goddard asked if the government would encourage wider use of pet CVs to allow more responsible pet owners to keep their pets in rented accommodation.

Lord Flight - who in the past has spoken up for landlords in debates about the private rental sector - said it might be worthwhile requiring insurance policies to be taken out by tenants. It might also be an idea to have a system of interviewing tenants and choosing tenants who seem to be responsible with regard to pets.

You can see a transcript of the entire debate here.

  • jeremy clarke

    Once tenants are in situ and cancel their pet insurance,what can landlords do about it? Answer is absolutely nothing, cannot be enforced, maybe unable to evict tenants so what's the point. Imho if tenants want pets then the deposit must cover the cost of replacing carpets all through the property plus an amount for damages. All too often it is months after the tenants have gone that new tenants complain about the smell and suffer flea bites. Let landlords choose, not politicians.

  • Philip Drake

    Also pets can multiply and sometimes pets are not wormed.

    If the next tenant’s young child picks up an infection from pet excrement left in a carpet and goes blind, who is responsible? Further the child, parent and landlord have to live with the consequences.

  • David Bennett

    I understand the benefits of a pet, but It must be the LL's choice whether or not to allow them, in their property. When you own the home, it's your choice. It may restrict the number of interested tenants, but at least the accommodation won't smell of wet dog or cat pee! Perhaps liken no pets to no smoking! In blocks of flats, the head lease does not permit pets, to alleviate noise nuisance for others. When did you last see a dog wipe its paws, before padding mud up the communal stairs. not at the LL's expense.

    Theodor Cable

    Of course it is the LL discretion and one many would be happy with the extra income that they can charge.

  • icon

    yet again we choose to pick the most negative aspect as a generalisation - Well trained pets don't poo in the house Mr Drake - Most dog handlers are responsible owners as well . Most tenants keep the house immaculately clean .So if processes are in place - and the agent are doing their job - wont be a problem

  • Theodor Cable

    For over 25 years I have rented a 4 bedroom detached house in Twickenham and with a current rental value of £3,000pcm.

    And of all 6 tenants I have had in the house not one of them has left it clean and undamaged.

    And often with animals without permission and filth everywhere. Dirty ovens, filthy sinks never washed floors ans brown toilets.

    To me this is the norm, even despite 6 month inspetions and threats of evictions make no difference to these people.

  • icon

    Absolutely NO PETS either living or visiting in my properties for Health and Safety of Humans.
    My properties - my rules.
    I decide who enters my homes - humans or animals.

    If the Lords are happy to be a guarantor with
    1. £500k deposit immediately available for myself or hospitalised tenants, visitors, builders and a further up to
    2. £2 million to renovate, refurbish, rebuild any damaged properties, as well as legal costs and claims indemnity for
    3. £50million including even if the pet is ‘certified’ for good behaviour, and tenant ‘assures’ that it’s a safe pet/they need it for health support/they have an insurance policy.


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