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Pets allowed in rental development as momentum grows for reform

A new idea put forward by a student-focussed Build To Rent operator is likely to increase the momentum behind campaigners wanting pets to be allowed in private rental properties.

The specialist student accommodation provider is to allow pets into one of its schemes - apparently to improve the mental health and well-being amongst residents.

The purpose built student accommodation scheme called Future Generation - built in Guildford, by Southern Grove - has 533 units is to allow pets to new residents who move in as the academic term begins in the next few weeks.


Jack Smith from Future Generation says: “We strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the accommodation we provide and we know how much pets have helped young people through this past eighteen months of isolation, loneliness and fear.

“That’s why we’ve made all of our studios pet friendly – because we understand that living alone for the first time, in a new place can take some adjustment. 

“Having a friendly, furry face to come home to every day will hopefully make the transition easier for those who choose to bring along their companion. Our studios provide ample space for most small pets – because of course, we have to consider their welfare and wellbeing too.”

Smith cites the Mental Health Foundation as saying that teenagers’ mental health is under severe pressure due to the pandemic, “so it made sense to seriously look at how we, as an accommodation provider, could help.”

He adds that research looking at 6,000 people by York and Lincoln universities show that 90 per cent said a pet helped them cope better with the pandemic.

Smith continues: “We create aspirational living spaces where those who live with us flourish and thrive. I know that allowing our students to bring their pets along will help them better adjust to life away from home and the pressures of uni life.”

Last week a letter was sent to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick by some 30 MPs.

It was written by animal rights campaigner and Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, supported by Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey and Scottish Nationalist Lisa Cameron. 

Other prominent backers in Parliament include Tories Sir David Amess and Sheryll Murray, Labour’s Dame Meg Hillier, as well as Lord Goddard of Stockport, Lord Oates and Lord Trees.

They want agents and landlords to be allowed to charge pet-specific fees - such as insurance costs or additional deposits - without contravening the 2019 Tenant Fees Act. 

  • Matthew Payne

    I dont think there has ever been issue with any landlords about tenants keeping "small pets" gerbils or terrapins etc. It doesn't either sound like Jack proposes to have dogs and cats locked up on their own in his studios all day, and I am sure the RSPCA might have something to say about it if that was the plan, so I am not sure what value this adds to the debate.

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    Students plus pets sounds like a recipe for a disaster. Still it is their property so their risk.

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    FFs Students - high risk Pets - high risk but hey means that they won’t apply to us LL serving the professional tenant

  • Roger  Mellie

    Hello ABC lettings? Yes, I'd like to rent a studio flat, please. [muffled noises] No, it's not for me, it's for my Great Dane.

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    Terrible idea on so many levels
    Flats are not generally satisfactory accommodation for any pet
    My niece lives in an exclusive development in a northern city where she is constantly plagued by next doors dogs barking locked in a flat by an affluent drug dealer it’s an American bull dog with cropped ears nice!
    As a landlord terribly complicated to maintain a property and get gas certs etc as tradesmen cannot be expected to work with strange dogs and cats and accept liability not to let dogs and cats out so difficult to deal with emergencies
    Also students struggle to keep their own homes clean and I’m sure a lot of bad things will happen to these poor animals
    Let’s just stop thinking these animals are just here to support humans are are a baby
    Animals need fresh air.,excercise and places to wee regularly other animals for company and training most of which won’t be abailable

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    Clearly this developer is looking for good publicity and unaware of the risk.
    Dogs will become distraught being unable to exercise or meet people, when the students are out, during the day and will normally have relieved themselves in the flat.


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