Labour launched in February a 50-point policy document entitled ‘Animal Welfare for the Many, not the Few’ where they set out a pledge to include a protection for animals lives and strengthening animal welfare law in the UK which spans across multiple areas: factory farming, animals in sports, animals used in research and domestic animals. As a part of their manifesto, they’re looking to give tenants a ‘default right’ to keep pets in their rental properties.
Under the current 2015 Consumer Rights Act tenants need to get permission from their landlord in order to keep pets, and will often sign an additional pet agreement for this right. The National Landlords Association argues that landlords should have the right to refuse tenants with pets, especially if they feel the rental property would be unsuitable for the pet, in proportion to the accommodation and the damage a pet could cause on the future rental prospects.
Dogs are the most popular pets in UK homes with 24% of people owning one, and there are up to 40% of pet owners around the country. However, latest studies by Dog Trust found that pet on average cause up to £4,000 of damage during his lifetime and an average of £350 per year to their owner’s home (carpets, chairs and sofas).
Should a landlord have to accept pets in their properties? Pro-animal at lets defend various ways landlords might have to protect themselves if they open up their rental property to four-leg friends. The main option is taking a larger deposit at the start of the tenancy to cover any potential damage, or asking the agent to add a pet clause into the tenancy agreement. In this way, they could ask the tenant to accept responsibility for any additional damage caused by the pet (e.g. cover the cost of professional cleaning the rental property once they have moved out).
*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.
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