The UK government could soon make it easier for people with pets to rent houses.
A policy document setting out proposals for new rental market legislation was published yesterday. It states that among many measures, the Renters Reform Bill would stop landlords from including blanket “no pet” clauses in contracts.
This means that landlords would have to provide a reasonable explanation if they do not want tenants to have companion animals. Tenants will also have the right to challenge a landlord if they prevent them from keeping a pet.
The Renters Reform Bill will likely be brought before Parliament before the end of spring next year.
‘A great day for animal welfare and tenants’
Brits love their pets. In fact, in April, data released by Statista revealed that pet ownership in the UK was at an all-time high. More than 60 percent of households live with a companion animal.
The company noted that this is likely due to the pandemic, and the increased number of people working from home.
Further data released by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) cited accommodating a pet as a common reason for moving house between October 2021 and March 2022.
“It’s interesting to see that the reported popularity of pets during the lockdown period seems to be having a continued influence over tenants’ priorities,” said DPS’ managing director Matt Trevett, earlier this year.
“The high level of demand for rental properties means that tenants who secure homes that allow pets typically stay for longer. [This results] in more certainty for tenant and landlord.”
A key reason for landlords not allowing pets is potential damage. But AdvoCATS, an organization that works with rescue animals, landlords, and tenants, notes that damage is not common. It states that three-quarters of cat-friendly private landlords do not have problems with animals in their houses.
The organization helped to push for the new proposed legislation. Its co-founder Jen Berezai named yesterday as a “great day for animal welfare and tenants.”