Renting with Pets – New Government Announcement.
Dogs provide a source of support that many would argue is comparable to that gained from human relationships. Dogs are regarded as family members. People can become very distressed when they have to part with a much loved family pet. Holidays4Dogs considers the issues of renting with pets. Recent Government announcements may help millions of pet owners to secure accommodation without giving up their animals.
People living in private and social rented accommodation are often not allowed to keep pets. According to Dogs Trust, one of the main reasons for people giving up their animals is due to a change in circumstances.
However, on the 4th January this year (2020), the housing secretary Robert Jenrick MP called on landlords to be more lenient when it comes to allowing pets in their properties. To this end, he has announced an overhaul of tenancy agreements which will be mutually beneficial to all parties.
The Dogs Trust have been working with landlords, letting agencies and the property industry as a whole. For over a decade they have campaigned to make pet ownership more accessible to tenants.
The proposed new changes come at a time when more people than ever are renting their homes.
Currently, only 7% of landlords accept pets. The majority put an automatic blanket ban on dogs, or cats, in their properties. This means that many existing pet owners struggle to find suitable accommodation. Many others find they have to give up their pet altogether.
New Government proposals could help renters with pets.
New government proposals set out to make adjustments to tenancy contracts; thereby removing restrictions on pets. The aim is to encourage more landlords to be more flexible with responsible pet owning tenants.
However, the Dogs Trust state it is crucial that any changes made to the model tenancy contract are supported with guidance. In particular, this should advise how landlords can put these changes into practice. Thus, making it fair and beneficial, for both tenant and landlord.
Holidays4Dogs welcomes these changes. We believe people living in rented homes should not be denied the choice to own a pet.
However, there is a concern that some landlords will charge a higher rent for pet owners. According to Landlord Law Services, while landlords cannot charge a high deposit, (due to the Tenant Fees Bill), they can charge a higher rent for tenants with pets.
There are also fees involved. Up to fifty pounds can be charged to amend tenancy agreements. It is also highly likely there will be clauses for vaccination; (many people choose not to annually vaccinate or use homeopathy). Also, for regular flea and tick treatment; (again, some people prefer not to use these products on their animals for health reasons). In addition, tenants with pets may have to agree for more property inspections than those without pets. Landlord Law Services recommends quarterly inspections which many tenants may consider to be too intrusive.
Overall, the proposed changes are certainly a step in the right direction. Landlords may find they are able to let their properties more easily, bearing in mind that 40% of UK households own a pet.
A revised model tenancy agreement will be published by the Government later this year. Holidays4Dogs will update readers when more information becomes available.