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Should tenants have the right to keep pets?

The Labour party wants to give tenants a default right to keep pets in their rented home.

The 2015 Consumer Rights Act says Landlords can only refuse permission if it is reasonable to do so, these reasons being the animal’s size, impact on future rental demand and possible damage.

In an about turn in current regulations landlords would have to prove the pet will be a nuisance before keeping it can be refused. This would, therefore, stop landlords being able to advertise properties with a no pet policy.

Astonishingly, the plans also include giving low income earners help with vet bills!

Apparently, the Labour believes the five million households who are forced to rent shouldn’t be denied the joy of keeping a pet.

The Party is looking to consult with landlords to see if they can give tenants the default right to keep a pet in their home, and want to design policies for all not only those fortunate enough to buy their own home.

Fifty percent of the landlords questioned by the NLA, said they are reluctant to allow renters to keep pets due to a perceived added risk of damage to the property, and the increased costs of repair at the end of a tenancy.

The NLA does support schemes that encourage landlords to allow pet owners into their homes such as the Dogs Trust “Lets with Pets”.  If landlords refuse a tenant with pets they will have to justify their decision.

Properties without gardens would be an example of those that would not be suitable for keeping some animals as it would not be beneficial to the animal’s welfare and some leasehold property covenants preclude keeping pets in the building.

We will keep you informed on how the Labour Party progresses with this idea.