The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is seeking greater clarification from the Labour party after it put forward new proposals this week to allow tenants to keep pets as the default position in rented homes unless there is evidence that the animal is causing a nuisance.
A number of private landlords are reluctant to accept tenants with pets, which may explain why recent research by analysts Mintel found that fewer households now own a pet as more people rent rather than own their homes.
Opening the door to pet owners offers many potential benefits but can be a serious gamble, especially as pets are renowned for causing damage to properties.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “The proposal raises a number of questions which we will work constructively with the Labour Party to address.
“Will landlords be able to charge higher deposits to reflect the increased risks of damage to a property where pets are allowed? Will insurance premiums increase for landlords to reflect the greater risk of allowing pets to be kept as a default position? What happens in shared homes and blocks of flats where one or more of the tenants do not want, or are allergic to, a pet?
“Labour will need to respond positively to all these points if landlords are to have confidence in this suggested policy.”