An online petition calling for pets to be allowed in private rental properties has gained thousands of signatures.
The petition - on the Petition Parliament website - is from Hannah Bennett and says: “I’d like the government to prevent discrimination of tenants and potential tenants with pets, including by preventing landlords from including a ‘no pets allowed’ clause in tenancy agreements. It is completely unfair that a person and/or family can be refused accommodation based on the fact they have a pet. Most of the time people only have a small dog or cat, and it can be incredibly difficult to find accommodation as it is let alone with this clause in place.”
The petition comes as Tory MP Andrew Rosindell is promoting the Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation and Protection Bill in the House of Commons.
The measure - which this week has its first reading - is urging a reform of rental laws allowing dogs and other animals to be kept in rented accommodation so long as owners can demonstrate their care for them.
“What makes somewhere a home is something where special moments are created, living with a family, friends or companions. Moving into a new home is a normal part of life, but what if every time you moved, you faced the threat of being separated from someone you loved. Can a house or a flat ever really be a home if you have been forced to abandon a family member just to be able to move in?” Rosindell told MPs.
In the debate moving the Bill, Rosindell continued: “And you will know more than anyone, Mr Speaker (Sir Lindsay Hoyle), as an animal-loving Speaker as you are, that animals are truly members of one’s family. And having owned two Staffordshire Bull terriers myself, Spike and Buster, I also know just how close the bonds can be between a dog and the owner and how devastating it can be when you lose them.”
His Bill now goes for a second reading in the Commons in late January, but this is only likely to happen if it wins government backing.
Here is the online petition.