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Petition to ban pet “discrimination” in private rental sector

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.

Poll: Should pets be allowed in all private rental property?


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    Our properties. Our choice. No discrimination, it applies to all pets and all tenants.


    Quite right...It is madness.
    I say what goes in to my properties.

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    This petition is short-sighted and will serve to demonise landlords who are simply complying with their properties' leasehold contract conditions / limitations on keeping domestic animals. Given that so many rented properties are flats, the petition would be better aimed at 'improving' standard leasehold terms.


    Tenants should get their priorities right. If you want a pet, buy a property. Don't expect a property owner to risk damage from your pet.

    Another example of how limiting tenant deposits has come back to bite them.

    They probably still think that the do gooders are on their side!

  • Matthew Payne

    I read yesterday that Andrews' plan to reassure landlords is that pet owners will become certified in advance of renting a property. Every tenant will need to make an appointment to see their local vet who will give them a certificate to confirm whether their pet responds to basic commands and is well behaved.

    I would love to see what the checklist is for the vet to sign this off in a 10 minute appointment. Doesn't tell rude jokes, tick. Doesnt chew my chair, tick. Doesnt soil the carpet, tick.

    Kind of misses the point as usual, it's not about raucous, poorly behaved pets who ignore their owners. Even the most obedient, well behaved pets lead to a much higher rate of dilaps and cleaning that wont be covered by a 5 week deposit and no cleaning requirements, and make a property more difficult to relet. Then there is noise nuisance which most modern leases prohibit anyway.

    Will be easy to circumnavigate as with the DSS ruling. Perhaps a clause in the TA saying, pets are allowed provided a 10 week deposit is provided....

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    This keeps coming up. It takes a lot of work and a very good vacuum cleaner to keep a property clean from cats and dogs. If the property is isolated in the middle of a field then maybe its ok but the landlord will need to have a large deposit in case a massive clean up is needed at tenancy end.

    If the property is a flat then expect fleas and their friends to spread through all the flats. "NO, NOT EVER" is enough said. This could be a public health issue and expensive to sort out.

    Bored dogs can do one hell of a lot of damage. Think in terms of repairing door frames and stripping kitchens to replace the flooring which is saturated with dog pee. Cats will pee and crap in beds if they don't have a litter tray.

    Why do photographers always use a picture like the one here? It's a gross misrepresentation. I've seen the reality often enough in my long life. Utter filth and stink represents a huge cost. Even changing carpets to get rid of cat fleas is a big expense.

    If this site truly represents landlords then it needs to act like a landlord.

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    Firstly, as someone has already said - there are lease conditions in some cases that prevent pets even for owners - so you can't give tenants more rights than already exist or you'd be at risk of losing your lease.

    Secondly - are they proposing to make it also a rule that a rent premium can be added if we allow pets? Can we also insist that they have regular cleaners? Get the property fumigated at the end of a tenancy to ensure no remnants of infestation or eggs remain?

    Thirdly, are they going to make the process of claiming for pet related damage more simple? Whilst I understand the rules concerning "betterment", should a landlord be faced with replacing carpets and furniture (for example) at a time when they otherwise wouldn't this presents a sometimes unexpected cost and also, means extra work involved and, most likely, a longer rental void whilst these things are sorted out. If we were all entitled to charge a rental premium of, say, 1 extra weeks rent on each property to cover the potential longer rental void whilst a property is prepared where pets have been in habitation, it might begin to sound a little more reasonable - but let's face it, we all know that this argument is heavily weighted in favour of the tenants and the government continue to demonise landlords.

    All these measures will have a negative impact on tenants in the long run - more landlords will exit the market causing a shortage in supply, causing rents to rise. More fees being covered by Landlords, whilst fair, creates another rent increase as landlords simply pass on these costs in another way. If we are also to have a blanket allowance of pets, this will cause more landlords to increase their rents again to cover potential extra costs.

    If we, the Landlords, were to be offered relevant protections against all these things, we can all make it work - but the government are very much on the side of the tenants at present. Fairs fair, tenants do deserve protections - but so do landlords.

    Paul Barrett

    Problem with just increasing rent for further cost impositions means S24 LL need to charge even more rent to cover the costs of having to increase because of additional pet.
    So the LL needs a substantial rent increase just to cover additional costs

  •  G romit

    Who is going to deem if a pet is well behaved or not?
    Perhaps a pet passport is needed which pet owners pay for, say, £250 per year per pet. The money form which can compensation Landlords for damage incurred.

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    Its a lot simpler really LL can go one of two ways

    1) Put rent up £100 per month

    2) Accept the application with a smile and once they gone stick it under the same pile of DSS apps. Only to be used if house isn't wanted by working non pet owning tenants.

    If this happens (rare) tell them they are in a bidding war - sealed bids please because this is the way tenancies will go with all this additional interference. I'm actually looking forward to it

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    As I have always said, if my business gets increased costs from the likes of Govt. or local Councils, then I pass it on to the tenant as soon as I can.

    Indeed, I add 15% on to any rental too.

    So, all these idiots are doing, is to make tenants pay more, when they really think they are helping tenants. How dim can you get?

    And I say too....Thanks Govt. and Councils, and do please carry on because your stupidity only makes me, a LL, richer. Keep it up, I love you when you do that.



    You should buy in Scotland. The SNP are even more helpful - rents up 33% virtually overnight when their crazy PRS legislation came into force in December 2017!

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    I had enough of this in the past with dogs ruining the furniture which had to be throwing away, the garden in such a mess you couldn't use it and the house infestation very costly which I had to pay for. another one a war with the Freeholder about a cat my Tenant had breaching the Memorandum of Articles / Lease or what ever it was. That it keep chipping away at us why not everyone is at it, the way it is now I don't want you or your pets.

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    Was asked to take on a rental which had previously had big stinking dogs. It was disgusting and I declined the business. They then had the cheek to say to me are you turning business away? It was difficult to keep my mouth shut and not tell them that the house stank of dog and all that comes along with them.

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    I would have told them they stink too....!


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