One of the candidates for next year’s London Mayoral election wants to put pet-friendly tenancies for the private rental sector as a key policy.
Farah London, a businesswoman running as an independent against Labour’s Sadiq Khan and at least two other candidates, says she wants to allow Londoners “to keep their beloved animals.”
She claims that despite over 2.7m people renting in London, only 8.5 per cent of advertised rental properties were available to pet owners in 2019.
“As an animal lover myself, I think it is unfair and cruel to deny Londoners their pets. A dog, cat or other domestic animal can dramatically improve mental health and provide companionship. If this pandemic has done one thing, it’s reinforced the benefits of keeping pets, with multiple studies showing the positive impact it has on our wellbeing” she claims.
Giving tenants the right to have a pet will also reduce the abandonment of animals, she believes.
The candidate cites the Dogs Trust, an animal welfare charity, claiming that many owners who rent are forced to rehome pets.
Farah London also believes that landlords often fail to recognise the benefits pets brought to not only their tenants, as well as themselves.
She says research by the RSPCA suggests that pet owning tenants stay twice as long, and that was before the surge in home working caused by the pandemic.
As part of her wider commitment to animal health and welfare, she will also set up the “Mayor’s Animal Welfare Charity Awards”, an annual event celebrating Londoners who’ve made an outstanding contribution to improving the health and welfare of animals.