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MP backs law change to allow tenants to pay pet damage insurance

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who is moving a Bill through Parliament urging landlords to accept pets, says he backs a law change to allow tenants to be billed for pet damage insurance.

Currently the Tenant Fees Act introduced by the Theresa May Conservative government forbids all but a small number of specific lettings-related fees being passed on to tenants; the list of acceptable fees do not include insurance for pet damage, which would therefore have to be paid by landlords if they accepted pets on to their properties.

In a foreword to a report by pro-pet group AdvoCATS, Rosindell says: “The Tenant Fees Act of 2019 had positive aims but it has clearly been harmful to the cause of greater pet ownership fo renters, an issue which has come to a head given the loneliness and self-isolation many have suffered during this pandemic, something which a dog or a cat could really ameliorate.

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“Amending it to allow for landlords to require insurance as part of the permitted payments might only be a start, but it would be a positive start and I hope the government explores this as an option.” 

Rosindell is promoting the Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation and Protection Bill in the House of Commons.

The measure - which has had its first reading but has yet to make significant progress because of a backlog of Commons activity caused by the pandemic - is urging a reform of laws allowing dogs and other animals to be kept in rented accommodation so long as owners can demonstrate their care for them.

Earlier this year a new model tenancy agreement was introduced by the government; it is not compulsory for landlords to use it, but those who do will have to abide by consent for pets being the default position.

 

Under the government version of a tenancy agreement, landlords will be required to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason for this. 

AdvoCATS has prepared a paper - Heads for Tails - outlining how it believes pet damage insurance could address the worries of landlords and letting agents over allowing dogs, cats and other pets into rented accommodation.

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  • George Dawes

    It's cruel to make an animal live in a flat with no outside space

    That's my excuse for refusing :)

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    It's a reason and certainly NOT an excuse.

     
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    It’s also cruel to force landlords to accept tenants who do not pay their rent, who destroy your property and who disappear owing you thousands and all the police say is it’s a civil matter. It’s all wrong.

  • George Dawes

    They're too busy with 'important' stuff like monitoring twitter and facebook for hurtful language - smh

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    and attacking christians

     
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    While I'm one of very few landlords that will ''consider' pets' I don't want to be forced to take tenants with pets , I refuse a dog in an unsuitable property and I also refuse a large or dangerous dog, as landlord it's my choice what and who lives in my properties

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    My property, my choice. I decide who I want to let inside MY property.

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    • 01 April 2021 09:55 AM

    No animals whatsoever in any of my properties.
    Even with a law.

  • Matthew Payne

    The insurance is a potential solution albeit it will be interesting to see how some things are going to be measured on check in and check out like smell and fleas in carpets for example to trigger a claim that the insurer won't automatically dismiss for lack of tangible evidence.

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    It would never work and insurance companies can afford fancy lawyers.

    Future tenants deserve to be protected against harm from previous pet owning tenants.

     
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    • 01 April 2021 10:03 AM

    Nobody talks much about that at the change of tenants they could be leaving dog and cat stuff all over the house and think what the costs will be if the new tenants are allergic to these pests.

    It will need a complete fumigation of the house and new carpets at the very least!!!!!!

    And bang there goes at least £5,000 ++ and for sure, that will not be paid by the outgoing or ingoing tenants.

    It will be up to you and only you mate!!!!!!!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Theresa May did so much damage to this country in many ways, not just Housing.

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    Mrs May has to be the worst Tory leader of all times, we nearly got a Corbyn government because of her.

     
  • James B

    These power hungry politicians really have little else to do apart from look at ways to win tenant votes and destroy our economy 🙄

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    But are they winning the tenant votes? I doubt it.

     
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    Very few tenants will ever vote Tory what ever this government gives them

     
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    a t--we have a corbyn govt

  • George Dawes

    Labour and Tories have become one and the same , particularly with that faceless useless drip in charge of labour , guy has had a charisma bypass operation.

    Boris a total plonker too . Wouldn’t trust him to wash my car , probably set it alight DOH !

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    boris is a psychpath

     
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    Sorry, but you only need a single 'episode' for an animal to cause mass destuction and having insurance doesn't guarantee that you'll get a pay out. Insurance doesn't compensate for time and hassle either. I have a responsibility to myself and to my mortgage lender to keep my assets in good condition. No pets here, thanks. Personally, I'd like to see automatic fines for tenants that bring animals into a property when expressly forbidden in the contract.

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    So they can afford the Rent now they can afford to keep Pets and Pet Insurance. No problem for Mr Rosindell M.P. as all MP’s are on minimum £80k plus pa and the problems he creates are not his

  • Mandy Paterson

    Does anyone have landlord buildings insurance that covers pet damage? I could not find anyone who would do it. My properties are all let excluding pets, primarily due to the damage risk. I have dogs and I never forget returning to home to my new home to find my two dogs chewed through the plasterboard and skirting boards in my kitchen - I had only been out a couple of hours! If bannisters, door posts, walls, floors are damaged, then tenants deposit won’t cover such buildings damage. I have seen serious damage by cats in a house I viewed and as such didn’t put an offer in. I agree with the comments here, my house/s and my decision on how they are treated. Shame we can’t charge pet rent to help with this - sorry I may have set off the cat amongst the pigeons!

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    It is possible and legal to charge an increased rent to tenants with pets, this might be the way around this if it ever happens.

     
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    It would need to be at least £200 per month extra to cover potential damage, cleaning bills etc. but what about the human right of future tenants with allergies, perhaps even unknown allergies?

    Safety first.... no pets.., PERIOD!

     
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    • 05 April 2021 11:43 AM

    I suspect that technically it will not be legal to add it as an "extra".
    In my view though, if pets are forced on our properties against our wishes, then the option can only be that we add an extra amount on to the rental in general.

    NO mention of pets.

    In my case, my flagship properties will have an amount in the region of £350 to £450 per month added.

    Full stop. If they want the house ok.

    The price is the price!! There will always be someone who will take them.

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    No I cannot see why an increased rent would not be legal, or do it the other way, offer tenants without pets a discount.

     
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    rubbish--add ons are common eg washing machine rental

     
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    • 05 April 2021 11:45 AM

    And then we will see how much they really love their idiotic Fidos and Kitties.

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    • 05 April 2021 16:39 PM

    It will be legal.
    I can charge whatever I want for my property lets.

    What does the Govt. Local Authorities, Letting Agents, Councils or anybody else have to do with my pricing policies?

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    So you rent to a lovely couple who have a large dog with the relevant pet insurance. What's to stop them paying /cancelling the insurance once they're in so you haven't got any cover once they leave?

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    You don't and that's just the kind of trick that some would pull, I ''consider'' pets but would never rent to someone with a big dog, over the yrs I have had many really good pet owing tenants, as with anything there is always a risk

     
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    • 06 April 2021 19:01 PM

    The way to avoid the whole issue is to not accept it at all!
    Simple I would say.

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    Theodor, please don't take this the wrong way, but you run your business your way while I'll run mine my way, I've had dogs for the last 40 yrs, proper dogs with responsible owners are not a problem, I will continue to consider tenants with pets.

     
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    • 07 April 2021 08:16 AM

    Andrew, it was just a thought.
    Of course, it was not any kind of criticism, it was just putting up a possible solution to which many LL have to grapple with.
    The individual can decide however they wish.
    Regards

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    I have had some Tenants with pets un-officially, I had some experiences, a grey area which leaves LL with some control. However, make it Official leaving LL powerless to act & no control left and we seen how that works regarding other matters. I think you might well have more space and a chance for dog to exercise In Norfolk than London, in any case the interference should stop.

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    I'm asthmatic, both dogs and cats in confined spaces set my condition off. My allergy is not rare, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America say that allergies to pets with fur are common and 3 in 10 people are allergic to dog or cat fur. So not only would I not be able to visit my own flats but 30% of prospective tenants would be put off the property as soon as they went to view it, assuming that the existing tenant and their pets were still in place.

    I have always done my own mid tenancy inspections (usually every 3 months), PAT tests, Legionella risk assessments etc. I would need to employ someone at extra cost to do this. None of these costs would be refundable under this proposal.

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