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.
“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.