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Tory Lord promotes campaign for pets to be allowed in private lets

Conservative Peer Lord Black of Brentwood - Guy Black, a former newspaper magnate and Conservative activist - has urged the government to do more to allow pets in private lets.

He asked a question in the House of Lords yesterday, building on momentum started by the Conservative government earlier this year when it launched a new model tenancy agreement with a ‘default’ position of allowing renters to keep domestic animals. 

Lord Black told the second chamber: “During the difficult and often lonely days of lockdown, pets have been a vital source of companionship, well-being and love for many people across the UK, especially the vulnerable. 

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“However … according to Cats Protection, one million households that would like to have a cat cannot do so because they live in a rental property? I welcome the changes made to the government’s model tenancy agreement … but not all landlords use the agreement as it is voluntary. What action will the government take to encourage landlords to use the model tenancy agreement to allow all those who want to have a pet in their rented property the chance to do so?”

For the government, Lord Greenhalgh responded: “I am aware of the issue that my noble friend raises. The model tenancy agreement is the government’s suggested contract with which to agree a tenancy and is freely available online. We will continue to work with landlords and other stakeholders to ensure its wider adoption for use in the private rented sector.”

Another Conservative peer - Baron Howard Flight - suggested landlords be allowed to increase their cost to tenants with pets, to which Lord Greenhalgh replied: “It is of course for landlords to consider each case own merit.”

And he went on to say: "The government recommends that the rental deposit of five weeks is a maximum rather than a default. Charging a deposit of four weeks’ rent would provide leeway to expand it to five weeks for such things as pet ownership and also to take up some of the suggestions that we have heard today around insurance or potentially looking at rent levels to accommodate wider pet ownership.”

You can see a transcript of the entire debate here.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    What if the landlord's allergic to them ?

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    Many renters are allergic to landlords, personally im allergic to many humans but have to put up with passing them on a daily basis

     
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    David you are busy on here today, I'm also allergic to some humans, mainly those that are out for the free ride.

     
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    Guy black - my house my rules, your house your rules!! Not my house and your rules, this is not right. You don't pay my mortgage, your name is not on land registry for my properties,, so don't dictate who I can rent to and who I cant rent to! Thanks

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    Hear, hear well said!

     
    Theodor Cable

    I wonder if he has ever had to suffer the financial issues of pet damages to a house, and of the smells and the allergies that can remain in a house for many years.

    Perhaps he has maids and workers to clear it all up for him!!!!!!!!!

     
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    • AQ
    • 16 June 2021 10:50 AM

    The problem here is that any "pets allowed" needs to provide room for a reasonable allowance to refuse and "the next tenants might be allergic" is a reasonable one that you can worm your way around - so what's the point in changing the legislation when i'll be able to abuse it?

     
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    AQ

    That's not abuse, simply sensible pragmatism.

     
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    Once you take payment for the loan of a house its not your house or home so no you dont have a right to dictate anything

     
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    • AQ
    • 16 June 2021 14:12 PM

    David Edmund - wrong website. I think you're looking for generation rent mate.

     
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    It’s more & more endless interference by people that its has nothing to do with. I had enough of Tenants pets, the cost and my personal Labour putting things right after them again & again is horrendous that would be a novel on its own. I won’t mention throwing away the Henry vacuum stink of dogs wee. Is this not the same lord Black sentenced & done time part of 6.5 years and later pardoned by an impeached President, obviously I must be mistaken apologies for that cannot be silly me. The so called model Government Tenancy 68 page approx agreement that has replaced the previous one 48 pages approx’ that LL’s & Tenants can’t cope with because its full of bull sugar and over 50 other pages of Documents to serve at the same time.

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    Funny that I dont know one renter that has dogs that has ruined a property

     
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    • AQ
    • 16 June 2021 14:19 PM

    david - Then paying a further 5 weeks deposit shouldn't be an issue if pets rarely cause damage?

     
    Theodor Cable

    Funny that too......I have had 3 with dogs and cats tenants and never, ever again.

    I trust that one day you will suffer the damamge that animals do to YOUR property.
    And good luck with the repair costs and the smells for years.

     
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    TC

    I doubt he owns any property, not even the one he lives in.

    Probably doesn't own a car either but has a monthly PCP payment bigger than many mortgages. He'll need a big car to fit in the chip on his shoulder and compensate for the smallness of other body parts!

     
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    David, it becomes the tenants home, not his / her home.

     
  • James B

    Unbelievable.. yet another political interference for self gain. So a brand new angle reduce the max deposit only allowing it to increase for a pet back to the previous amount?
    These self serving parasites must just sit a dream things up to publicise themselves
    It seems to have been completely forgotten in their circles who owns the house

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    No it doesnt matter who owns the house, once leant to someone it becomes their house and home, yes no structural changes but apart from that you should have no right to dictate who a renter decides to live with be it human or animal

     
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    DE

    A renter's house is NEVER their own house and always belongs to the landlord who remains in control.

    Get over it. It won't ever change in the way you want!

     
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    David Edmunds,
    The property remains the Homeowner = Landlords home, Tenant is a temporary resident. The property is not lent, it’s let with the responsibility to look after it whilst the tenant wants to reside by paying the rent on a timely basis, and maintaining it without allowing animals if LL has restricted 🚫 them, or animal like humans inside it.
    Hence the Homeowner, repeat the Homeowner has every right to dictate who a renter lives with in his/her property -a human, animal or any human of criminal intentions/actions.
    The next thing tenants/people with your mindset would want is - LL’s can not dictate if a tenant runs a drug, prostitution, animal breeding, terrorist training/similar activities at the homeowners property!!
    My property, my rules.
    I’m allergic to animals, my builders are too hence it’s a HSE risk to have pets in my owned properties.
    Additionally in case these Lords or Freeloader generation rent raise this point- My tenants aren’t allowed to use online, cyber, TV, Cable/Satellite 🛰 services using my property address for any criminal activities from any of my owned properties.
    It’s the first condition of legal contract.
    One strike & they are evicted immediately.
    To sum up-you are absolutely wrong.
    A LL has 💯% every right to dictate who, and how people live in the homeowners property.
    Best wishes to your LL, if you are a tenant.

     
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    Once again the assumption is that tenants are all wonderful people and LLs all ruthless, unfeeling money grabbers. The cost to repair the damage that can be done by even one pet is huge - considerably more than 1 weeks deposit - and tenants balk when given the bill. By not allowing pets in my properties I keep them in better condition (particularly the floorings) which new tenants greatly appreciate. How about thinking about those tenants who do not want to live with the after effects of a previous tenant's pet?

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    I totally disagree with you

     
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    DE

    Why don't you rent a kennel and move in with the animals?

     
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    Robert Brown - A perfect 👍 solution. 👏👏

     
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    It seems that the age old saying that empty vessels make most noise is something that could justifiably be applied to Lord Black and probably a great many more MP's and others in power.

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    I choose who I rent to, not you Mr Black

    Theodor Cable

    Quite right Andrew. Quite right.

     
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    I hope I never have to rent and certainly not from you, im working on a new venture yep its all about dogs & im banning anyone that discriminates against dogs, so your banned & im sure my doggy human customers will support this

     
    Theodor Cable

    Can you ban me too please.
    Dogs, cats and animals in gerneral in rented property are a menace and almost like scum and vermin to a house.

     
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    We can agree there David, you never will rent from me, but it just so happens that I'm one of very few landlords that WILL consider dogs, presently I have one tenant with 2 dogs and 3 tenants with a cat each, I've had many past happy tenants with pets.

     
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    Maybe he can compensate landlord for damages and then talk.

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    If this goes through having to accept pets with tenants then all damaged items must be stored up and dumped on Lord Black’s land and any other supporting MP’s that put this through. Let them sort the waste if they won’t help with funds to refurbish properties

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    I think those guys don’t know like us we are front line. I have had them all, big dogs, small dogs, cats, birds, fish, snakes, pet rats, live rats to feed the snakes, ginneypigs, armadillo’s etc, LL keep quiet or its you we will fine, we are the cannon fodder on the Somme going over the top blind folded.

  • Matthew Payne

    "Charging a deposit of four weeks’ rent would provide leeway to expand it to five weeks for such things as pet ownership..."

    Fills me with fear that our country is being run by people who are so detached from what happens in the real world outside Westminster or the country estate. How can you be allowed to legislate if you dont understand the world you are legislating on?

    More disappointing would be confirmation that not a single other Lord heckled him, "Have you tried making good pet damage for £230 recently my Lord, that doesnt even cover the cost of most standard cleans, let alone everything else...."

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    There will never be a concensous here. On the one hand the landlord owns the property and wants to dictate howthe tenant lives there. On the other, equally valid, the tenant wants to be able to enjoy a peaceful and safe home with their family AND in some cases their pets. Its about coming to a reasonable agreement. As a tenant with dogs, I know and respect the landlord and I am grateful to be able to live with my dogs. I have responsibilities to keep the home clean and tidy and the landlord has responsibility for the structure and infrastructure. We both know where we stand and I have lived in my present home without a problem from my dogs for 7 years.

    Now, when it comes to should the government need to legislate to force landlords to accept pets I don't agree. I think that the government should do as little as possible to interfere with the relationship. They should concentrate on legislation that supports the viability of private landlords and ensures that they are accountable should they fail to uphold their side of the agreement. Same for the tenants, if they fail to keep their end of the agreement then they should be evicted too.

    Time for balance, and understanding from all sides in this.

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    Thank you Julian, a very sensible comment, landlords and tenants generally get along just fine when left alone to do so.

     
    Matthew Payne

    Completely agree Julian, the nanny state very rarely adds value, and in this case with the Tenant Fees Act it was just a piece of political strategy to undermine the Labour vote before the 2019 election. Before the TFA, it all worked fine, pets were allowed by a signficant number of LLs as they could negotiate a fair remedy and settlement should the property need cleaning or repair. They no longer have the freedom to do that, so the default then becomes no pets.

    If we ever get back to an impartially judged unlimited remedy as before (unlike Lord Greehalghs capped £230) then I am sure the status quo will return.

     
  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Perhaps Lord Black would like to stand as Unlimited Guarantor for those tenants with pets ?
    Thought not !

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    PossessionFriendUK - I second your suggestion, by adding a minimum £50,000 deposit immediately available to LL in an account without questions as soon as an evidence of pet damage is provided, and unlimited for eviction of tenant, and subsequent refurbishments, rent until a new tenant is found. Best wishes.

     
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