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Government says No to separate fees for pets in rental properties

The government is not budging on the Tenant Fees Act and will not amend it to allow separate and additional charging for pet insurance or to cover pet damage.

Conservative Andrew Rosindell MP, a long-time advocate of allowing pets into private rental properties, tabled a written question to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the matter.

Rosindell asked Jenrick what assessment his department had made of the potential merits of adding pet deposits to the list of permitted payments in the Tenant Fees Act 2019 for pet ownership in rented accommodation.

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This week the housing minister Eddie Hughes ruled out the move, replying: “The Tenant Fees Act 2019 introduced a cap of five weeks’ rent for properties with an annual rent below £50,000, and banned most letting fees charged to tenants.

“The five week cap should be considered the maximum, rather than the default amount charged. 

“This approach should therefore accommodate private renters who wish to keep pets, without the need for a separate pet deposit. The government has no plans  at this time  to amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019.”

 

Various pressure groups have been lobbying to change the Act, and last week 30 MPs wrote to Jenrick urging the same.

And in a foreword to a report by pro-pet group AdvoCATS, Rosindell wrote earlier this year: “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.” 

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.

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    No pets now in my properties
    I took a tenant to court a few years ago for pet damage over £5000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    take note government ! It's my house! not yours!

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    Would there be anything stopping a landlord from charging a lower rent for tenents with no pets? Or in other words charging a higher rent if a pet was residing in your property!

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    I have been doing that since the ban on higher deposits

     
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    Mike - There would be nothing to stop a landlord doing this but it won't be long before tenants realise the strategy and there'll be even more saying they have no pets, then on move in day, they come with a dog!! Also, how to you get over the increase in rent when they sneak a dog in 6 months into their tenancy? Sadly, the tenants are protected so much that once they're in with their pets, there's sweet FA we can do about it except hope they're decent owners!! Once again - we've been screwed over!!

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    You make good points Clare and I have had that happen to me but fortunately that was in the days when I was able to take and personally hold a decent deposit. I was therefore able to deduct costs in respect of the pet damage incured . Perhaps I could get around it by charging the higher rent in the contract but offer a refund on a regular basis, following an inspection to ensure there was no obvious pet present or pet damage caused.

     
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    You are clearly not a landlord because if you are you'd know full well you can evict them for this.

     
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    John, you are of course correct it would be grounds for eviction, but long hard work and very expensive to get that eviction .

     
  • Matthew Payne

    That means nothing will change then Eddie....no remedy, no pets. Not rocket science.

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    If we can't ensure pets don't make us worse off with the help of legislation then we'll have to fall back on the old maxim: Prevention is better than Cure. I.e. NO PETS in OUR properties!

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    Or as LL’s we are now forced to charge higher rents (maybe Matthew will know this) we can give a rebate to non pet owners every year. A bit like no claims bonus

    Theodor Cable

    If forced to have dogs and cats, then for share I will demand a minimum of £250pm in the contract.

    Full stop.

    If the tenant will not agree, then they don't get the house........SIMPLE

    It is clearly their choice.

    I will take a lower rent for a tenant with no pets contract.

     
    Matthew Payne

    Just the normal provisos Jahan and a tenant in agreement, otherwise a free market economy, whether asking for a premium or offering a discount or cashback as you describe. The rent has to be consistant each month, as ad hoc higher rental payments are regarded as prohibited payments under the TFA, and you need to follow the correct process on S13s etc.

     
  • christopher corr

    What size property is considered unsuitable for a large Dog if any. A Studio for example ?
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    I would not accept a large dog in any of my properties, I will '' consider'' renting to someone with a dog in a house with a garden.

     
  • michael davies

    I must of missed something! when did we vote in a communist government

  • Theodor Cable

    NOW

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    I like your idea Mike Hall, certainly something I will follow up.

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    When a pet owning tenant leaves, who pays for the deep clean needed? Tenants MIGHT leave it reasonably tidy but rarely would any of them defrost the fridge, sanitize the washing machine or clean the tumble dryer filter, vacuum the sofa and underbed areas or remove pet waste from the garden. Pets leave smell which can take years to really disappear. Same with smoking indoors or tenants whose clothes stink of smoke even if they smoke outdoors.
    No, no pets or smokers for me.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Then the Media need to accurately portray to Tenants that its the Governments fault for preventing Landlords from being able to offer tenancies with pets.

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    If some of the dim wits in government only applied similar rigorous rules to our financial institutions then the country would be spared repetitive financial crises. Also as stated by many co-LLs above, the jokers in authority forget who owns the property! A bigger bunch of wasters would be quite hard to find?! Hey all LLs we are a democracy, so long as you do what we say!!

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    They will bring them in anyway especially now encouraged by Government, just like the extra occupants and sub-letting at the moment, it gives Government the opportunity to fine LL’s for over crowding while supporting Tenants to do it. They will now be able to fine LL’s for the stinking mess of wee & poo created by Parliament.

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    As others have said, I won’t be letting to Pet owners any more. These are my Properties and I am not having a half witted Government Pen pusher telling me what to do.

    As I have said on many occasions, if you can’t hold down a job in the real World, just get a job working for the Government, bunch of idiots.

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