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.
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.”
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