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Activists want pet insurance costs taken from existing deposits

The Generation Rent group of activists says it has concerns over the broad proposals to allow landlords to charge for additional insurance against damage if they allow their tenants to have pets.

In the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper unveiled by government at the end of last week, it was said that - one the proposals became law - tenants would have the right to request a pet, and their landlord could not unreasonably refuse. 

Tenants would be able to challenge a refusal - presumably through the new Rental Ombudsman, another White Paper proposal. 


However, the new measure suggests the landlord can insist on the tenant taking out pet insurance as an extra safeguard against costs incurred through pet damage.

However, Generation Rent is complaining about this. 

It says: “We believe pet insurance, which we understand costs between £10 and £20 a month, is unnecessary when the tenancy deposit is there to cover damage to the property, and landlords are already unlikely to require the maximum five weeks’ deposit. It is somewhat concerning that they [government] want to reopen the Tenant Fees Act, which has been largely successful at preventing tenants from getting ripped off. It is also unclear how pet insurance claims would interact with claims on the deposit at the end of the tenancy.”

Generally Generation Rent has been highly supportive of the Conservative government’s rent reform proposals, and the pets measure has won widespread support - mostly from groups not complaining about the insurance concept.


For example Dawn Howard, chief executive of the National Office of Animal Health, says: “NOAH launched its campaign ‘Renting with Pets’ in 2020, as our members passionately believe that all pets deserve a loving home, and all responsible pet owners should be able to access good-quality housing that does not exclude them from pet ownership. 

“Unfortunately, keeping a pet in rental properties has been traditionally very challenging, and in many cases, not possible at all.

“We are therefore delighted to welcome this government’s commitment to recognising the value of pet ownership through the Renters’ Reform White Paper, which seeks to break down barriers to pet ownership for responsible pet owners in rental properties in a way that continues to support landlords and property owners.

“The measures set out in the Renters’ Reform White Paper are transformational not only for those people that will now find it much more straightforward to enjoy the extensive health and wellbeing benefits of pet ownership – but also for our beloved pets who deserve homes too.”

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  • George Dawes

    Generation rant should stick to what they're best at , when someone figures that out please let me know

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    There won't be any private rental sector left in which to have a pet. Generation Rent are too young to remember the situation in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    .... Landlords are unlikely to require the full 5 weeks deposit,. !
    What planet are they on. ?
    Generation Rent just don't want tenants to pay - full stop.
    Gen Rent nor Tenants realise the negative effect of these Reforms which will impact. All. Tenants, including the vast majority who are compliant.

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    This constant attack has a certain comedy element to it, it’s just so predictable.


    Simon, before long the nation will be told to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm every Thursday, banging saucepans and loudly booing all landlords!

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    I operate my own pet insurance, it's added onto the rent

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    You are right Simon Logan petulant children spring to mind, they get what they want and then demand more, do they not realise that landlords will sell up and that will cause more of a housing shortage.

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    Clearly they won't be happy until tenants can do whatever they want in a property, and stay as long as they want. Problem is, that's what can happen only when you work hard and buy your own property, not when you rent someone else's property.

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    Responsible pet owners and beloved pets are constantly mentioned.

    Unfortunately the Rental Reforms aren't just restricted to the above but also apply to people who have never owned a pet, are completely clueless about the time and money required to properly look after a pet and as lockdown proved will result in animals being inappropriately bred with genetic defects causing huge distress to both animal and owner.
    At the very least there should be a requirement for someone to attend a course on animal welfare before requesting permission to get a pet. A three month course of one hour a week should do. Courses could be run by Local Authorities or animal rescue charities. If someone can't find the time to attend they are unlikely to have the time needed to properly care for an animal. It could also be argued that if they can't afford insurance for their pet they certainly couldn't afford a vets bill.
    This isn't just about landlords and tenants, it is also about animal welfare. It is an indisputable fact that a great many rental properties are unsuitable for pets and a great many tenants don't have the time to properly care for a pet.

  • George Dawes

    What about people allergic to pets ?

    Or don’t they count


    TBF, I think you could refuse pets on exactly those grounds.

  • Matthew Payne

    Light the blue touch paper!

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    Where on earth do they get the idea that landlords aren’t likely to require 5 weeks deposit?!?! It’s nowhere near enough!!!

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    Generation Rent - I challenge you to re-carpet a property, and repair chewed kitchen cabinets including labour with just a months worth of rent. When you've done that, then you would have some credibility to lecture us on how much repairs cost.

    Generation rent want renters to have everything except responsibility and bills.

    I suspect many tenants with poorly behaved pets will find they are not passing referencing.


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