06 Sep 2021

As it begins to look inevitable that the government will legislate to demand pets are allowed in rental property, ARLA Propertymark has waded into the growing controversy.

Last week a letter was sent to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick by some 30 MPs.

It was written by animal rights campaigner and Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, supported by Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey and Scottish Nationalist Lisa Cameron. 

Other prominent backers in Parliament include Tories Sir David Amess and Sheryll Murray, Labour’s Dame Meg Hillier, as well as Lord Goddard of Stockport, Lord Oates and Lord Trees.

They want agents and landlords to be allowed to charge pet-specific fees – such as insurance costs or additional deposits – without contravening the 2019 Tenant Fees Act. 

Now ARLA Propertymark has expressed agents and landlords’  concerns about the limitations of the Tenant Fees Act which caps security deposits and prohibits agents and landlords from charging for pet damage insurance.

A report by pressure group Advocats suggests over half of pet owners would be willing to take out damage insurance if required by a landlord and three-quarters of landlords support pet insurance.

Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report for June revealed that 69 per cent of agents supported the need for a ring-fenced pet deposit.

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s policy and campaigns manager, says: “There is often more of a possibility of damage to a property where there is a pet, and as warned by Propertymark and others, the limitations caused by Tenant Fees Act has reduced the appetite for many who rent out property to take on greater risk.

“The strength of feeling amongst politicians, charities and sector organisations means that the UK Government must now revisit the rules and explore options to remove barriers that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and support more people to rent with pets.”

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