New Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper will help pet owners – and pets
NOAH is pleased to welcome the publication of the new and highly-anticipated Government White Paper, ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’, which notably includes plans to legislate on removing a landlords ability to impose a blanket ban on keeping pets.
Despite compelling evidence that sharing our lives with companion animals can have profound benefits on our own wellbeing, until now, renters with pets have often struggled to find suitable accommodation that will accept them and their pets. Indeed in 2020, only 7% of landlords advertised their property as suitable for pets.
NOAH has been working alongside other organisations, notably AdvoCATS through its Heads for Tails campaign, to make rental for more pet owners possible, whilst ensuring property owners are reassured that their property is protected.
In January 2021, the Department unveiled changes to the Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA) – the recommended contract for landlords – preventing a blanket ban on pets in rented properties for tenants using the MTA. However, whilst this change was a step in the right direction, the MTA remained speculative and did not apply to all rental properties and contracts. Today’s announcement to legislate on the issue and cover all rental properties overcomes this, and therefore significantly improves access to pets in rented accommodation.
The Paper, announced by Housing Secretary Michael Gove today (16 June), also proposes a change in the law to allow a landlord to ask that pet damage insurance is held. This change is crucial, as it means that landlords are better protected against any potential damage caused to their property by pets.
Dawn Howard, Chief Executive of NOAH said:“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.”