Agents tell politicians to better understand cost of pets in lets

Propertymark has waded into the controversy over whether private rental tenants should be allowed to keep pets in their properties.

As reported yesterday on our sister publication Landlord Today, various Conservative and some Labour and cross-bench peers spoke in a House of Lords debate earlier this week, mostly in favour of allowing pets to be kept by private tenants.

Although the government spokesman in the Upper House – Lord Greenhalgh – said the issue was ultimately up to individual landlords, most of the peers contributing spoke of their wish to see the Model Tenancy Agreement more widely used.
The latest version of this agreement calls for pets to be allowed.

Now Propertymark has had its say, with policy and campaigns manager Timothy Douglas commenting: “We recognise that renting with pets can make properties more desirable, encourage tenants to rent for longer and tackle issues such as loneliness, but policymakers must recognise the effect of the government’s decision to cap Tenancy Deposits under the Tenant Fees Act.

“Even the best-behaved pets can have an impact on a property, therefore landlords and letting agents need to be able to safeguard against damage.

“A number of ideas including raising the deposit, pet referencing, and insurance were raised by Parliamentarians and if the government are serious about encouraging more private landlords to allow responsible tenants to keep pets in their rented properties, then they must have a greater understanding of the costs involved and implement rules that support the sector to take on greater risk.”

In the debate this week, Lord Berkley asked if the government was aware of clauses that can be added to the tenancy for cleaning and Lord Goddard asked if the government would encourage wider use of pet CVs to allow more responsible pet owners to keep their pets in rented accommodation.

Lord Flight – who in the past has spoken up for landlords in debates about the private rental sector – said it might be worthwhile requiring insurance policies to be taken out by tenants. It might also be an idea to have a system of interviewing tenants and choosing tenants who seem to be responsible with regard to pets.

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