Romford MP leads call for 'urgent' law change over renting with pets
- Credit: Andrew Rosindell
MP Andrew Rosindell has called for a change in the law after research revealed the current rules are making it harder for renters to have pets.
The Tenant Fees Act (TFA) - passed in 2019 - doesn't include a pet deposit in its list of permitted payments, and prohibits landlords from requesting pet damage insurance.
This framework is deterring landlords from allowing pets in their homes, according to a report recently published by charity AdvoCATS and its co-founder Jen Berezai.
It found that almost one in five landlords who previously permitted pets no longer do so as a result of TFA.
While many are imposing a total ban, others are upping rent to account for the perceived risk posed by pets.
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This landscape has led a group of over 35 MPs and House of Lord peers to lobby for change.
Led by Romford's Mr Rosindell, the letter urges housing, communities and local government secretary Robert Jenrick to reflect on the report, who in turn said he would be "looking carefully" at its findings.
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The letter reads: "The government has made clear its support for responsible pet owners in rented accommodation through the Model Tenancy Agreement published in January.
"However, due to the unintended consequences of an otherwise praiseworthy piece of legislation, there are significant and unnecessary obstacles to bringing a pet into rented accommodation."
The letter also asks the government to support Jen's recommendations, the first of which would see pet deposits be added to the list of permitted payments via secondary legislation.
A second asks that the issue of pet damage insurance be investigated to establish whether primary or secondary legislation would be required to effect change.
Separately, the report revealed that 53 per cent of pet owners would take out such insurance if required.
The letter continues Mr Rosindell's work in this area, where he has previously pushed for change through Jasmine's Law.
He said: "Jen Berezai’s recommendations on changing TFA are clear, simple and easily achievable.
"They have the support of pet charities, landlords and the public. The government should urgently be looking at making this change.”
Mr Jenrick told the Recorder: "I understand that there are some barriers in legislation today, which make it less attractive for landlords to accept pets.
"I'll be looking carefully at whether there's an opportunity to legislate and change that because I think everybody should have the opportunity to have a well-behaved pet in their home."