Lets with Pets: Labour plan for tenants to have right to keep animals ‘needs to be done in the right way’

The charity that runs the Lets with Pets scheme, which informs pet owners, landlords and letting agencies about privately renting with pets, has welcomed Labour proposals to make it a default for tenants to keep animals at home but has warned it needs to be done “in the right way”.

The Labour party published the plans last week, as part of a 50-point draft policy document called ‘Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few’.

Labour says it would consult landlords on giving tenants the right to keep pets as a default unless there is evidence the animal is causing a nuisance.

Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “Labour is the party of animal welfare.

“With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place so that the UK becomes a world leader on animal rights.”

Responding to the idea, Clare Kivlehan of the charity Dogs Trust, which is behind the Lets with Pets website, said: “It is great that from a Lets with Pets point of view that people are talking about this, but it needs to be done in the right way.

“If we are talking specifically about private landlords then we know the issues around what private landlords think about pets and that they will need assurances, quite rightly — they are commercial concerns.”

She said she understood that the proposal came at a difficult time for letting agents and landlords, who are already digesting the Draft Tenant Fees Bill.

She added: “It’s a difficult one because we know that private landlords are absorbing social housing and providing accommodation for what social housing providers should be providing.

“It’s a balance on both sides and it’s a very difficult debate but obviously from an animal welfare point of view, we are concerned about the numbers of people who can’t find private rented accommodation. It is only going to get worse as the generation now can’t afford to buy properties and will be renting for life.”

Meanwhile, the Residential Landlords Association said Labour’s proposals raised “a number of questions” which it would work with the party to address.

Policy director David Smith asked: “Will landlords be able to charge higher deposits to reflect the increased risks of damage to a property where pets are allowed?

“Will insurance premiums increase for landlords to reflect the greater risk of allowing pets to be kept as a default position?

“What happens in shared homes and blocks of flats where one or more of the tenants do not want, or are allergic to, a pet?

“Labour will need to respond positively to all these points if landlords are to have confidence in this suggested policy.”


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  1. jeremy1960

    Labour don’t know how it will work, as with most of their policies and promises, there to grab votes and nothing else.

    1. Woodentop

      Dressed up looney left!

  2. CountryLass

    A Landlord shouldn’t have to accept pets, the same as they shouldn’t have to accept smokers or housing benefit.

    If I don’t want a pet in my home, I say no. If someone wants to smoke in my house, I point out the door and try to make sure they don’t sit one anything difficult to deodorise.

    If a Tenant wants a pet, they need to be aware that not everyone will allow animals in a house. There are people who are allergic to animals and many Landlords don’t want the hassle of getting everything properly cleaned and possibly replace carpets if there have been accidents. Any Tenants I deal with where the Landlord has said yes to a pet has to pay a higher deposit and it is in the contract that all carpets have to be cleaned at the end of the Tenancy. I suggest that they it during the Tenancy as well, but obviously I can’t really enforce that it is done every three months or so!

    Having a pet is not a right. I would like a kitten, but because I have a toddler, no shelter will allow me to adopt one until said child is at least 4 years old. Do I kick up a fuss and demand that I should be allowed one? No. The shelters obviously have reasons for not allowing young families to have pets, most likely to do with the safety of the pet and child. So, I’ll wait. And hope a friend’s cat has kittens…

  3. GeorgeOrwell

    Really? Forced to take a pet in your rental property? What next, the government dictates how we have to walk in the street, left, left, left right, left.

    Read my book, it’s all in there. Truly the country is going to the dogs!

  4. NWood95

    I’ve been letting houses out for 23 years.

    In the early days pets accepted. After finding excrement in gardens, fleas biting my legs, carpets ruined,  woodwork chewed, urine stained underlay, complaining neighbours about barking dogs, pets left behind and very little recompense I decided on a no pets policy.

    Been there, done that, never again.

    And BTW, Deposit Protection makes it even harder to get compensation assuming there is any deposit left to claim against after rent arrears, court costs ………..


    Renting is is a risk. No pets lowers that risk. It’s a business, not a charity.


  5. Will

    Perhaps it is time we have powers to tell Corbyn what he should do, how he should do it and when he should do it; whatever it might be!!!!.  That way he might understand why he is regarded as the landlords enemy.


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