The UK’s private landlords have threatened to increase their rents or even quit the renting business if they are not allowed to ban tenants from owning cats and dogs (and other pets).
This is a story about the UK’s Renters’ Reform Bill. It’s currently going through Parliament and will receive its second reading in the House of Commons this week.
If it becomes law, which appears to be likely, it would force landlords to have a “good reason” not to allow tenants to keep a pet. There will, therefore, be a ban on landlords and letting agencies refusing to rent out to cat and dog owners.
As I recall, Britain is one of the worst places in this respect. Around 10-20 percent of landlords allow tenants to have pets which is far lower than many other countries (but see below).
In a survey, it was found that 54% of landlords are concerned about an increased risk of property damage by pets. Also, 63% said they would raise rent as a result.
Comment: I don’t see a problem with a landlord raising rents slightly to offset the possibility of damage tused by a cat or dog in their rental property. I think a pet owner would agree it.
This new law would lead to many more properties being available for cat and dog owners to rent. They should expect to pay a little bit extra on rental to cover this potential problem. Or better still, the landlord should simply ask for a bit extra in their deposit which should be returned if there is no damage. The problem though is that rental prices are already too high in many instances. There is a housing problem in the UK.
In many areas in the UK already, rental prices have risen quite extensively because many people can’t afford to buy their own home. Property prices in Britain have become unaffordable for many citizens.
The insurer, Simply Business, commissioned the survey and they say that the bill is an unpopular law with landlords. Only 28% of landlords polled allow their tenants to keep pets.
Many cat and dog owners are forced to give up their pets when they need to rent a home which is highly distressing. The charity, Dogs Trust say that they have received a record number of enquiries from potential tenants looking for a home to rent.
Source: The Times newspaper of October 23rd, 2023.
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