UK’s private landlords threaten to increase rents if they can’t ban pet owners

UK's private landlords threaten to increase rents if they can't ban pet owners
UK’s private landlords threaten to increase rents if they can’t ban pet owners. Image: MikeB
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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.

4 thoughts on “UK’s private landlords threaten to increase rents if they can’t ban pet owners”

  1. Landlords and Landladies already make a lot of money out of Renters. Our money may as well go down the drain, as our Rent isn’t accepted as any sort of Downpayment or Mortgage Payment. The majority of cats will do little or no damage to a property. There are already “return to state of first occupation” clauses which already allow “reasonable wear and tear”. Often, Tenancy Agreements also include a Professional Valetting Clause, so the Tenant must get the property professionally cleaned just before or just after Vacating the property. Trying to charge significantly extra EVERY MONTH is outrageous, as a Tenant may well live in a Rental Property for up to TEN YEARS OR SO (and often two to five years.) I urge any UK Renter with Pets to Petition Parliament and also e-mail their Local MP about this proposed change!

  2. I thought you might like to see this and write about it. You can delete this post if you want.
    19 Wildcats Set to Bring Back Scottish Highland Species – They’re Thriving in a Reintroduction Program – Link provided.
    At the bottom of the article are 3 more about the wildcats.

    • Thanks for this Tamara. The problem is that these might not be purebred wildcats. It is possible that the only remaining Scottish wildcats which actually are European wildcats living in Scotland are first filial hybrids having matted with domestic cats or feral cats. They’ve been trying to save the Scottish wildcat for years and largely failed. I’ll see what I can do.


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