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Tenants will soon have the legal right to keep pets in their rented homes.
The government's Renters Reform Bill, which is set to be published today, (16 June), means landlords will have to consider requests to allow pets.
Many landlords have banned pets from their properties because they tend to cause higher maintenance costs. In 2021, only 7 percent of private landlords advertised pet friendly properties, the government reported.
Banning pets from properties means pet owners often struggle to find suitable homes and in some cases, this has meant people have had to give up their pets all together.
The coronavirus pandemic led to a boom in cat and dog ownership, which has resulted to an increase in demand from tenants with pets.
In the past, landlords could turn away home seekers if they had pets because of the huge demand for rented homes.
Research by the Kennel Club found registrations of new puppies jumped by 26 percent in 2020, but there were fears as some new owners wondered whether pets will be able to fit into their lifestyle post-pandemic.
The Telegraph reports housing secretary Michael Gove will give landlords the powers to request tenants have pet insurance to cover any damage caused by their pet during their tenancy.
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) claim that the insurance would help protect landlords, who are limited in how much deposit they can hold.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 capped the maximum deposit at five weeks' rent.
Chris Norris, of the NRLA, said: “Our biggest concern has always been that the law, as it currently stands, prevents landlords requiring insurance to cover the significant risk of pets creating damage to a property.
“We welcome reports that the Government has listened and responded positively to our concerns.”
MP Andrew Rosindell, sponsor of the Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection Bill, said: “For most people, being separated from their dog is no different from being separated from their brother or sister”
“Sadly, pet owners who move into rented accommodation face the reality that their family could be torn apart, because most landlords in Britain have unnecessary bans or restrictions on pets ownership.”
The so-called 'no fault' Section 21 evictions are also set to be abolished under the renters reforms, which allow landlords to remove tenants without reason. Landlords will no longer be able to ban those on benefits or families with children from renting their properties.
Landlords will also be forced to improve the quality of homes in poor conditions and treat damp and substandard conditions that put the tenant’s health at risk.
The government has also given tenants more powers to challenge unjustified rent increases and obtain rent refunds for poor quality homes. The bill will also double the notice period ofr rent increases, give councils more powers to tackle unfit landlords and end ‘arbitrar rent-review clauses to ensure tenants can leave unfit properties without being liable for rent.
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