UK Law Update – Living With a Cat or Dog at Home – Things to Consider as a Tenant?

One of the major problems that tenants have had in the rental sector over the years is that the vast majority of landlords do not allow cats and dogs. This could all be about to change, though, as The Mirror has reported that Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell has launched a bill in Parliament that would ban landlords from rejecting tenants that want to live with pets.

Rosindell commented on the current situation:

Sadly, pet owners moving into rented accommodation face the reality that their family could be torn apart because most landlords have unnecessary bans on pet ownership.

Benefits of Pet Ownership

The bill is due for a second reading as soon as January and if it reaches Royal Assent later in the year it could completely transform the rental sector and the lives of many. Many people in the UK want to own pets but have been unable to due to their tenancy agreement but this could all change in the near future. It is proven that pets can improve mental and even physical health, so this is fantastic news for many and could lead to a much happier and healthier generation of renters.

A Large Responsibility

While being able to live with a pet could certainly enrich the lives of many, it is also important to note that pet ownership is a huge responsibility and not a decision that should be taken lightly (especially when it comes to dogs). People need to decide whether they are in the right place in their life for a pet and if they will be able to give it the care and attention that it needs. In a time with so many people now working from home, it is likely that people will be more inclined to buy a pet but it is not just time that you need to be able to provide.

Having a Suitable Space

People must also consider whether or not they have a suitable home for their pet. If you have a small flat with no garden, for example, then a dog might not be the best idea even if it could soon be legal for renters. People will need to make sure that they have a suitable space to look after their pet of choice but it is also important to factor in the property itself.

Protection

While this new bill might make it legal for tenants to own a cat or dog, you certainly do not want to get a pet only for it to cause damage which could harm your relationship with the landlord as well as lead to deductions from your deposit – if the bill passes, it could certainly muddy the waters when it comes to tenancy contracts which is why it will be so important to have adequate tenant insurance in place and to know your rights.

The bill now has cross-party support and this could be a huge plus for renters in the near future. While there are many benefits to pet ownership, it is still important that renters make sure that it is the right decision for them and make sure that the property is protected and suitable.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.