Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border has joined with a cross-party group of over 35 MPs and Peers in association with leading pet charities and landlord associations in penning an open letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, urging him to amend the Tenant Fees Act after new research demonstrated the negative impact the Act has had on pets in rented accommodation.
New data in the report, “Heads for Tails” by pet charity AdvoCATs, find that almost one in five landlords who previously allowed pets in rented accommodation have stopped doing so since the passage of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019. This is because, as the report explains, “the Act effectively prohibits landlords from asking for pet insurance and it fails to include a separate pet deposit as part of its list of permitted payments.” As a result, many landlords have imposed a blanket ban on pets or increased rent for pet owners.
The report finds that public opinion and industry opinion among landlords would favour the introduction of pet deposits and pet insurance. Over half of pet-owners would be willing to take out pet insurance if required by a landlord and three-quarters of landlords support pet insurance according to the research.
From conversations with insurance companies, the report also concludes that the Tenant Fees Act has created a significant barrier to the formation of a market for pet insurance.
Parliamentarians have written to Mr Jenrick urging him to “read the attached report and its recommendations closely.” Included in its list of signatories are Andrew Rosindell, Chris Bryant, Sir Greg Knight, Ed Davey, Caroline Lucas, Sir David Amess and the only vet in the Commons, Dr Neil Hudson.
The letter was sent by Andrew Rosindell, the M.P. for Romford who in October 2020 proposed Jasmine’s Law, a Bill which would have established the right to bring pets into rented accommodation.
Andrew Rosindell MP said:
“Since I first proposed Jasmine’s Law to Parliament it has only become more clear to me that we need to urgently find a solution to the problem of how to bring pets into rented accommodation.
Jen Berezai’s recommendations on changing the Tenant Fees Act are clear, simple and easily achievable. They have the support of pet charities, landlords and the public. The Government should urgently be looking at making this change.”
Dr Neil Hudson, Veterinary Surgeon and MP for Penrith and The Border said:
“As a vet, I know just how important the bond is between people and their animals. These sensible recommendations will allow responsible pet owners to have that mutual companionship with their pets in their accommodation. The pandemic has brought into sharp relief the physical and mental health benefits of responsibly owning a pet.”
Jen Berezai, Co-founder of AdvoCATs and author of the report said:
“Data just published by property giant Rightmove shows that demand for pet friendly properties has increased by 120% since last summer, yet the Government’s own statistics state that just 7% of landlords market their properties as pet friendly.
The equation simply doesn’t work and change is desperately needed.”