The charity that runs the Lets with Pets scheme, which informs pet owners, landlords and letting agencies about privately renting with pets, has welcomed Labour proposals to make it a default for tenants to keep animals at home but has warned it needs to be done “in the right way”.
The Labour Party published the plans last week, as part of a 50-point draft policy document called ‘Animal Welfare for The Many, Not the Few’. Labour says it would consult landlords on giving tenants the right to keep pets as a default unless there is evidence the animal is causing a nuisance.
The proposal comes at a difficult time for letting agents and landlords, who are already digesting the Draft Tenant Fees Bill.
The Residential Landlords Association said Labour’s proposals raised “a number of questions” which it would work with the party to address. Policy director David Smith asked: “Will landlords be able to charge higher deposits to reflect the increased risks of damage to a property where pets are allowed?
“Will insurance premiums increase for landlords to reflect the greater risk of allowing pets to be kept as a default position?
“What happens in shared homes and blocks of flats where one or more of the tenants do not want, or are allergic to, a pet?
“Labour will need to respond positively to all these points if landlords are to have confidence in this suggested policy.”