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Moves to end “discriminatory” pet bans for tenants

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As a bill is launched to make it easier for tenants to keep pets in rental homes, an online petition on the issue has gained more than 2,000 signatures.

End pet ban for tenants

The Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation and Protection Bill has had its first reading in the House of Commons on 14 October.

The bill, from conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, has cross party support, including from former business secretary Andrea Leadsom and former Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron.

Mr Rosindell has dubbed his bill ‘Jasmine’s Law’ after the case of a Weimaraner owned by a Surrey family – Jasmine can’t be looked after during holidays by the family’s son who lives in a rented apartment with no-pet conditions.

The bill aims to reform the laws on renting, removing pet-ban clauses as long as owners can demonstrate that they care for their pets in a responsible manner.

Earlier this year, housing secretary Robert Jenrick removed, no pet clauses from the government’s model tenancy agreement. But Mr Rosindell does not believe the move went far enough. He said: “Having owned two Staffordshire Bull terriers myself, Spike and Buster, I also know just how close the bonds can be between a dog and the owner and how devastating it can be when you lose them.

“Moving into a new home is a normal part of life, but what if every time you moved, you faced the threat of being separated from someone you loved? Can a house or a flat ever really be a home if you have been forced to abandon a family member just to be able to move in?”

The bill is scheduled to get its second Commons reading in January. If passed, it would require owners to take a test of responsible ownership and obtain a vet’s certificate, confirming that they have a healthy, well-behaved animal.

Hannah Bennett, who launched the online petition on the Petition Parliament website said: “It is completely unfair that a person or family can be refused accommodation based on the fact they have a pet. Most of the time people only have a small dog or cat, and it can be incredibly difficult to find accommodation as it is, let alone with this clause in place.”

Read more on the Landlord Today and Negotiator websites.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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