NOAH is delighted to welcome and endorse the new Heads for Tails! report published today by Co-Founder of AdvoCATS, Jen Berazi. The report, endorsed by more than 30 charities, landlord groups, housing associations and more, outlines key policy recommendations that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) could take forward to make it easier for tenants to rent with pets in the UK.
Renting with pets can be a significant challenge in the UK, with only around 7% of properties advertised online as pet-friendly according to MHCLG data. NOAH launched its own campaign ‘Securing the Right to Rent with Pets’ earlier this year; the campaign has focused on promoting the extensive benefits of pet ownership for human mental and physical health, whilst demonstrating the significant impact that long-term pet ownership has for pets and their health and welfare.
The main policy recommendation within the Heads for Tails! report is to amend the Tenant Fees Act (2019) to include pet deposits and/or pet insurance in the list of permitted payments. Since its introduction in 2019, landlords and property owners have been unable to require these payments, and therefore have lost a form of security if they were to allow pets in their properties. As a result of the Tenant Fees Act, one in five landlords who previously allowed pets, no longer do.
Research by AdvoCATS in the report demonstrates that 75% of landlords support the provision of pet insurance to protect property, while more than half of pet owners would be willing to take out pet insurance if required to by a landlord. 40% of pet owners noted their preference for a pet deposit scheme over pet insurance – highlighting the importance of having both options.
Fundamentally, landlords and their properties must be protected against pet damage in order to allow pets. NOAH agrees that making these amendments to this legislation could achieve this and help landlords to feel more confident in allowing pets in their properties – opening up the rental market to responsible pet owners.
Dawn Howard, NOAH’s CEO commented:
“NOAH believes that improving the ability to share our lives with companion animals benefits both people and animals – not only are the health and wellbeing benefits of keeping pets significant for us, but widening access to pet ownership also means fewer animals are left without homes, and are able to live happy, healthy lives with their human companions.
“Renting in the UK with a pet is extremely challenging, with a small number of properties on the rental market advertised as pet friendly. We launched our campaign, ‘Securing the Right to Rent with Pets’ earlier this year and are delighted to support the ‘Heads for Tails’ report recommendations, to make this a reality.
“The MHCLG are aware of the problem: indeed, they have updated the Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA) for England, removing the ability for landlords to issue a blanket ban on pets – instead, consent for pets is the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason for refusal. It’s a very positive step which we welcome, but there’s the potential to do a lot more.
“At NOAH, we are proud to endorse this policy recommendation, and look forward to continuing to support AdvoCATS as they promote this policy to the MHCLG,” she said.