Landlords have reacted with caution over potential plans to allow all tenants to have a pet, according to industry bodies.
The Labour Party is set to introduce a new draft policy document that would allow people renting to be able to have a pet by default, as long as it does not cause a nuisance.
At present, many landlords do not allow tenants to keep animals because of concerns about damage to property and the potential cost of repairs. In some cases, tenants can appeal to landlords about keeping a pet, often offering to pay a larger deposit to cover any additional expenses.
“Recognising that currently for the majority of people under 30, buying a home is sadly less and less of an affordable option, Labour would seek to improve the rights of renters to own pets that do not cause a nuisance,” explained MP Sue Hayman.
However, the National Landlords Association (NLA) believes landlords should be given the right to prevent tenants from keeping pets if they so wish, as well as the ability to draw up their own tenancy agreements if they do want to allow renters to keep animals.
Richard Lambert of the NLA explained: “For example, common properties such as high-rise flats or those without gardens, may simply not be suitable for keeping some animals nor beneficial to their welfare.
“However, tenants who keep pets do tend to stay for longer periods of time, and there are a few simple steps that landlords can take in order to mitigate the perceived increased risks, such as by inserting specific clauses and policies into their tenancy agreements.”
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has also expressed concern that landlords could find by allowing tenants to keep pets their insurance policies may be invalidated or they could struggle to balance the needs of all their tenants, especially in shared accommodation.