Back in 2020 I became conscious of the enormous problems that renters were facing with regards to pet ownership. Blanket “no pets” clauses imposed by approximately 55% of landlords, mean that people with pets looking to move into rented accommodation are being forced to give up their beloved animals. For people without pets in rented accommodation, pet ownership is little more than a dream.
I took up this issue after hearing the story of Jasmine the dog, whose owner Jordan is unable to even have her for a day or two when his mother goes away. Jasmine has to spend time in a kennel, despite being a calm, placid, well behaved dog. My Ten Minute Rule Bill would make pet-ownership a right, under certain conditions.
However, I am also acutely aware of the need to explore other policy options for easing the pain of renters. That’s why I am delighted to support this important work by Jen Berezai of AdvoCATS, a key supporter of my campaign over the past months. T
The Tenant Fees Act of 2019 had positive aims, but it has clearly been harmful to the cause of greater pet ownership for renters, an issue which has come to a head given the loneliness and self-isolation many have suffered during this pandemic, something which a dog or a cat could really ameliorate.
Amending it to allow for landlords to require insurance as part of the permitted payments might only be a start, but it would be a positive start, and I hope the government explores this as an option.