A number of animal welfare and animal rights charities, including the RSPCA and Battersea, have endorsed Andrew Rosindell M.P.'s campaign, "A Pet In Every Home", which would limit the ability of landlords to place "no pets" clauses on rented accommodation, through legislation dubbed "Jasmine's Law". You can watch Andrew's speech to parliament outlining the proposed changes by clicking on this link.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said:
“The RSPCA is happy to support this Bill, which would be a big step forward for dog owning renters. With more people living in rented accommodation – whether private or social housing – the issue of the lack of dog friendly rental options is becoming an increasing problem for dog owners and animal welfare charities alike. We regularly hear from caring and responsible dog owners who are put in the heart breaking position of having to choose between their much loved pet and a home. It's not fair that anyone is put in this situation, especially at a time when many people are facing money worries not to mention so many other types of stress because of the pandemic.
The RSPCA believes that responsible dog ownership can bring huge benefits to animal and owner alike and we encourage all landlords to consider how they can work with their tenants to be dog friendly. Dog ownership can enhance the owner’s mental and physical health and encourage exercise, plus dogs make great companions - all of which has only increased in importance over the past few difficult months of restrictions, lockdowns and worry. We know how much solace people's dogs and other pets have brought them in the era of Covid-19.
As many existing dog friendly landlords will testify, dog owners can be some of the best tenants. And with landlords' support in encouraging responsible dog ownership measures through their tenancy agreements we could see real progress in dog welfare too.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Peter Laurie said:
“Battersea welcomes Andrew Rosindell M.P. shining a spotlight on the issues faced by pet owners in rented accommodation – something we’ve highlighted with our own Pet Friendly Properties campaign.
We know the heartbreak owners feel when they’re forced to give up their pets, as housing problems are the second biggest reason behind people bringing their pets to Battersea. One in five households in London now rent from social housing providers yet many animal lovers in these properties are deprived from owning a dog or cat, despite the key role animals play in helping to tackle loneliness and isolation.
It is vital that we continue this important conversation on how people can be better supported in their accommodation to benefit from the many positive health and social benefits of owning a pet.”
Clare Kivlehan, Head of Outreach Projects at Dogs Trust said:
"We would like to thank Andrew Rosindell MP for raising this important issue in Parliament. Sadly, one of the main reasons for dogs being handed over to us is that their owners have had problems finding accommodation that will accept pets.
For more than 10 years we've been working with landlords, letting agencies and the property industry through our Lets With Pets Scheme to provide guidance and advice. We welcome steps to address ‘no pet’ clauses that too often force owners to part with their beloved pet".
Gabby Kuehn, Founder of PAAW House said:
"I hope that no pet polices can be reviewed whilst balancing the interests of others as has been done successfully in other countries including France, Canada and Australia. We are delighted Andrew Rosindell MP is highlighting this important issue.
Having experienced the heartache of negative pet polices we will continue to campaign on behalf of all who are affected by this"
Michelle Southern BCAv Founder and Director of Street Paws said:
"Street Paws Charity fully supports the Jasmines Law legislation introduced to Parliament by Andrew Rosindell MP. Our work with homeless people and their pets and the daily calls for kennel support from Local Authorities highlights desperate need for change. Jasmines Law has never been more needed. No one should have to choose between their pet and accommodation."
Cats Protection's Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said:
"Cats Protection regularly takes in much-loved pets for rehoming simply because their owner cannot find a rented property which will allow them. This can be heart-breaking experience for everyone involved, and cannot be right in a modern society when more and more people are renting. It is particularly upsetting when an older person has to give up a cat who may be one of their few sources of companionship, or when a child is denied the chance to grow up with a pet.
Cats Protection is campaigning for more cat-friendly policies in the private rented sector. Our research shows that 75% of cat-friendly private landlords report no problems at all from cats in their properties. In fact, tenants that own cats are more likely to feel settled, value the property as a home and stay for longer. If a landlord is still feeling nervous about allowing cats, they can ask potential tenants to provide a pet CV, or reference from a previous landlord.
Sadly, few private landlords currently allow tenants to keep cats, with just 13% explicitly allowing cats, and only a further 29% with a tenancy allowing pets but not specifying the pet type. Cats Protection is working hard to encourage more landlords to allow cats, and landlords will be able to find a wealth of information and tips on our website."
Michelle Clark, Founder of Dogs On the Streets said:
"At Dogs on the Streets we whole-heartedly endorse Andrew’s proposed bill. We have worked for years on this issue, offering 24/7 support for dogs and their homeless owners. Working tirelessly, our aim is to find permanent accommodation for rough sleepers and we regularly represent clients and their dogs with services and borough councils.
Andrew’s bill, “Jasmine’s Law” is a bold but sensible plan to find a solution."
Jen Berezai, Co-Founder of AdvoCATSeastmids said:
“AdvoCATS is pleased and proud to support Jasmine’s Law, and to have contributed to the research behind it.
Too many pets who had perfectly good, loving homes are taking up precious space in shelters, or worse, being put to sleep as these same shelters are already bursting at the seams.
The first reading of this landmark bill is hopefully an important step towards the beginning of real change for those animal lovers whose only 'crime' is not being able to afford to buy their home.”
Dee Bonett, Campaigner said:
"I am writing this statement from my Heart, in full support of A Pet In Every Home.
I would like this opportunity to state am truly overwhelmed by Andrew having represented my Hun, John Chadwick within his speech at the House Of Commons. Jasmines Law will not only benefit those who rely on Companion Animals as their support lifelines, but also families or anyone who may feel Pets will further enhance their lives.
There have already been changes implemented to Pet Policies here where I live by Maidstone Borough Council, both for Emergency and Permanent Housing, as a direct result of the tragic death of my Hun John Chadwick. John took his own life 10 days after being separated from his Pets, his lifeline, when he became unintentionally homeless. Maidstone Borough Council and The Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, have been working alongside my own Campaign, to ensure a tragedy such as John's, does not happen again.
I would now like to see this progressive change implemented further on a National Level, through Jasmines Law. Pets bring Therapeutic Benefits for those deemed as Vulnerable, Alone or Homeless and would most certainly benefit families and children.
We are "known" as a Nation Of Animal Lovers, and a Pet In Every Home should therefore be inclusive for all...."
Read more about the tragic death of John Chadwick here
The Directors of Focus on Animal Law (FOAL) said:
"As more people look for housing in the rental sector, it seems inhumane for responsible pet owners to be faced with a devastating choice of roof or pet, resulting in either the surrender of the pet or a life of homelessness. We are delighted to add our support to Andrew’s Bill to ensure that responsible pet owners are not discriminated against unjustly."
Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, said:
“Jasmine’s Law legislation, raises an important issue pet owners, nearly half the UK population, face when looking for somewhere to rent. Thank you, Andrew Rosindell MP.
Not only do ‘no pets’ clauses need to be addressed, but so does the 2019 Tenants Fees Acts which has put off made many landlords from accepting pets due to deposit caps. Landlords need to be educated on the merits of accepting tenants with pets. No person should be forced to part with their pet.”