Home Renting Is Pet Ownership A Human Right?

Is Pet Ownership A Human Right?


Landlords are slowly coming to realise that allowing their tenants to keep pets in their homes is much better for business than refusing to allow animals, the latter being a stance that the vast majority of landlords have stood by for generations. 

Only 7% of landlords currently advertise their rental properties as pet-friendly, but in a new survey from Direct Line Business, 30% of landlords said they have no objections to new government proposals for a more pet-friendly rental industry

Put simply, the new proposals state that, instead of issuing a blanket ban on pets in their properties, landlords now use a new contract template which states they have to object in writing within four weeks of a pet request from a tenant. They must also provide a good reason if the answer is ‘no’. 

While landlords are under no obligation to use the government-recommended contract template, the fact that a significant 30% say they have no objection to it suggests that many are finally relaxing when it comes to furry friends. 

The news is being welcomed by tenants, around 35% of whom are currently pet owners, who also say relaxed ownership rules will ensure fewer animals have to be given up, which often means going to a rescue centre.

The problem with pets

Pets have long been a problem for tenants, with very few landlords allowing any sort of free-roaming animals in their properties. Landlords’ main concerns are noise for other surrounding tenants, and property damage. 

The latter is minimised when properties are let unfurnished, leaving just the floors and walls to potentially suffer damage. However, renters can promise that they will pay for a deep clean at the end of their tenancy, as well as promising to touch up any scratch marks, etc, that their pet might leave behind. 

Because of this, landlords have found it easier to simply say no to all pets, but renter demands are changing and the pressure is now on landlords to rethink their stance. While pet ownership is not yet considered a human right, many people believe their pets are so important to their happiness that they simply won’t rent from a landlord who bans animals. More and more landlords are starting to feel this hit as tenants avoid them for more friendly alternatives.

So, because their wallets are starting to suffer due to evolving renter demand, in the future, pets in rental homes will probably be the norm.

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