Cats Protection – Purrfect guidance for landlords and agents

by Property 118

0:01 AM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Cats Protection – Purrfect guidance for landlords and agents

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Cats Protection – Purrfect guidance for landlords and agents

Cats Protection has launched a major new campaign to help more people living in rented housing own a pet cat.

 The UK’s largest cat charity is offering free guidance to landlords and letting agents to help ensure that tenancy agreements reflect modern day living.

Issues over finding cat-friendly housing have been one of the top five reasons recorded by Cats Protection for cats being handed into the charity’s adoption centres over the past 12 months. Cats Protection’s research shows that less than half (42%) of private rented housing allows cats.

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations, said: “More and more people are renting their homes either by choice or necessity, yet very few rented properties accept cats. This means tenants are missing out on being able to own a cat, while landlords may be losing out on attracting responsible and settled tenants.”

The charity has launched a new website full of guidance for landlords and tenants about allowing cats into their properties and addressing any concerns. The website, at www.cats.org.uk/purrfectlandlords includes free, downloadable legal wording for landlords and letting agents to add to their own tenancy agreements, setting out simple conditions on cat ownership to protect and benefit both landlords and tenants.

Jacqui added: “We hear from renters who tell us most adverts state ‘no pets’. Often, the reason for not allowing cats is simply habit, with a third of landlords who don’t accept cats saying they didn’t proactively choose to ban cats, but instead followed a standard template or advice from a letting agent.

“The aim of Cats Protection’s Purrfect Landlords campaign is to transform renting so that responsible cat ownership benefits both landlords and tenants – happy landlords, happy tenants, happy cats.

“Becoming a cat-friendly landlord means advertising properties as ‘pets considered’ which ensures landlords stay in control and can make a decision once they’ve met their potential tenant.

“Our downloadable example cat clauses can then be simply added to existing tenancy agreements and they include tenancy conditions to require cats to be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. This helps to ensure that cats are in the best of health and unlikely to cause any issues.

“We’re also offering advice to help tenants speak to their landlords to ask for permission to own a cat.  Landlords are often willing to be flexible, especially as tenants with pets are likely to stay for longer.”

Private tenants who are able to own cats benefit immensely. Of those that own a cat, 94% report that their cat has a positive effect on their life such as making them happy, providing company and affection, or improving mental health.

Jacqui added: “The reality is that cats very rarely cause problems for landlords. In actual fact, many cat owners tell us that having a cat is what makes their house a home and helps them put down roots and value the home they’re living in.”

Dilys Barnes, of Gorleston, Norfolk, and her partner Steve are backing the campaign after they were forced to give up their own much-loved pet cat Buster.

The couple had to hand Buster over to Cats Protection in June 2018 when their landlord decided to sell their property, leaving them unable to find new rented housing which accepted cats.

Dilys said: “Every single advert we saw said ‘no pets’ and whenever we enquired, the answer was always no. We were devastated, and the whole thing was very traumatic. We loved him dearly, yet had to give him away, very much against our wishes.

“It seems so unfair, as he was our pet and no bother at all. We really miss him. I love cats, but I now find it very hard to stroke one when I see one in the street – it’s almost as if I’m too scared to get attached or enjoy their company as I know I cannot have my own pet cat.”

Broadcaster, writer and Cats Protection supporter Andrew Collins is backing the Purrfect Landlords campaign.

He said: “Cats are more than just much-loved pets, they’re part of the family and the heart of the home. For me, a home without a cat isn’t a home at all! They’ve got an important role to play in the lives of many people – from helping children understand about caring for others to providing a lifeline to pensioners who may otherwise feel isolated and lonely.

“It’s heart-breaking that so many renters are not able to own a cat but this needn’t be the case. Cats Protection’s Purrfect Landlords campaign is a major step forward in modernising how cat ownership is viewed in a rental market many people now rely on. By helping landlords see the benefits of happy, settled tenants, we can help more tenants experience the joy of sharing their lives with a feline friend.”

For more information, please visit www.cats.org.uk/purrfectlandlords



Comments

Mike

12:43 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I am a landlord and own many cats myself, I am natural cat lover, though I do not like big dogs but I do not mind small size dogs, indeed "No Pets" is so widely used policy by almost all landlords, because of typical template landlords and lettings agents use.
Cats pose no real issues to a property and its condition, cats can be trained not to scratch furnishings and sensible tenants can provide scratch posts for cats, and they are good for the vermin, saves many landlords problems to deal with mice infestation.
I would not stop my tenant from keeping up to two cats, and may be one small dog. I agree No pets policy is discriminatory and should be outlawed, it is like dictating a tenant that he can't cook strong smelling foods in your property.
so pets should be allowed as long as their numbers are within the allowed limit by a landlord and tenant makes good any damage caused by his pet and leave the place clean when he goes. it may be likely the next tenant may also be a pet owner.

James Noble

13:22 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Two cats plus one small dog.... It's the thin end of the wedge. Who decides on how small a small dog can be? And if one small dog, why not two? What happens to the furniture while the cats are being trained? (Can you really train a cat?) A 'no pets' policy is not discriminatory; it is simply a way in which a landlord is able to help protect their valuable asset. (And in the case of dogs - help keep the neighbours happy as well.)

Ian Narbeth

14:46 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

If the property is let unfurnished then one or two cats may be acceptable. Even then I would not allow an unneutered tomcat as their spray is horrendous and will cling to walls for months (I know from experience).
If the cats scratch the tenants' furniture, not my problem. The problem comes with furnished properties where the wear and tear will be substantial and the tenant will not want to pay for replacing armchairs, sofas, curtains etc. Compound this with restrictions on the amount of deposit a landlord can ask for and it is rational not to allow animals.

Annie Landlord

18:26 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I agree entirely that, given the PRS is housing more and more tenants who stay very long term, that landlords should not have a blanket 'no pets' policy. We do, however, need to have the option of charging a larger deposit and to ask for proof that dogs and cats have been neutered. In the US landlords and Home Owners Associations have weight restrictions for dogs! Those restrictions tend to stop tenants (and home owners in communities) from having larger dogs such as bull terriers and other larger breeds. All of my tenants have dogs who are well looked after. The AST needs to include a clause for professional cleaning of carpets and possibly de-flea-ing of a property on check out.

sheridan whiteside

18:51 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I allow pets in all my properties.In an ideal world I wouldn't let to smokers, anyone with children especially teenagers,the very overweight( excessive wear and tear) and those who cant resist a bit of DIY.but live and let live ,as long as the property is returned in a decent state.

James Noble

19:07 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I am very suspicious of any organisation that comes up with such statistics which support their very existence. Of course 94% of cat owning tenants will support the keeping of cats! Ask the audience of a rap concert if the music helps them in any way and you will get 100% positive comments. This would not be a good argument for introducing compulsory rap lessons into schools. Similarly with cats (and dogs - you get the same propaganda issued by The Dogs Trust.) Don't ask the tenants - ask the landlords. In my case it is a clear 'no pets' policy. When I go on holiday I specifically search out the 'no pets' hotels and B & Bs. It can actually be an advantage to have such a rule. James

Michael Barnes

22:08 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I went to the website.
I could not find those clauses to go into a tenancy agreement.

Mike

2:43 AM, 14th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Owning 10+ cats and for over 8 years and £1600 leather sofa, all intact, except the carpet, which was put less than 4 years ago, but then the love cats give far outweighs the shredded carpet, I will have tenants with cats no problem as I let only part furnished furnished property, meaning carpets and curtains and white goods. No beds or sofas, or other furniture like wardrobes, table or chairs. Those are down ti tenants to provide. I also run a NO SMOKING POLICY inside except outdoors in garden, can make my insurance invalid, I also smoke, so it is a fair policy.


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