Cuddly Corbyn wants to give tenants the right to keep pets

Cuddly Corbyn wants to give tenants the right to keep pets

10:36 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago 73

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In an effort to win over animal loving votes the Labour party wants to give tenants a default right to keep pets in their rented home.

Landlords can only refuse permission under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act if it is reasonable to do so, for reasons such as the animal’s size, possible damage and impact on future rental demand.

However, Labour want landlords to have to prove the pet will be a nuisance before keeping it can be refused. Therefore, this would stop landlords being able to advertise properties with a no pet policy.

The plans also include giving low income earners help with vets bills!

Labour shadow environment secretary, Sue Hayman, said: “People shouldn’t be denied the joy of keeping a pet just because they can’t afford a home of their own. For the majority of people under 30 buying a home is sadly less and less an affordable option.

“I believe the five million households who are forced to rent really shouldn’t be denied the joy of keeping a pet. Pets are not only good company, but they can also help reduce stress in their owners.

“So we want to consult with landlords to see if we can give tenants the default right to keep a pet in their home, so long as they’re not a nuisance. It’s important we don’t just design policies for those fortunate enough to own a home and we reflect the needs of the many, not the few.”

The NLA’s, Richard Lambert, said: “Around half of landlords say they are reluctant to allow renters to keep pets due to a perceived added risk of damage to the property, and the increased costs of repair at the end of a tenancy.

“You can’t take a blanket approach to keeping or refusing pets. The NLA has consistently supported schemes that encourage landlords to take on pet owners, such as the Dog’s Trust’s ‘Lets With Pets’, but landlords should have a right to refuse permission so long as they justify their decision.

“For example, common properties in the PRS, such as high rise flats or those without gardens, may simply not be suitable for keeping some animals nor beneficial to their welfare.”

In addition to the last comment by Richard some leasehold property covenants preclude keeping pets in the building.

A Property118 reader commented on the news that “I automatically turn down anyone who wants just a room and has a cat. Many people have allergies. It must be a non-starter in HMOs.”

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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:16 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

I can see the text now ...

Tenant: Can I keep a pony in my flat?

Landlord: No!

Tenant: Why Not? Corbyn's law says I can have pets.

Landlord: your contract says you cant, the answer is No!

No-Win-No-Fee Company Letter:

Dear Mr Landlord, we are instructed by Tenant to file a claim against you for .........

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:17 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

PS - did you know that the law already allows tenants to keep chickens and rabbits?

Luke P

10:22 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

If we had a blanket 'pets-allowed' policy, I’d guess that 90% of our tenants would have a dog.

It’s basically the tenant code around here…get pregnant before you’re 18, get a bunch of tattoos once the novelty of a child has worn off, add more mouths to feed on your limited benefits by getting a dog. Dog has puppies ("I have no idea how it happened"), make a small fortune selling them unchipped/neutered/wormed/de-fleaed/vaccinated on FB to your other benefit tenant mates, convince yourself you’ve found 'a career’ and this could be a real earner for you, realise how cute the puppies are and decide to keep ‘just one’, and repeat (except now you have two dogs).

Steve Masters

10:55 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

Labour shadow environment secretary, Sue Hayman, said: “People shouldn’t be denied the joy of keeping a pet just because they can’t afford a home of their own."
Someone else should pay for it, who? The landlord and the taxpayer.

I shouldn’t be denied the joy of keeping a Ferrari just because I can’t afford to run my own. Ferraris are not only good fun, but they can also help reduce stress in their owners.

Someone else should pay for it.

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:56 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

BTW 5 million households are not 'forced' to rent. Millions of people choose to rent at various stages of their lives because they don't want to buy. Usual uninformed policy suggestion with ill-conceived justifications. I wish people who don't understand the PRS would just butt out.

David Lawrenson

11:11 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

Oh dear, the Momentum party, sorry Labour party sets out to further alienate leftish leaning folks like me with more daft policies, more typical of the days of Militant.

My lovely former tenants at a house we let in Deal in Kent had a neighbour (who was actually a home owner) who had two dogs and decided to go off to work each day leaving the dogs to bark on and off through the day.
It took 18 months for us to get the evidence collected by the Dover Environmental Health to eventually takes them to court. (They had tried to fob the job of legal action onto my tenant until I kicked up a fuss).
Eventually the lady was taken to court and had to pay a fine of about £1,000.
A few weeks later the dogs kicked off again - and we had to start all over again from base one.
My lovely tenants left. They had had enough.

The fact is that given the choice most buy to let landlords would just say No to any pet larger than a goldfish.
Sure, you can put safeguards in place to protect your property investment, but it still would not persuade me to allow pets.

And as you rightly say, if you are letting a flat or any property governed by local housing or estate regulations, remember to check the terms of the head lease to see if there is a prohibition on pets. About 30% will have such a prohibition.

So, under the current laws, if you must allow are some guidelines.....
First, it’s best to only let unfurnished property to pet owners.
Second, set out within the terms of the tenancy agreement exactly which types of pets are acceptable and which aren’t.
Third, be quite specific and state the breed as well as the age and even the name of the pet. Specify how many pets will be allowed.
Fourth, ask for references for the pet from a previous landlord to confirm that the pet is a suitable “tenant” for your property.
Fifth, ask for a higher deposit to protect against any damage. Ask for 6 weeks, if it’s furnished property.
Sixth, consider asking for a non returnable flea deposit which will be used at the end of the tenancy to get rid of any possible infestations.
Seventh, request in the tenancy agreement, that the pet is not in the house at times when workmen are on site to do maintenance or when prospective tenants come to view at the end of the tenancy. Particularly relevant for cats as many folks are allergic to their hair. (However, there is always a risk that this latter stipulation could fall foul of being an unfair term if tested in court.)

All that will happen if Corbyn has his way is that rents will go up to cover the likely added costs.

And what is a pet?
Would a horse be classed as a pet?
Listen to one of the early Carl Pilkington musings with Ricky Gervais about the lad on his estate whose family kept a horse in their house. I will try to find it. Hilarious.

David Lawrenson
Private Rented Sector Consultancy

Luke P

11:12 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Steve Masters at 14/02/2018 - 10:55
I ran the exact same scenario in my head...also with a Ferrari! 😛

David Lawrenson

11:16 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

Here is the clip of Carl Pilkington talking about the family "they were a bit rough", who kept a horse in the house. Genius.
Starts at a minute in....."....The horse was in the house, just walking around...."

David Lawrenson
Private Rented Sector Consultancy.

Luke P

11:26 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 14/02/2018 - 11:16
LBC were discussing this topic this morning and had an email from a listener that mentioned horses using (and breaking) lifts in the flats of Ballymun. I couldn't decide if they were being serious, but then I saw this clip. Whilst it's from the film The Commitments, I think it was all normal behaviour there...

David Lawrenson

11:41 AM, 14th February 2018, About 6 years ago

A friend once told me of these sorts of horse issues have been known to occur with ahem some of the local community in the Thamesmead area of London. Locals will know what I am talking about here. I'm not sure if it was true though.

The great thing about Momentum is that most of their followers don't live on the rough estates, but they do like to think they know what is good for the masses that do. See Haringey recently where a battle "was won" by them recently.

Always makes me think of the great proud workers in all the Soviet propaganda forever looking to the distant sunset to a better promised land... "You have it hard now Sasha but your reward will be great in the future!" Yeah, gee, thanks!

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