Cuddly Corbyn wants to give tenants the right to keep pets

by Neil Patterson

10:36 AM, 14th February 2018
About 3 years ago

Cuddly Corbyn wants to give tenants the right to keep pets

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Cuddly Corbyn wants to give tenants the right to keep pets

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.”



Comments

Judith Wordsworth

13:55 PM, 18th February 2018
About 3 years ago

Not only is there the problem of fouling in the gardens (if there is a garden) and owners not picking up the mess and disposing of it; the shredding of carpets (and furniture if supplied furnished) by bored pets; uncontrollable barking etc. there is the costs of dealing with flea infestations which are horrendous. In blocks of flats, converted flats and HMO's fleas easily move from one property to another.

John Wagstaffe, Solicitor, Property Litigator

9:20 AM, 19th February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 14/02/2018 - 10:16You may be interested to read the judgment in a case on point that I was recently involved (and was, happily, successful) in - http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2018/132.html
John

Trish

11:15 AM, 19th February 2018
About 2 years ago

I've always considered myself a bit of a leftie, but Jeremy Corbyn seems to be doing his best to persuade me to vote for another party.

Freda Blogs

14:26 PM, 19th February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by John Wagstaffe, Solicitor, Property Litigator at 19/02/2018 - 09:20A very interesting case, and in my opinion, the correct decision was taken.

John: In your view, would this case stand as a precedent for a Landlord (as an individual) in place of the Management Company, defending his position not to allow pets?

It is somewhat alarming that Corbyn et al seem to think that they can dictate to Landlords and remove their choice as to whether pets should be allowed. As a dog owner I don’t have any objection to animals whatsoever in the right circumstances and with the relevant safeguards, but I do object to Corbyn and co taking away my freedom to choose what I can and cannot do with the expensive property assets that I own and have worked hard for, potentially leaving me to pick up the tab for damage, as many of the horror stories on this thread suggest.

In these times of housing shortage, the increasingly negative attitude towards landlords is very destructive and likely to lead to more of us leaving the sector and exacerbating the housing problem. A smarter government, of whatever colour, should be supporting and encouraging Landlords to continue letting.

John Wagstaffe, Solicitor, Property Litigator

15:23 PM, 19th February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 19/02/2018 - 14:26
The case was fact-specific so one cannot know for certain what would happen in a different case but my expectation would be that a landlord who was in the position of the management company would be subject to the same test. The court found that having a no pet policy is permissible provided it is not an absolute policy - the landlord or management company must reserve sufficient discretion to allow itself to permit pets in the right circumstances e.g. an assistance dog. And it must properly consider requests - it cannot simply dismiss them out of hand. It is important to remember however that the covenant in question in this case prohibited pets without the management company's consent. It would have been very different if the covenant simply prohibited pets without any discretion to be exercised on the part of the management company as to whether or not to permit pets.

Nick Pope

15:29 PM, 19th February 2018
About 2 years ago

Can I perhaps ask the legal eagles whether the rules on restrictions have changed?
When I was at college 45+ years ago we had to do a certain amount of law as it applied to real property. I was led to believe that a restriction such as this should be worded "Pets are not allowed."
If worded "Pets are not allowed without consent" then the Courts would add "(not to be unreasonably witheld)" as a matter of course.
Consequently we were advised to word all restrictions of this type absolutely with no indication of a possible relaxation.

EDIT I started this before the comment above which appears to at least partially answer the query. However what about a provision to ban smoking - Acceptable?

Freda Blogs

17:33 PM, 19th February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by John Wagstaffe, Solicitor, Property Litigator at 19/02/2018 - 15:23
Thanks John

Richard U

14:08 PM, 21st February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 14/02/2018 - 15:51
Do the horses have to share Mark, or are a couple of the children in the same bedroom?

Mark Alexander

14:15 PM, 21st February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard U at 21/02/2018 - 14:08
There is plenty room for them to expand their family. Stables can accommodate 6 horses and there is still a spare room in the house.

Richard U

14:29 PM, 21st February 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 21/02/2018 - 14:15
I was just horsing about, in the mane. #corbynwhataloadofpony

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