Renters Reform Bill – Is there any provision for landlords who are allergic to dogs/cats?

Renters Reform Bill – Is there any provision for landlords who are allergic to dogs/cats?

by Readers Question

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0:03 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago 14

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Hello, under the Renters Reform Bill, it states that a landlord cannot reasonably refuse a request for a pet from a tenant. Is there any provision for landlords that are allergic to dogs/cats for health reasons to still be allowed to refuse a pet?

This might seem a petty question but we once had a police officer come and visit us he was not aware we had a rabbit and ended up in hospital after being in the house for only 10 minutes.

Thanks,

Chris


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Comments

BRACKS Mead

9:34 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

As a potential new law, there isnt any guidance yet thats Ive seen on this.
Id say this would be tested by case law eg it would take a landlord to go to court with this defence, and a judge to make a ruling on the matter.
My opinion would be, it is not a strong defence because the tenants right to pets is stronger than occasionally visits by a landlord with general pet allergy. But who knows, if it is a life threatening allergy, like your cop, that is soooooo rare, perhaps?

Lee Chapman

9:35 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Interestingly i had an allergy test when i was a kid and have allergies to animals. They also set off my Asthma. I expect ill have to prove that to disallow pets.

Jw Bryan

9:56 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

It will also depend on what the lease says if you are a leaseholder. I don't think that flats are suitable homes for dogs for instance, but a budgie is a different matter. A lease is often likely to include a provision which allows one leaseholder to sue another for an anti-pet breach: I should imagine in the County Court, similarly a neighbour with an allergy or a pathological fear on animals could sue the freeholder as well. As ever, if you're a leaseholder, check what the lease says.

Reluctant Landlord

10:31 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Wonder if its possible to have a property designated as 'pet allergy friendly'? In other words you market it as this so making aware to any and all potential tenants IN ADVANCE that permission for pets will not be given as a result so any applications need to be mindful of this requirement. (That way you cannot be said to be discriminating against any applying with pets who has applied because you made this declaration publicly in advance) ????

Dylan Morris

11:54 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jw Bryan at 21/07/2023 - 09:56Not sure the lease would be any help it’s certainly not in my case. Rental flat and lease says no dogs, cats, birds etc but the management company (large development of around 100 units) is now issuing a “pet licence” for £90. The site is now full of dogs and it sounds like Battersea Dogs Home. (Dogs fouling on car as well). Awkward position for me as landlord. I guess I can’t refuse pets any more ? I’m selling as soon as tenant moves out as the flat could become uninhabitable and worthless.

David Lester

11:56 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Introduction.
With current and future governments proposing to introduce some form of Tenants reform Bill I feel that a very important point is possibly going to slip under the radar. The main talking point is Section 21 and rightfully so, however some of the implications can be prevented if the Landlords business plan is correct, i.e. rent in advance, Guarantors, regular inspections etc. The point on enforcing Landlords to accept pets could be if we are not careful even more damaging and cost us all in time, money, and resources!
Below I have brainstormed my thoughts on some of the problems with being forced to allow pets, there will be those within the industry who read the content and belittle it as they know better, however my objective is to get Landlords talking about the topic before it is too late!
Landlords and pets.
1. Landlords are a business not a charity, full utilisation to properties is our objective, any distraction preventing this being met is unacceptable, this includes working for nothing by searching for tradesmen, handling insurance claims, and downtime when the property is without a paying Tenant.
2. For a landlord who does not want to allow pets, there is no foreseen benefit permitting a Tenant to have a pet in their property. There is only extra “wear and tear”, extra time organising replacement carpets etc, Tradesmen, Insurance claims, Deposit disputes, i.e., absolutely no benefits.
3. Damage to interior of house, skirting boards, doorways, doors, requiring repairing painting etc, problems, deposit, insurance, betterment, “wear and tear”, Tenant leaves and Landlord left to resolve the problems, whilst losing money on rental and time finding tradesmen.
4. Flees urine, excrement etc in carpet curtains and soft furnishings, only way to completely remove would be replacement, who pays? Insurance Company, Deposit, then disputes on betterment etc.
5. Damage to garden, lawns garden beds, this will take time and specialist trades people to repair, unacceptable presentation for new Tenants which could be used as a reason to pay reduced rent.
6. Smell inside house, in carpets, curtains etc, where should the compensation be proportioned and who pays for the Landlords time and resources, only total replacement will resolve these problems, who pays and compensation landlord for time and losses?
7. Clawing carpets, thereafter, dispute on “wear and tear” deposit, or Insurance claim, then the argument on proportioning betterment.
8. Extra down time between Tenants due to insurance claim process, repairs, and cleaning, who will compensate for this time?
9. Pet hair throughout house, normal “professional cleaning” cannot guarantee to fully remove all hair, problem, where does the Landlord seek the extra to ensure complete cleaning, the Deposit, or the Insurance and who pays for their time?
10. Informing future Tenants that pets were housed previously, Allergies, Asthma, and other breathing aliments, reduced marketplace, reduced rental income etc.
11. Noise nuisance to neighbours and pets using their gardens a Toilets.
12. Insufficient insurance as purchased by Tenant, cheapness!
13. Delay in reletting due to Insurance claim and agreeing with Assessors on cost of compensation for damage.
14. Loss of rental income, interest etc waiting for payment from any insurer and who pays the difference.
15. Time finding Tradesmen tot carryout rectification work, who pays?
16. Pets being left in house, alone all-day uncontrolled damage.
17. Deposit is not sufficient to cover potential damage, loss recovery and to compensate for time to seek, research and organise replacement goods, Tradesmen to repair, fit or install.
18. How is it possible to the Tenant to insure something they do not own?
19. Who sets the level of cover for the insurance policy, Government. Shelter, Landlords and who is the arbiter on such cover?
20. Pet Insurance which is paid for by Tenant will be the cheapest possible and will not fully indemnify the Landlord.
21. Insurance practices by nature of their business will make all endeavours to mitigate their losses, therefore in a claim situation they will require multiple quotes, examine damage, and then decide price for compensation. This price will usually be less than the cost to fully indemnify the Landlord and will not include compensation for time spent finding Tradesmen, shopping etc and loss of rental income.
22. A further major problem is the “grey area” between claiming on either the Deposit or the Insurance.
23. If Landlord is not fully indemnified, can they take the Tenant to court?
24. If a Tenant signs a contract which states no pets, is it not a breach of contract for them to house a pet? If this is the case, then the entire contract is null and void
25. What are the punitive penalties that can be bestowed onto a landlord?
26. If the Government whatever colour wants to house pets, why don’t they buy their own properties?
27. If Landlords had an association that would represent the majority and be a force to be reckoned with, as Shelter is to the Tenants, we would be able to shape current and future legislation.
28. Trades people will not enter properties which could have dogs/cats due to being attacked or catching something.
29. Is there an Insurance policy that covers for Tenants Pets damage?
Conclusion
Unless we as Landlords can be 100% guaranteed that we will suffer no financial losses or wasted time we should not permit pets in our properties.

Reluctant Landlord

12:30 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lester at 21/07/2023 - 11:56I could not agree more!
Your Point 24 is correct and I think this is the way to hit it head on.
If you make it plain at that point of advertising the property that pets will not be permitted due to landlord insurance obligations then the stall is set from the outset. Any applications that do come forward stating there is a pet in tow will just not progress.
If the tenant requests permission at a later date you then refer them to the contract. If they ignore, then this is a clear breach and you issue notice. There is nothing stopping a LL making sure the 'no pet' clause is also written in the PI deposit info so that it is very clear to the tenant that deposit money and any legal costs can be pursued for a breach too.
The S8 stats will then pick this up as a given reason - and ammo to throw back to Shelters/Gen rent to show that there are rogue tenants out there.

Freda Blogs

12:48 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

I agree 100%.

However, you appear to make the error of assuming that the law / an AST contract has two parties who need to comply with its terms and that those with the duty to enforce and uphold the laws of our land will uphold the rights of the person whose rights have been breached.

But this is not the case. Judges, local authorities and even central Government do not seem to support this principle. LLs must comply in every respect or face large fines, but with tenants, everything, including payment of rent, often seems to be entirely optional.

JB

12:56 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

I find it completely unacceptable for the welfare of the dog to be left alone for 8 plus hours a day while the owners are out at work. I'd like to be able to refuse pet ownership on welfare grounds

Judith Wordsworth

14:42 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Sorry confused as to why being allergic affects a Landlord. You wont be living there and if cannot do the check in and check out then could employ someone to do this, and your regular inspections. Just up the rent to cover this.
Personally I do not want to rent to people with cats, dogs, reptiles, mice/rats/gerbils etc etc. period.
I don't want the damage, the possibility of infestations, the smell, the "little accidents" etc etc. Plus as have leasehold properties the nuisance pets can cause to neighbours and others in the building.
And would I trust any tenant to take out adequate pet damage insurance and pay the premiums? No

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