14:35 PM, 6th September 2021, About 10 months ago 7
Propertymark is backing a Report and an Open Letter sent from a cross-party group of over 35 MPs and peers who have joined together with leading pet charities and organisations to explore how the Tenant Fees Act is impacting on renting with pets.
The new “Heads for Tails” report, published yesterday 2 September 2021 by pet charity AdvoCATS, reiterates Propertymark’s concerns about the limitations of the Tenant Fees Act which caps Security Deposits and prohibits landlords from charging for pet damage insurance.
The report’s research shows that over half of pet-owners would be willing to take out pet damage insurance if required by a landlord and three-quarters of landlord’s support pet insurance.
Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report for June revealed that 69% of agents supported the need for a ringfenced pet deposit.
The Letter has been sent from Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government and co-signed by politicians including Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey.
Commenting, Timothy Douglas, Policy and Campaigns Manager said: “There is often more of a possibility of damage to a property where there is a pet, and as warned by Propertymark and others, the limitations caused by Tenant Fees Act has reduced the appetite for many who rent out property to take on greater risk.
“The strength of feeling amongst politicians, charities and sector organisations means that the UK Government must now revisit the rules and explore options to remove barriers that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and support more people to rent with pets.”
Dear Secretary of State Open letter on changing the Tenant Fees Act (2019)
We are writing to you regarding the Tenant Fees Act (2019) and the detrimental impact this legislation has had on pet ownership in rented accommodation.
As you will be aware, Andrew Rosindell MP wrote to you on August 20th to bring to your attention a new report by the charity AdvoCATS, which is due to be published tomorrow.
This report finds serious problems with the Tenant Fees Act, because the list of permitted payments does not include pet deposits, while sections 1 and 2 of the Bill also prohibit landlords from requiring a contract of pet damage insurance as part of a tenancy agreement.
The report finds that landlords have responded to these changes either with a blanket no pets clause, or by increasing rents for pet owners. One in five landlords who previously allowed pets no longer do since the passing of the Act.
In the case of landlords who have increased rent, this is clearly a suboptimal solution. It punishes responsible pet owners, unlike pet deposits which would be returned to responsible pet owners and pet insurance which can be used to build up a no claims history, and it reduces transparency of payments, a key aim of the Bill.
The report therefore recommends that secondary legislation be used to add pet deposits to the list of permitted payments and that the issue concerning pet damage insurance be investigated to see whether secondary legislation would be sufficient to make the necessary change, or if primary legislation would be needed to amend sections 1 and 2.
Public polling finds that over half of pet-owners would be willing to take out pet insurance if required by a landlord, although 40% of respondents said they would prefer a pet deposit, to 22% who said pet damage insurance, if given a choice between the two. This clearly demonstrates the need for choice.
Finally the report finds, from multiple conversations with insurance companies, that pet damage insurance is seen as unviable by many companies and that the Tenant Fees Act is a key factor because it limits the number of potential customers. It is likely that, if the Act were reformed and as more customers became available, premiums would fall, further cementing public support. Given 75% of landlords support pet damage insurance, this would likely garner significant overall support.
The Government has made clear its support for responsible pet-owners in rented accommodation through the Model Tenancy Agreement published in January. However, due to the unintended consequences of an otherwise praiseworthy piece of legislation, there are significant and unnecessary obstacles to bringing a pet into rented accommodation.
Andrew Rosindell M.P. Member of Parliament for Romford
House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 0AA
We are confident this proposal would garner widespread support across the House and we therefore urge you to read the attached report and its recommendations closely.
We look forward to your response.
MPs and Peers
Andrew Rosindell Sir David Amess Chris Bryant Lisa Cameron, Chair of APDAWG Rosie Cooper Sir Ed Davey Tim Farron Sarah Green Andrew Griffith Andrew Gwynne, Co-chair of APGOCATs Robert Halfon Dame Meg Hillier Wera Hobhouse Dr Neil Hudson Sir Greg Knight Sir Tony Lloyd Caroline Lucas Andrew Mitchell Anne-Marie Morris Jill Mortimer Sheryll Murray, Chair of APGOCATs Virendra Sharma Mohammad Yasin
Lord Bowness Lord Dubs Lord Goddard Baroness Hodgson Baroness Lister Lord Marlesford Baroness Nicholson Lord Oates Lord Ranger Lord Risby Lord Storey Lord Trees Lord Truscott Lord Walney
AdvoCATS Alan Boswell Group A-Law #CatsMatter Dog Champion Scheme EMPO Hamilton Fraser Inventory Base Landlord Zone Dr Marc Abraham Mars Petcare mydeposits NOAH NRLA One Broker Insurance PAAW House Pets Lets PetsScore Portsmouth and District Private Landlords Association Property Mark Property Tribes Property Redress Scheme Renting Evidence Society for Companion Animal Studies Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance Street Paws Street Vet The Dispute Service The FOAL Group Your Cat Magazine Your Dog Magazine Vets Get Scanning