London-based animal lovers rejoice! London renters could soon be able to move in with their cats, dogs and other animals under new plans to give private tenants the legal right to have a pet. The new pet-friendly policy is part of the government’s shake-up of the private rented sector, revealed in a white paper on June 16.
If legislated in full, the bill will mean landlords must have a good reason to refuse permission for a tenant to have an animal in their home. Measures published in the white paper include making it “easier for tenants to have much-loved pets in their homes by giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse,” according to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Of the 4.4 million households currently living within the private rented sector in England, just 7 percent of landlords advertise their properties as being pet-friendly. In 2021, the company PetScore warned that some families are simply giving up pet ownership so as not to fall foul of landlord contracts, with a 35 percent increase in calls to the Dogs Trust reported.
The current parliamentary year is expected to run until spring 2023. Once the bill has been agreed by both Houses, it receives royal assent and becomes an act of parliament. So, while the bill still has a long way to go, hopefully, it won’t be long until you’ll be able to welcome your furry friends into your London rentals.