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Landlords concerned about pets following Renters Reform Bill

Investors are concerned about measures in the Renters Reform Bill which are designed to stop them from unreasonably refusing their tenants keeping pets, research from property management firm Leaders Romans Group (LRG) has found.

The bill dictates that tenants have a right to request permission to keep pets, but some landlords are concerned about the effect this will have on property maintenance, tenant relationships, and building management.

Some 56% of landlords predict negative impacts due to the Bill’s approach to pet ownership in rental properties; in contrast, only 9.81% see a positive impact.

This is despite the bill dictating that tenants will have to cover any pet damage or compensate the landlord from taking out insurance.

Kim Lidbury, group director, property management at LRG, said: “The introduction of pet-friendly policies in rental agreements is a nuanced issue that requires careful consideration to balance the interests of tenants with those of landlords.

“Not all property types may be suitable for pets, for instance flats within blocks and properties without gardens. The Third Reading of the Bill recently included a mandate that tenants either maintain insurance to cover potential pet damage or compensate the landlord for the reasonable cost of obtaining such insurance.

“This is a positive step forward which does seem to address landlords’ concerns while also enhancing the lives of tenants and their pets. However more detail is still required to ensure that pets can only be requested in an appropriate property.

“LRG is dedicated to engaging with both landlords and tenants to navigate these legislative changes effectively. By leveraging insights from the landlord community and advocating for balanced policies, LRG aims to contribute to a fair and sustainable rental market that meets the needs of all parties involved.”

One landlord that was surveyed noted “ownership of Dogs in flats [is] negative unless [there is] outside space – barking can be a problem!!” Another added “Don’t think people should be able to have dogs more easily – they are destructive if left alone, damage gardens, but most importantly, can create difficulties with neighbours as so many bark for long periods.” A third comment reflects a broader concern: “Better for tenants but re the pets, more constraints on landlords trying to maintain decent standards of property.”