Government plans to make it easier to rent with pets
The government has revealed that it wants to make it much easier for a tenant to rent a home from a landlord when they have pets.
The announcement was made by Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, who said that more families and young people are renting than have ever done so before.
However, they are also missing out on the opportunity of owning pets because of restrictive tenancy contracts covering rental properties.
Mr Jenrick said his aim is to 'improve life for tenants and recognise that more are renting for longer in life'.
Currently, around 10% of rental homes are being advertised with pets allowed.
Tenants with pets
This means that tenants with pets usually struggle to find somewhere to live and those who are in a rental home face the prospect of never owning a pet.
Mr Jenrick added: "Pets bring lots of comfort and joy to people's lives and help them through difficult times as well as improving physical and mental well-being.
"It's a shame that thousands of tenants who love animals cannot experience this because they rent their home rather than owning a property."
He says he now wants to encourage more landlords to consider taking on responsible pet owners and he says the government will now be listening to landlords and tenants to see how this issue can be tackled 'in a fair way'.
One of the aims is to review the model tenancy contract to cover those tenants who have well-behaved pets.
Mr Jenrick said: "We have made clear there's a balance between landlords being more flexible and having responsible pet owners who are not penalised, and it's right that a landlord's property should be protected from any damage caused by badly behaved pets."
Government plan for rogue landlords welcomed
Meanwhile, the government's plan for providing funds to help root out criminal landlords has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords' Association (RLA).
However, the RLA says that the £4 million being provided may not be enough in a bid to tackle the full scale of the issue.
The money will be shared between 100 local authorities in England to help them plan a long-term strategy to root out rogue landlords permanently.
Now, the RLA's policy director, David Smith, says that while the plans are welcome, there needs to be better enforcement of the powers that are currently available.
He added: "The funding is nowhere near enough and it's critical that proper, multi-year funding from the government to enable councils to prepare and plan strategies to find these criminal landlords is put in place."