Cat and dog in rented home

David Amess, MP for Southend West, has tweeted his support for a Bill which aims to end “cruel” discrimination against pet owners by much of the private rental sector.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has introduced the Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation and Protection Bill in the House of Commons, urging a reform of rental laws allowing dogs and other animals to be kept in rented accommodation so long as owners can demonstrate their care for them. Rosindell calls his Bill 'Jasmine’s Law', named after a Weimaraner owned by a renting family in Surrey.

Whilst I fully support the consideration by landlords of allowing pets in their properties, and always welcome the discussion with prospective tenants for my own properties, for me this is a deeply nuanced decision for landlords, and they should be allowed to make this decision themselves based on what they think is right for the property and indeed their own circumstances as well as their tenants'. Government intervention into the affairs of private landlords has long been on the increase, and in my opinion this Bill would cross a line.

The Bill would also remove the option for tenants with severe allergies to live in homes which have never had pets in them.

I am writing to my local MP, Rebecca Harris for the Conservatives to put forward my view, and encourage landlords who feel strongly on this matter to do the same.

Speaking shortly after PMQs, the former Shadow Minister of Animal Welfare Mr Rosindell described most bans or restrictions on pet ownership in rented accommodation to be “unnecessary.” He said: “for those people who depend on the companionship of their dog, and who need that loving friend to be with them, especially those who live alone, such restrictions are nothing less than discrimination. Cruel to both the owner and the animal alike. My bill brings an end to this discrimination, making it a right for someone to own a dog or another domestic animal to live in their rented home, provided the owner demonstrates responsibility and care for the animal.”

“Moving into a new home is a normal part of life, but what if every time you moved, you faced the threat of being separated from someone you loved. Can a house or a flat ever really be a home if you have been forced to abandon a family member just to be able to move in?"

The first reading of the Bill in Parliament was on the 14th of October and the second is due 29th January 2021, but only if it wins parliamentary backing. I believe this is unlikely, but I'd love to hear your views?