MP Andrew Rosindell has replied to a landlord who wrote to him outlining his worries over the proposed Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill.

As we reported last Thursday, Rosindell gained cross-party support for his parliamentary bill, which will receive its second reading in January.

The Conservative MP for Romford (pictured) has now confirmed that when the full details of the Bill are published, landlords should rest easy that it will not introduce an ‘unconditional right’ to keep a pet.

Instead, it will require various checks to be completed that will ensure pet owners are responsible and that pets are well-trained.

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“It also will include measures to ensure that pets are suitable for the type of accommodation,” he says.

“I am currently in the process of drafting the final bill, which I believe will address many of the issues that you have raised.”

Landlord dialogue

Rosindell has confirmed that he is in dialogue with the National Residential Landlords Associations, as well as other landlords, to discuss their concerns and ‘will do everything I can to ensure they are addressed’.

“While I understand your concerns, I do believe that we must put an end to these unconditional “no pet” clauses which have caused such pain and heartache to so many people,” he told landlord Fred Cowler.

Cowler says he is no ‘pet hater’ but, although he appreciates Rosindell’s dialogue, the Bill could promote a ‘no-win situation for all concerned’. 

“Pet requests by tenants should be judged on a case by case basis in my opinion, and I will fight for my right to choose,” he told LandlordsZONE.

“[If it does become law], I would want guarantees in place that damage and extra costs would and could be covered by the tenant.”

Read more about the Bill.
See the results of our Twitter poll on this subject.

26 COMMENTS

  1. I do keep a dog myself and so I am not anti pets. I can only comment on dogs as I have no experience with cats. Got our pup at 3 months old and you cannot train it in time not to dirty your floors.
    If a bitch is not neutralised it will leave drops of blood here and there when in season. Yes you can put a ‘nappy’ on it but accidents will happen.
    What about hair ! Your floor and coverings including settees will have to be professionally cleaned when tenant leaves. Will the Landlord be fully indemnified for such costs ?

  2. So if the costs of professional cleaning and any pet damage are to be borne by tenants, does this mean that additional deposits can be taken despite the new restriction of the five week equivalence, or will this bill provide that tenants with pets be required to take out insurance to cover it. Otherwise, how can these costs be guaranteed ???

  3. So it’s fine for pets, buts let’s look at all the legislation. Electrical checks, selective licensing, green policies and then 6 months to evict followed by no council support even when the property is empty.

    Will landlords start evicting tenants yes as we can’t cover the costs.

  4. I’m sorry Mr Rosindell but all you have to do is allow deposits to cover pet damage and a whole lot more landlords will be happy to take pets. Do you really not understand this?

  5. Tenants on housing benefit won’t be able to cover the costs of damage.
    A puppy or adult dog can practically destroy a kitchen,doors,frames etc when they decide to get mischievous,especially when they are teething ,cat urine can also ruin some floors

  6. I am horrified by this bill. This so called caring MP obviously earns a lot of money. He does not care about the damage pets can do to a property. Some of us are only Landlords because it is the only way we can pay our way. Any extra damage cannot be bourne. I hear you fighting for people who cannot pay their way because of the pandemic. What about Landlords you do not allow us to evict damaging tenants, antisocial tenants etc etc. Of course there are good tenants and thank goodness for them, if a landlord has any sense they look after them and treat them and the property very well. We in Wales receive the lowest rents, yet our expenses are the same as the rest. This MP is grossly irresponsible, grow up and appreciate the literally hundreds of laws we have to obey. If you are so concerned put your money where your mouth is.

  7. Govt made a political decision to reduce the maximum deposit to 5 weeks.

    What the idiots should have realised is that 2 months deposits would be the maximum deposit that any sane LL would wish for.

    Clearly MP’s didn’t understand that anymore than 2 months of deposit would result in the tenancy being converted into a Premium Tenancy.

    NO LL in his right mind would wish for that to occur.

    Govt should have allowed 2 months deposit and an additional pet deposit which wouldn’t be included in Premium Tenancy circumstances.

    But politically it was deemed better to appear as though Govt was defending tenants.

    All they are doing though actually is reducing the numbers of private rental property by their continual attacks on private LL.

    I have experienced house cats where I had sharers.
    The stink that stung your eyes was overwhelming.

    No way would I have cats again.

    Perhaps in a house where cats can come and go from the house.

    Personally I believe it is cruel to leave a dog alone all day while at work.

    I don’t want that cruelty being inflicted in my property.

    I consider it feckless to leave dogs alone for extended periods.

    No way will I allow pets.
    I will evict any tenant who has a pet without my permission which I reserve the right to withold.

    • I agree it is cruel to keep a dog cooped up in a flat all day.
      But with further lockdown and unemployment, it’s likely the tenant will have plenty of time to walk the dog.

      I don’t think you’ll be able to evict anyone for another year or so anyway. The courts will be shutting down again soon.

      I know plenty of landlords whose tenants have just stopped paying rent and are not answering the phone.

  8. I’m unclear about this bill. Some of our properties do not allow pets in the lease. So will the bill change all the leases as well? Or will those owning leaseholds in pet restricted freeholds be exempt?

  9. Suggest all Landlords who are opposed to this bill should petition Parliament and fight for our right to choose? Also petition for our right to have our rent money paid on time and our properties left in a clean and habitable condition at the end of the tenancy. See what the politicians in their ivory towers do which that. Whilst you are on you could also send your e-mails to the MP in question who has proposed this bill with all of your experiences, including all damage done the cost of repairs cleaning and the obvious strain on your Mental Health.
    Also send message to Boris Johnson. Tenants do request to decorate their properties and are given written permission as long as they re-instate to original at the end of their Tenancy. Although this can be a mine field especially when the tenant in question is inept at decorating and this also usually ends with the Landlord having to put right at the end of the tenancy in many cases at their cost.
    I for one am sick and tired of being portrayed as an uncaring Landlord who is making money whilst inflicting misery on my Tenants.

  10. If you contact Mr Rosindell, this is the form letter you are likely to get back:

    Thank you very much for contacting me, regarding my bill on pets in rented accommodation.
    The bill is not going to be published until the second reading, which will be on the 29th of January.
    I appreciate the concerns that many landlords have about pets, which I have tried to address in the bill.
    I am not, as you say, intending to force landlords to take pets with no protection or seeking to make an “anti-landlord” bill. I respect and value the hard work and contributions that landlords make, and I am therefore trying to develop a fair system that does not side with either tenants or landlords, but works for everyone.
    I am sure you understand that not every eventuality can be covered and everyone satisfied, but I do think that the current system is too heavily tilted against pet owners, and I am trying to shift that towards a more fair balance.
    I know that you are writing to me without having seen the final bill, so you are not aware of the exact measures which I intend to include in the bill to address your concerns, although I did try to cover some in my (time-limited) speech to the house.
    I am currently in the process of drafting the final bill, which I believe will address many of the issues that you have raised.
    I am in contact with the National Residential Landlords Associations, as well as other landlords to discuss their concerns and the concerns that you have raised, and will do everything I can to ensure they are addressed.
    Once the bill is published, it will not put forward an unconditional right to keep a pet, but require various checks to ensure that pet owners are responsible and that pets are well-trained. It also will include measures to ensure that pets are suitable for the type of accommodation.
    While I understand your concerns, I do believe that we must put an end to these unconditional “no pet” clauses which have caused such pain and heartache to so many people.
    With every good wish.
    Yours sincerely

    This appears to be the letter Mr Cowler received.
    Mr Rosindelldid not address any of the questions I asked, in particular about HMOs and whether he would be encouraging tenants to prop fire doors open or to leave pets locked in a room all day. He also did not address the issue of whoever certifies that a pet is well trained and the owner is certified would be financially responsible for any damage done.

  11. Utterly scandalous and yet another attack on the PRIVATE rental sector. A landlord should have the right to say ‘no’ to pets as well as ‘no’ to housing benefit applicants and smokers. When will this madness end and who does this minister think he is? Most our our landlords are hard working honest people who have one or two properties, fully responsible and comply with all of the rules and regulations with minimum fuss. The hassle however (can only imagine the rise in deposit disputes going forward if this bill goes through) will soon outweigh any benefits and both sides will ultimately lose out, with less available rental properties for tenants to choose from. This minister is a disgrace as is this government. Bring on the petition, will advise all of our landlords to sign.

  12. I am well aware of the response you will get back I am Mr Cowler wife. If all Landlords who feel the same way stand together and tell him the reasons why we do not agree and the experiences we have had then maybe he and other the other MP;s will see how ludicrous the bill is. The tenants have already petitioned parliament with many signatures . WE must do the same with as many signatures as possible. The MPs may then see no one wins, including animals, it will lead to more abandoned animals, as more and more Tenants loose there jobs and realise they cant afford their pets, It can cost a total of £13,000 plus to look after a dog during its lifetime . Or does the government expect us to carry this expense on top of bearing the cost of no rent money if Tenant loose their job, or happens to want to go on holiday twice in one year rather than pay their rent?

  13. Hi Beryl,
    we can start our own e-petition . Please see below
    What can e-petitions be about?
    E-petitions have to ask for a specific action from the government or the House of Commons and should be about something which the Government or the House of Commons is responsible for.

    How many signatures will I need to start an e-petition?
    A petition will need to be supported by at least six people before it is published on the petitions site for other people to sign. When you start a petition, the petitions site will tell you what you need to do to get five supporters for your petition.

    What happens after I submit an e-petition?
    An e-petition will stay open on the e-petitions website for six months. The Petitions Committee will be able to decide to do any of the following with a petition:

    ask for more information in writing—from petitioners, the Government, or other relevant people or organisations
    ask for more information in person—from petitioners, the Government, or other relevant people or organisations. This might be in Parliament or somewhere else in the UK
    write to the Government or another public body to press for action on a petition
    ask another parliamentary committee to look into the topic raised by a petition
    put forward petitions for debate
    The Petitions Committee will not be able to take action on every petition: it will need to use its judgement about which petitions to consider, and what action is appropriate for each one.

    How will petitions be put forward for debate?
    The Petitions Committee can recommend that petitions be debated in Westminster Hall. If the Petitions Committee decides that a petition should be debated in the main House of Commons Chamber, it would take that request to the Backbench Business Committee.

    Will a petition with 100,000 signatures automatically be debated?
    The Petitions Committee will take the threshold of 100,000 signatures as a starting point when it considers which petitions should be debated.

    But sometimes the Committee might not put forward a petition for debate if it’s got over 100,000 signatures – for example, if the same subject has recently been debated or if a debate is going to happen soon. If that’s the case, we’ll tell you how you can find out more about parliamentary debates on the issue raised by your petition.

  14. You can contact your local MP to request their support for a particular cause or campaign that you feel should be discussed in the House of Commons or to ask them to present a petition on your behalf – or both.
    I am having a zoom meeting with my local MP on Friday, to discuss the worries and concerns of Landlords re Pet bill and the local Selective Licensing Scheme in County Durham which is being proposed. Its been shown to be ineffective in other parts of the country and increase homelessness and de-values properties. Another ill timed ill advised pile of ……

  15. Probably irrelevant for now anyway.
    The new lockdowns mean no further evictions, probably for another year (once you take the backlog into account).

    Any tenant who now wants a pet can simply deny having one at first and then bring it into the property without telling the landlord.

    This second covid wave is going to be a nightmare. Estimates now of half the small and medium sized businesses in the UK going bust. That is unknown during peacetime. And that’s before Brexit is considered.

    The UK is looking at a stagflation episode not seen for a long time.

    The furlough program was treated as a jolly by quite a few people. The government can keep printing money for now, but if the gilt market turns, they’ll need to start confiscating assets. Otherwise inflation will take off and interest rates rise.
    No one will be paying any rent in that situation.

  16. I do not want to evict anyone. This was relating to another tenant a couple of years ago. The point I am making is stop taking pops at Landlords and recognise that most of us are or will be supporting our tenants., without bringing pets into the mix. Stop putting further restrictions on our Business and further added stress. Its not helpful. Those cynical amongst us could be forgiven for thinking its the governments attempt at gaining support and deflecting from what is going on.
    Everyone is going to have to work together to get out of this nightmare. Pets are the least of our worries when parents cant afford to feed their children. This has been going on for years. My friend a former headmistress has been known to buy her pupils shoes many years ago now. Her daughter also a headmistress worked whilst in lockdown providing meals to her pupils .

    • Parents can claim plenty of state benefits with which to buy food for their children. Also, when children are in existence, any claim is automatically treated as more important than one which does not involve children. The parents are also usually in possession of numerous electrical items and other equipment/goods which they can sell to raise money. Perhaps they could sell their children’s mobile phones, for a start? Please do not confuse difficult issues with emotionally inflated nonsense. Children sub-Saharan Africa starve, or are sold into marriage and childbearing as a matter of course, or are poisoned by diseased water, and generally die from illnesses far more virulent than this Covid pandemonium – more people die from AIDS-related disease in Africa each year than the total of this cold-with-knobs-on. But it isn’t fashionable to mention that anymore, so nobody gets their knickers in a twist about it. Not to mention malaria, yellow fever, Ebola, and who-knows-what-else. Which is why people in Kenya now having lost their income from cancelled safari holidays cannot understand the fuss we all make about coronavirus, which kills a tiny percentage of infected persons, whilst the vast, vast majority recover. Kenyans don’t have recourse to all our economic handouts, either. Although I can agree about how much it costs to keep animals, and certainly we get no help from the government with the feed and vet bills. All our animals are other people’s cast-offs, by the way. If I liked children I would adopt some, with nearly 8 billion people on the planet, why create more?

      • Why would the British public want to compare their situation to that of Kenya?
        The UK is not a third world country.

        You’re starting from the perspective of what should each individual do to provide for themself.
        But the UK is a country that already has plenty of wealth. However the wealth is unequally distributed, with most of it inherited by a few wealthy families.

  17. Of course the government will be doing this to gain support, that’s the nature of democracy.
    But since no property inspections or evictions will be taking place, it’s a rather pointless gesture at the moment.
    Once the lockdown is over and things return to normal, it will be interesting to see what the situation is like.

  18. Its not pointless if your blood is boiling and you want to get it of your chest. I have a right to say what I am feeling to my \MP and that is also democracy.

  19. During the pandemic landlords still have a legal obligation to keep rental properties in repair and to carry out inspections and maintenance. Following the changes last week, landlords can proceed to undertake inspections and any repairs, as long as they or their contractors follow the updated guidance. This includes adhering to social distancing; the tenant leaving the property while they are in attendance; and agreeing with the tenant when the inspection/repairs will be carried out.

  20. I think there’s quite a difference in the suitability of dogs to different types of landlord.
    If I buy a semi detached, with a large garden and let to a family for 10 years, I’m really not going to care whether they have a dog or not.

    Even if the dog does cause some damage and the tenants leave, I can always just let it out again as a “dog friendly” house. I don’t need to decorate it before letting it out again. So long as the property is in a legal state (boiler, electricity, etc), that’s all that matters.

    I’ve never seen a dog smash down a uPVC front door or anything like that. I’ve only seen them make a mess, damage carpets and furniture etc.

    Obviously, if you’re going to get involved in HMOs or flats, that’s a different matter.

    Maybe the government should classify each property according to what kind of pet it is suitable for?

    HMOs are already legally distinct and subject to additional licensing requirements, so adding a “no dogs in HMOs” rule, would not be too difficult.

  21. Mr Rosindell,

    You should look at making tenancies more secure, so tenants are not evicted, just because a landlord wishes to sell a property. Let a new landlord buy the property and keep the tenants in their home.

    This would make communities more stable and also reduce the problem with tenants not being able to keep their pets.

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