Labour's right to pets: 'There's a serious concern tenants may buy pets for the sake of it'

Labour's right to pets: 'There's a serious concern tenants may buy pets for the sake of it'

Labour wants tenants to have a right to pets

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tenants may just get a pet for the sake of it if they are given the right to own them without vetting, the Residential Landlords Association has said.

Labour is calling for tenants to have a default right to pets, unless there is proof the animal will be a nuisance, as part of new measures for animal welfare.

Douglas Haig, the vice chair of the Residential Landlords Association, told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior, "it’s a serious concern that if carte blanche was given that a lot more people would just turn around and say 'well I can do it, I may as well go ahead" and get a pet.

He said allowing everyone to have pets "without any consideration of the neighbours or the types of property, of the location of the property, or even the [capability of the tenant to care] without any sort of vetting process, is not something we can agree with or think is very sensible.

"Knowing things that are in your property is really important for a landlord, if nothing else than just to tell the insurance company."

Haig thinks a better idea for changing the law would be dealing with problems regarding "damage to the property" and being "a nuisance to the neighbour."

He claims that "if a landlord tries to take action on their tenant based on that basis it’s a very lengthy process" but if a dog is causing a problem "the landlord can’t just ignore the neighbour" complaining.

He is calling for "quick access to justice" when pets are a nuisance, cause damage or aren't looked after properly through recourse to "some sort of housing court or tribunal system". Within weeks there should be "some sort of order that says the tenant has to try and encourage a change in animals' behaviour, or that his pet has to go."

Listen to the full interview above