An unexpected group seem likely to suffer at the hands of the new Tenants’ Fees Bill, as the National Landlords Association (NLA) predict that pets may face being banned from rental properties.
In a recent blog post regarding what is currently known about the Tenants’ Fees Bill, revealed in the Queen’s Speech last week, the NLA has highlighted issues regarding the keeping of pets. The Bill includes a ban on landlords and agents requiring payment as a condition of their tenancy, with the exception of rent, a security deposit, a holding deposit and tenant default fees. In addition, the cap on security deposit has been set at a months rent by the government.
This security deposit limit has been cited as an issue by the NLA, who argue that a limit of just one month will prohibit landlords from accepting animals in rental properties. This is due to the fact that properties that permit pets often require a higher deposit to cover potential damage. The new lack of flexibility regarding deposits could therefore lead to landlords fearing that they might end up out of pocket following damage.
Previous research released by the NLA has shown that 47 per cent of member landlords were unwilling to allow pets. 41 per cent of those landlords cited the reasoning behind this as potential property damage by the animals.
In the post, the NLA explained that the Dogs Trust’s ‘Lets With Pets’ scheme encourages landlords to take out higher deposits when letting to tenants with animals, or suggests a ‘professional clean on move-out’ clause in order to mitigate the risk of damage. However, the current wording of the government’s Bill would outlaw these practices, leaving no option for the landlord.
The NLA thus commented: ‘The end result? Even fewer landlords willing to let to tenants with pets.’