We started engaging with key stakeholders in the UK in Summer 2020, ahead of formally launching our campaign in 2021. We wanted to take time to thoroughly understand the issue and how it affects all different groups of people – from property owners to tenants, charity groups to policy makers – we have worked extensively to ensure we know the best way to tackle this issue in a way that mutually benefits everyone who will be affected by Securing the Right to Rent with Pets.
Our Roundtable event in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cats (APGOCATS) took place on 16th March, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss this important issue. We will be posting an update on the Roundtable to our website soon.
The next stage of our campaign includes even closer work with key stakeholders, placing a true focus on understanding the views and grievances of property owners and housing association, as we understand policy change cannot happen without considering these groups. To truly bring change, we know that we must take a collaborative and open approach to the matter, to present a united front and deliver a campaign that works for everyone.
What progress has been made so far?
- Since NOAH started working on this issue last year, the government has published the updated Government Model Tenancy Agreement. The MTA was published in January 2021, and it removes the blanket ban on pets in rented properties, meaning pets are now allowed in rental properties by default. Property owners will instead need to provide a good reason to refuse tenants with pets within 28 days of a formal pet request. The MTA is now the government’s recommended contract for landlords. You can read more about the MTA here.
- Since Summer 2020, we have been working with the wonderful teams at Blue Cross, Battersea Cats and Dogs and Cats Protection as secretariat for the APGOCATS and with their help, we have been able to establish our key asks and ensure we are addressing the wide range of policy implications that may arise from this campaign.
- We have also worked closely with MP Andrew Rosindell’s team, who have been actively campaigning in government for ‘Jasmine’s Law’ or more formally known as the ‘Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill’. This Bill is sponsored by 12 other MPs and its aims include removing bans on pet ownership in rented properties for the homeless and creating new protections for property owners and tenants. We are continuing to support Mr Rosindell with his work on this topic.