Renting accommodation as a companion animal owner can be nigh on impossible. The inability of more and more people to afford to buy means that it can be difficult for existing owners to move or inadvisable to acquire an animal if home-hunting.
Good news then that the Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection Bill is currently in a second reading stage in the House of Commons. Tenants will be expected to hold a responsible animal guardianship certificate including obligation for prophylactic treatments and basic training and permission can be rescinded if an animal is considered to be at risk, or causes danger or nuisance.
Landlords will be entitled to obtain a certificate of exemption for groups of dwellings within a building or area, entire buildings or specific orders for families, species or breeds of animal, if the landlord or another tenant has a religious or medical objection or the accommodation is unsuitable for the animal.
Allowing companion animals is now the default position on the government’s recommended model tenancy agreement and landlords cannot issue a blanket ban in a tenancy, although properties can still be advertised as not considering or allowing animals.
Landlords may be entitled to oblige tenants to take out insurance to cover any damage.
As ever, the devil will be in the detail but it looks as if it may be a good thing and it is indicative of a social change in attitude towards companion animal ownership.