Battersea welcomes long-awaited new pet friendly policies for renters and landlords

Animal welfare charity Battersea has today welcomed the Government’s announcement to help more renters be allowed to own a pet.

The charity has long campaigned for more people to have the opportunity to enjoy the many physical, mental and social benefits of pet ownership through its “Pet Friendly Properties” campaign. Being unable to find a home where their pet is allowed is sadly one of the most common reasons people bring their pets to Battersea.

Battersea’s Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Michael Webb, said: “Rescues like Battersea have seen far too many owners make the heart-breaking decision to give up their pets when they are unable to find a home where they can live together, and we have long campaigned for more rented homes to be pet friendly. We therefore welcome any legislation that will see fewer dogs and cats being brought into rescue centres for this reason, and more staying in their original loving homes with their families.

“We believe today’s announcement demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to animal welfare and we are encouraged to see key recommendations from our ‘Pet Friendly Properties’ report reflected in the Government’s proposals, including a requirement of pet insurance to give both landlords and tenants peace of mind. However, it is not yet clear what criteria landlords will need to use to determine what is ‘reasonable’ grounds to reject a request for a pet. This will be critical to determining the impact of the new policy. We hope to learn more about these proposals in the coming weeks and will continue to campaign and work with the Government, landlords and tenants to ensure there is real positive change for pets and their renting owners.”

Earlier this year Battersea published a new research report, Pet Friendly Properties: the Private Rented Sector, which highlighted the massive imbalance between the number of pet friendly rental homes available versus the number of people in the country that own or want to own a pet.

Battersea’s research found 43% of private renting tenants currently own a pet and a further 33% hope to own a pet immediately or in the future meaning more than three quarters of renters are affected by landlord pet policies.

Meanwhile Rightmove reports that in the last year the demand for rented properties that allow pets has increased by 120%, while Zoopla found only seven per cent of landlords listed their properties as suitable for pets in 2021.