Pet damage insurance direct to tenants

MP Andrew Rosindell has backed a call to amend the Tenant Fees Act to allow landlords to pass pet damage insurance fees onto their tenants.;
Pets

Conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, has backed an amendment to allow tenants to be billed for pet damage insurance, in his fight to allow all tenants to have pets.

Tenant Fees Act

Introduced by Theresa May’s government, the 2019 act only allows landlords to pass on a small number of lettings-related fees to their tenants.

This list includes things such as rent, deposits, utilities bills and late fees.

Rosindell has backed a report from pro-pet group AdvoCats in support of amending the bill to also include pet damage insurance, as a step in his campaign to allow all tenants to have pets.

Rosindell commented:

“The Tenant Fees Act of 2019 had positive aims, but it has clearly been harmful to the cause of greater pet ownership for renters, an issue which has come to a head given the loneliness and self-isolation many have suffered during this pandemic, something which a dog or a cat could really ameliorate.”

“Amending it to allow for landlords to require insurance as part of the permitted payments might only be a start, but it would be a positive start, and I hope the government explores this as an option.”

Pets in PRS

As we discussed in February, the government has made a step in ending blanket bans on pets in rental properties, by updating their model tenancy agreement.

However, as many have pointed out, this agreement is voluntary, and does little to reassure landlords who are uncertain of the risk that pets can bring.

According to the report:

“A number of insurance companies have expressed interest in providing pet damage insurance products, but would need the law to change for these insurance policies to be viable.”

This can be seen clearly with big names such as Endsleigh and Alan Boswell Group already offering options that cover pet damage in their tenant insurance.

AdvoCats is also keen to highlight that whilst the onus on the tenant to ensure they were sufficiently insured, amending the act provides multiple options for landlords.

On the one hand, landlords may feel more comfortable being the ones organising the level of cover to ensure that it is sufficient for their property.

It may also be in portfolio landlord’s interest to include blanket cover for pet damage across their properties, rather than on a property-by-property basis, widening their tenant appeal and being able to pass the charges onto their tenants.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.