Landlord organisations have joined pet charities and a cross-party group of MPs in calling for changes to the Tenant Fees Act to help reduce barriers to dog and cat-friendly rentals.

The membership body for the lettings sector, Propertymark, is among the signatories of an open letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, which highlights the negative impact that the cap on security deposits has on renters with pets. Research shows that 18 per cent of landlords, who allowed pets before the Tenant Fees Act, have stopped doing so since it became law.

The letter, is accompanied by a report, from pet charity AdvoCATS, which recommends secondary legislation to add pet deposits to a list of permitted payments under the act. The report reveals that more than half of pet owners would be willing to take out pet damage insurance if required by a landlord. Research by Propertymark, for its June Private Rented Sector Report, also shows that 69 per cent of letting agents support the need for a ring-fenced pet deposit.

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The government has indicated its support for making renting easier for responsible pet-owners. Its model tenancy agreement, published in January, makes allowing pets the default position for rentals.

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s Policy and Campaigns Manager, said: “There is often more of a possibility of damage to a property where there is a pet, and as warned by Propertymark and others, the limitations caused by Tenant Fees Act have reduced the appetite for many who rent out property to take on greater risk.

“The strength of feeling amongst politicians, charities and sector organisations means that the UK Government must now revisit the rules and explore options to remove barriers that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and support more people to rent with pets.”

Read more about this story on the Propertymark website.