Cats Protection has created an online tool for cat owners that it hopes will help persuade more landlords to allow their tenants to have a cat.
The Cat CV has been created after it was estimated that one million households across the UK would like to have a cat, but can’t due to the fact they are in a rental property.*
Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said: “During the past year, we’ve heard countless stories from owners about how important their cat has been. People tell us their cats have provided comfort in worrying times, a playful companion for children as they home school, and helped reduce stress while getting to grips with working from home.
“But very sadly, many people have been denied the simple pleasure of owning a cat, simply because they rent rather than own their home. Now more than ever, we all deserve the chance to own a pet cat, and it is heart-breaking that so many people are not able to.
“Cats rarely cause problems in rented homes, but our Cat CV can help reassure landlords who may be nervous about allowing them. We hope it will help more renters find a happy cat-friendly home where they can feel settled.”
The charity’s Purrfect Landlords CV tool is available to download for free, and helps owners create a summary to show their cat is responsibly owned and well cared-for. Owners can also include references from previous landlords to confirm their cat has not caused any problems.
Recent changes to the Government’s Model Tenancy Agreement means consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords using it will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.
Caroline Sherlock created a CV for her three rescue cats – Susie, Tia Maria, and Sadie – when she was looking for a short-term rental while her own home was being renovated in Horsham, Sussex.
She said: “I wanted to rent a property for just a few months, but it was so hard to find properties that allowed cats. There were lots of adverts for rented properties on websites, but when I ticked the ‘allows pets’ filter, I was left with barely any. I spent hours and hours searching and it was a very stressful experience.
“I found the Cats Protection Pet CV template and drafted one for the three cats, including details of their microchips, flea and worming treatment and their background. Then when I found a property I liked, even though it didn’t mention allowing pets, I sent it to the letting agent. He thought it was a great idea and I think it really tipped the balance in my favour as it showed I was a responsible cat owner. I got the property and my cats didn’t cause any problems.
“Cats are fantastic pets, and mine bring me so much happiness and companionship. It’s tragic that so many people can’t have a cat because they live in rented housing, especially during these difficult days when we’re all at home and missing family, friends and work colleagues. I really hope the Cat CV will help more people find a suitable rented housing and help landlords take a more open-minded view towards allowing cats.”
Jacqui Cuff said: “Cats Protection is delighted that the government has recently updated the model tenancy agreement to make it easier for tenants to enjoy the companionship of a pet. However, this change will only have an impact if a landlord opts to use the model tenancy agreement – the use of which is entirely voluntary, there is no legal requirement for landlords to use it.
“For those renters who are dealing with a landlord who does not use the Government Model Tenancy Agreement, we hope our Cat CV will help them make a good case for allowing cats.”
For more information about Cats Protection’s Purrfect Landlords campaign and to download an example Cat CV, please visit: www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/campaigning/purrfectlandlords