Pets Charity Advises Government Minister

PETS in rentals campaigners Andrew Rosindell MP and co-founder of AdvoCATSeastmids Jen Berezai attended a meeting with the Minister for Rough Sleeping & Housing, Eddie Hughes, on Tuesday 14th December, at the Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities (DLUHC), in Whitehall.

The meeting was in response to Andrew Rosindell’s oral question in Parliament to the Department on November 29, regarding the #HeadsForTails report and campaign. This proposes a simple change to the Tenant Fees Act, to make renting with pets easier and fairer for all.

Additional submissions and polling information to the report were presented to the department, including contributions from Battersea, Cats Protection, NOAH, NRLA and the Property Redress Scheme amongst others. The scale of the problem seemed to resonate with the Minister, who promised to look further into the issues that were raised, and meet again in the New Year.

AdvoCATS co-founder Jennifer Berezai with MP Andrew Rosindell in Whitehall, following an encouraging meeting with the Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities (DLUHC)

After the meeting, Jen Berezai of the East Midlands-based pets charity said she was pleased with the outcome, adding “It’s baby steps, but being invited to attend a meeting in person with Minister Eddie Hughes was an excellent opportunity to lay out our case. The door to the DLUHC is open and we’re talking – that’s definite progress.”

Added Andrew Rosindell: “Today was a positive step in the campaign to make it easier to bring pets into rented accommodation. As the Minister showed in the constructive way in which the meeting progressed, the Government is taking this matter seriously and is genuinely listening to proposals to remedy the situation.”

The Heads for Tails report was compiled by Jen Berezai, who runs AdvoCATS, an organisation that assists pet owners who are having difficulty finding rental accommodation. The main aim of the campaign is to have Parliament amend the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to enable landlords to either stipulate pet damage insurance is provided, or charge a separate capped pet deposit, so avoiding the devastating impact of “no pets” clauses.

The report reveals that, with just 7% of landlords advertising their properties as pet-friendly, too many tenants face having to surrender their pet(s) in order to rent a home. This, coupled with the fact that more people than ever before are renting property, has generated a real crisis in animal shelters, not to mention the emotional trauma it creates for both pet owner and the pet.

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