Landlords should not be forced to take pets despite a push for pro-pet interventions, according to a leading estate agent.

David Alexander (pictured), MD of Scottish estate agency DJ Alexander, says UK legislation is moving towards greater provision for pets to be allowed in privately-rented homes both north and south of the border, and that many politicians feel allowing pets in private rentals is a vote-winner.

“In principle I welcome this trend,” says Alexander. “What I would not like to see, however, is a situation emerge whereby landlords are compelled, by law, to accept tenants with pets in yet another parody of ‘human rights’ legislation.

“Market forces, rather than the law, will be sufficient to sort this one out – as it does with so many other things.”

Landlords ‘not prejudiced’

He believes most landlords are not prejudiced against pets, and that many of his clients are dog- or cat-lovers.

Says Alexander: “In practical terms, however, dogs, especially larger ones, are seen as an addition to wear and tear. Cats not so much so but some do have a tendency to use sofas as their own personal scratching board.”

He adds that given the current over-supply of rental stock and ongoing concerns about the ability of many existing tenants to maintain rental payments once the furlough scheme ends, many more landlords will now have no objection, in principle, to welcoming new pet-owning tenants with a stable financial and personal background.

In January, the government updated its model tenancy agreement, aiming to end blanket bans on pets in rental properties, while Andrew Rosindell MP’s Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill has stalled on its journey through the Commons.

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