Posted: Thu 27th Apr 2023

Hopes that Senedd inquiry could help end ‘unfairness’ for renters wanting to adopt pets

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Apr 27th, 2023

An animal welfare charity has welcomed a Senedd inquiry into whether people with pets face barriers accessing private rented housing in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The RSPCA has long called for a change in law to prevent private landlords initiating blanket bans on the keeping of pets in private rental properties. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However too many tenants in Wales are either blocked from getting a pet – or face the heartbreaking proposition of having to give up an animal to rent somewhere to live. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Now the Senedd’s Local Government and Housing Committee will look into the issue as part of a wider inquiry into the private rented sector, including the supply, quality and affordability of accommodation, the challenges facing landlords, and barriers to accessing the sector for prospective tenants. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Billie-Jade Thomas, RSPCA Cymru’s public affairs manager, said: “Pets are members of the family – but too often in Wales, those in the private rented sector either aren’t allowed to get a pet, or face the heartbreaking decision of having to give up their beloved animals to get a roof over their heads. Enough is enough, and we must end this unfairness. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“In Wales, more than half of households own a pet – but those in the private rented sector are being unfairly penalised purely because of where they live. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“At a time when our animal centres are full to bursting, and with many private renters able to offer a wonderful home to animals, the current situation is an own goal for pet welfare. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As such, it’s hugely welcome that the Local Government and Housing Committee has launched an inquiry into the private rented sector, and it’s great this will specifically look at pet owners – hopefully helping pave the way for much-needed change in Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The charity has previously worked with Senedd Members on proposals for legislation to help private renters; and RSPCA plans for a Pets in Housing (Wales) Bill were taken forward by Luke Fletcher MS, who tabled the idea into a Senedd ballot for backbench laws. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Such a Bill would ensure that responsible pet owners are not punished as a consequence of the type of accommodation they live in, including making allowing a pet a legal default in the social housing and private rented sector – unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire Councillor Sam Swash – who represents the Mancot ward – has also campaigned for change; and hopes the Senedd committee inquiry will pave the way for Welsh Government action. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Last year, Cllr Swash tabled a petition with the Senedd – which received 857 signatures – calling for change in Wales, which argued that the ‘benefits of pet ownership should not be exclusive to homeowners’. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Following the announcement of the inquiry, Cllr Swash, said: “I very much welcome the news that the Local Government and Housing Committee’s inquiry into the private rented sector will cover pets in rented accommodation. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“To date, the Welsh Government’s unwillingness to ban no pet clauses in response to the petition has been incredibly disappointing and is based on increasingly spurious reasoning. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I am hopeful that the inquiry will help to shine a spotlight onto the seriousness of this issue and encourage the Minister for Climate Change to legislate. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The harm caused to both tenants and pets by blanket no pet clauses is significant and far-reaching; a ban on these clauses in tenancy agreements in Wales would provide an additional safety net to pets whilst strengthening the rights of tenants across the country.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: [email protected]
Latest News

  • Aura and Flintshire Council reach agreement “in principle” to extend leisure services partnership
  • First Minister Vaughan Gething resigns
  • Vaughan Gething finally publishes evidence which lead to sacking of Hannah Blythyn from Welsh Government

  • More...

    Aura and Flintshire Council reach agreement “in principle” to extend leisure services partnership

    News

    First Minister Vaughan Gething resigns

    News

    Vaughan Gething finally publishes evidence which lead to sacking of Hannah Blythyn from Welsh Government

    News

    Welsh Government Ministers resign and call for Vaughan Gething to step down

    News

    Significant failings in education system for children in Wales with ALN and disabilities

    News

    Two Sisters ‘Ground Force’ transforms Queensferry school’s outdoor spaces

    News

    Water bills in Wales set to rise significantly over next decade

    News

    Welsh Government unveils new Bill to boost Welsh language education

    News

    Plans to install 12 new electric vehicle charging points at a Ewloe hotel refused

    News