Socially, allowing tenants the right to keep pets would potentially have a range of positive benefits. The keeping of pets would allow tenants to a family life that includes the companionship of animals, also aiding with the issue of loneliness, something that is prevalent within society today.
Many landlords are already accepting tenants with pets, with some actively encouraging tenants to keep pets but a vast majority of tenants will currently not be able to keep a pet.
New policy plans would enable most, if not all, of these tenants to have a default right to keep a pet.
Additionally, tenants who are granted permission for pets tend to stay within the rental property for a longer period of time. This mitigates part of the housing crisis, providing people with a permanent home for longer as the likelihood of them moving decreases.
Furthermore, the ability to keep a pet may encourage people to adopt pets, particularly from places such as animal shelters and local rescues. In turn, this reduces the number of animals currently awaiting adoption or being given up for adoption, purely because rental housing does not permit the animal to live there.
When looking at a range of case studies, it’s easy to see that many landlords are already accepting tenants with pets, with some actively encouraging tenants to keep pets. However, not all landlords feel the same.
Some landlords worry about the potential damage that may be caused to their property, and in turn, may increase rents to cover necessary costs in expectancy of damage.
A good solution could be entering a clause into tenancy contracts, stipulating that tenants should be responsible for professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy, returning the property back to the landlord in the state they received it. This would potentially lead to more landlords accepting tenants with pets, as they would not be apprehensive about the state in which the property will be left.
In summary, a default right to pets is something that would allow tenants more rights and freedom, not to mention the likely societal benefits it would bring.