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‘Jasmine’s Law’ Success Will Keep Pets With Their Owners in Rented Homes

The Model Tenancy Agreement has been changed to make it easier for tenants with well-behaved pets to find rented accommodation, thanks to the pioneering work of MP Andrew Rosindell.

The announcement by Housing Minister, The Rt. Hon. Chris Pincher M.P., came while Mr Rosindell was live on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show, discussing his campaign.

Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets. Instead, consent for pets will be the default position and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.

The new agreement incorporates a number of elements proposed by Andrew Rosindell’s campaign and its associated legislation, including the concept of “responsible ownership”. The new agreement also includes the requirement that any landlords turning down pets in their accommodation must provide a good reason, which was a key component of Andrew’s campaign.

The Model Tenancy Agreement acts as a guideline, or a template and is not legally binding. Andrew Rosindell has said that the campaign to turn these proposals into law “must continue.”

On the 26th of February, the M.P. will be hosting an event on Zoom to discuss the legislation he is proposing, and the importance of pets during lockdown. He will be joined by guests including Anna Webb, the broadcaster, dog trainer and nutritionist; Dr Elizabeth Ormorod from the Society of Companion Animal Studies; Sarah Dixon from FOAL Group; Gabby Kuehn from PAAW House, and others.

The Ten Minute Rule Bill introduced by Andrew Rosindell, dubbed “Jasmine’s Law” after a Weimaraner from Surrey, had its First Reading in the House of Commons in October 2020.

Andrew Rosindell M.P. said:

“This is a significant step. As the Housing Minister made clear in his statement, blanket bans on pets are ‘unfair’ and these changes are clear indications that the Government recognises the extent of the problem. I am delighted to have played a role in securing this change..

Nevertheless, the Model Tenancy Agreement is just a template. It is not legally binding. Consequently, this campaign must continue, and we must turn these proposals into law to ensure a pet in every home.”

Rachel Williams, Senior Parliamentary Advisor for the RSPCA said:

“This news is a big step forward for pet owning renters. The RSPCA has long been urging the Government to amend their model agreement and it’s fantastic to see that they have finally done so. This new agreement makes it clear that pet friendly accommodation should be considered the rule, not the exception. 

The RSPCA believes that responsible pet ownership can bring huge benefits to animal and owner alike and we encourage all landlords to use the new model agreement with their tenants. As many existing pet friendly landlords will testify, pet owners can be some of the best tenants. And with landlords’ support in encouraging responsible pet ownership measures through their tenancy agreements we could see real progress in animal welfare too.”

Sarah Dixon, Director of FOAL Group said:

“We are delighted that the Government have listened and updated their model tenancy agreement. We congratulate Andrew Rosindell MP and fellow campaigners for tackling this issue. Responsible pet owners should not be excluded from the rental market. Our pets are such fundamental members of our families. Devoted owners, like John Chadwick, should not be forced to give up their loyal furry friends in order to be approved for accommodation. The announcement today, is not only welcome, it is morally right.”