A PETITION to the Senedd has been started to ban the use of ‘no pet clauses’ in tenancy agreements in Wales.
The clauses stop people from owning pets on a property that they are renting, and makes it much harder to find a suitable property to move to.
The petition, started by Sam Swash, quotes the Dog’s Trust as saying that “the single biggest reason for dogs being handed in to rehoming centres is because of a change of circumstances”.
Several animal welfare organisations and Senedd Members have already agreed with the petition, with RSPCA Cymru publicly backing the move.
Also backing the petition is pet charity Blue Cross, which has an animal shelter in Newport.
Anna Wade, public affairs manager at Blue Cross, said: “As an organisation we recognise the important role pets play in people’s lives.
“This is why we are keen to see landlords, housing associations and local authorities adopt pet-friendly policies which allow owners living in rented accommodation to keep their pets with them.
“We welcomed the changes to the Model Tenancy Agreement by the UK Government which removed these clauses from tenants agreements in England, and only hope Wales will follow suit to ensure more owners are able to remain with their pets.”
Newport East MS John Griffiths said: “We are a nation of animal lovers.
“Pets are really important for companionship, but for also wider wellbeing and mental health.
“For that reason, wherever possible I think tenants should be allowed to have pets in their properties, and the “no pets” clause removed.”
The issue has gathered support in other political parties, with Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales East, Peredur Owen Griffiths weighing into the debate.
“People renting accommodation should have the same right to own a pet as someone owning a home, providing the accommodation itself is suitable,” said Mr Griffiths.
“An increasing number of young people are unable to get onto the property ladder, which is a big problem for many communities throughout Wales.
“Until we are able to do something about that, young people or anyone else forced into the rental market will have the double whammy of being excluded from the property market and excluded from the joys of owning a pet.
“This is a policy that affects people of all ages and I would like to see Wales follow the example of other countries in ensuring that model tenancy agreements promote responsible pet ownership.”
At the time of writing, the petition is well under the threshold to be considered for debate in the Senedd, as it has only 626 signatures, but it will be discussed by the Petitions Committee.
To view the petition, click here.