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Posted: 2nd April 2024

Pet rights for renters included in Scottish housing bill
If passed, the bill will mean that private landlords can no longer unreasonably refuse a request to keep a pet.
Landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse requests to keep a pet.

The Scottish government has published a new bill that could give renters in Scotland new rights to keep pets.

Under the Housing (Scotland) Bill, private and social housing tenants will have the right to request to keep a pet, which landlords will not be able to unreasonably refused. Currently, it is up to private landlords whether or not they choose to give a tenant written permission to keep a pet.

The bill, which follows three public consultations, will be looked at by MSPs before being voted on in the Scottish parliament.

Patrick Harvie, tenants’ rights minister, said: “A fairer, well-regulated rented sector is good for both tenants and landlords. Tenants benefit from improved conditions and security, while good responsible landlords will thrive when their good practice is recognised by regulation.”

The proposed legislation has been welcomed by Dogs Trust. With one in ten rehoming requests received by Dogs Trust involving issues with accommodation, the charity has been campaigning for greater rights for responsible pet owners who rent their home.

Claire Wilson-Leary, Dogs Trust’s public affairs manager, said: “We welcome proposals within the Housing (Scotland) Bill that, if passed, will mean landlords cannot unreasonably refuse consent for private tenants to keep a pet. We have long called for stronger rights for responsible dog owning tenants to be able to keep a pet.  
“We will be engaging with the Scottish government to clarify details of when it would be reasonable for landlords to refuse consent to ensure that tenants are not unjustly denied the right to keep a pet.”

Similar legislation for England is currently going through the UK parliament as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Image © Shutterstock

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