Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has given his support to easier pet ownership in the rental market following an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats roundtable.
Gwynne was delighted to attend a roundtable organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats (APGOCATS), of which he is co-Chair, on Tuesday 16th March to discuss how pet ownership can be better supported for the rental market.
The session was chaired by Paula Sparks, Executive Chairperson for the UK Centre for Animal Law. It was arranged with the assistance of NOAH – a representative for the UK animal health industry; Dogs Trust & the APGOCATS Secretariat: Battersea, Blue Cross & Cats Protection. Guest speakers included Alicia Kennedy, Director at Generation Rent and John Stewart, Deputy Director of Policy and Research at the National Residential Landlords Association.
Speakers representing the perspectives of the voluntary sector, landlords and tenants took part in an energised discussion aimed at finding a way forward for all parties The discussion considered issues such as the value of pet ownership in promoting mental health, the role of pet CVs, how allowing tenants with pets can have business benefits for landlords and the Government’s role in supporting more people to own animals at home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on our relationships with our animals in the home like never before, and the roundtable offered a timely opportunity for stakeholders to discuss how pet ownership has helped many people to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
Earlier this year, the Government introduced a new Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA) to shift the balance in favour of pet ownership for those seeking to rent a property, which has been widely well received as a step in the right direction for renters in England.
APGOCATS will continue to make representations in the coming months to the Government to highlight the importance of reviewing the uptake of the new Model Tenancy Agreement and whether it’s having the impact it is intended to.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“As both a pet owner and a pet-lover, I am very aware of the positive impact that pet ownership has on our mental health.
“With more and more people renting, it’s important that they are also able to experience the joy or pet ownership.
“Thanks to APGOCATS for organising such an interesting event and facilitating such an engaging and constructive discussion.”