Call for end to blanket ban on pets in rental accommodation

by Rachel Cunningham
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A Labour housing spokesperson has called on the Irish government to end the current ban on pets in rented accommodation. 

Commenting on people receiving homes in the Approved Housing Bodies report, being asked to choose between a roof over their head or their family pet, Senator Rebecca Moynihan underscored the need for a common sense approach.

“When it comes to housing, government consistently fails to take a common sense approach to the issues that affect people. Renting needs to work for people. We shouldn’t have a bizarre situation where people are asked to choose between a roof over their head or their family pet”, Senator Moynihan stated.

“Anyone with a pet knows that they are a member of the family and whether you own your home or are renting your home, pets should be treated the same”, she said, adding that Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill would end this blanket ban and “bring Ireland’s rental rights into the 21st century.”

“This is an issue affecting so many renters, from single people to families who want the company and companionship of a pet in their home. I’ve been particularly struck by a number of elderly people, who have contacted my office. Many are asked to give up their beloved pet when moving into supported living situations. 

“We can’t have a situation where people feel they have to take the risk of turning down a home rather than giving up their beloved cat or dog. It’s unfair, when with the flick of a pen, Government could end this blanket ban”, the Labour senator said. 

She noted that the UK Housing Minister introduced a Model Tenancy Agreement last year, which ended a similar blanket pet ban so that landlords can only ban animals where there is good reason.

“Pets play a huge role in many people’s lives. They provide companionship and emotional support, enhancing overall wellbeing. They’re our friends and our family. With a greater number of people renting now than ever before, we have to explore ways that allow responsible owners have their pets and companions in their rented homes. Renting needs to work for people”, she concluded.

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