The Government must end the blanket ban on pets in rented accommodation, according to the Labour party.
Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said people receiving homes in approved housing bodies have reported being asked to choose between a roof over their head or their family pet.
Senator Moynihan said a “commonsense approach” must be taken to pets in rented accommodation.
“When it comes to housing, Government consistently fails to take a commonsense approach to the issues that affect people. Renting needs to work for people,” she said.
“We shouldn’t have a bizarre situation where people are asked to choose between a roof over their head or their family pet. 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.
“Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill would end the blanket ban on pets in rented accommodation and bring Ireland’s rental rights into the 21st century.”
Senator Moynihan said this issue affects a variety of renters who want the “company and companionship” of a pet in their home.
She said pets play a “huge role” in people’s lives as they provide emotional support which enhances overall wellbeing.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“Last year, the UK Housing Minister introduced a Model Tenancy Agreement which ends the blanket pet ban. Now, landlords can only ban animals where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where it may be impractical. The Minister has the power to implement the same change here.
“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 to have their pets and companions in their rented homes. Renting needs to work for people."