Clause 20 - Amendments to the Housing Act 1985

Part of Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 7 December 2021.

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Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border 2:45, 7 December 2021

It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairship, Ms Elliott. I am grateful to the Minister. I very much welcome the Bill. It is a tightly scripted, focused Bill, which will accelerate its passage. I welcome these clauses, which allow the Secretary of State and the Government to bring in subsequent and consequent amendments, if need be.

One of the key themes of the Bill is that it gives homeowners and leaseholders more of a sense that they have rights over the building they own and that is their home. Currently, in many cases, the leaseholder has to apply to the freeholder for permission to do things to the property that they consider to be their home. That can include whether they can keep a pet in the building. Is that something that the Government will look at as we move forward? When someone owns their home, they should have the right, as a responsible pet owner, to keep a pet. I declare a strong interest in that, both personally and professionally—I am a veterinary surgeon and am fully aware of the physical and mental health benefits to people and animals of the companionship of responsible pet ownership. Will the Government look at those rights moving forward?