Renters in Wales face being "left behind" if new regulations for tenancy agreements do not automatically include the right to keep pets, RSPCA Cymru has warned.

The Welsh Government has launched draft regulations for landlords and tenants with the aim of making it easier to sign and understand rental contracts.

But RSPCA Cymru said it was "disappointed" the proposed new laws do not include any references to pets or animals.

The animal welfare charity believes the default position should be that pet ownership is allowed in the rented sector, so long as the accommodation is suitable and the needs of any animals can be met - unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so.

"Renting accommodation shouldn't be a barrier to owning a pet - but too many face a blanket ban on bringing their animals with them, or getting a new pet," said the charity's head of public affairs, David Bowles.

"Unfortunately, in Wales, we fear renters could be left behind with the Welsh Government's model statements making no tangible reference to pets or animals - whereas in England, model tenancy agreements promote responsible pet ownership."

He said the consultation period for the new rental regulations was "an ideal opportunity" for Wales to change course and make it the default position that pets should be allowed in suitable rented accommodation.

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"Pet ownership can be so rewarding - and help facilitate happier, healthier tenants, so this can benefit all parties - and help animals find loving new homes," Mr Bowles added.

"Landlords can look to include a reasonable pet deposit, too, in any rental agreement to give them additional security."

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said that while the proposed regulations did not include a statutory right to keep pets, "there is nothing to prevent landlords and tenants agreeing an additional term in their contracts to cover this".

She added: “We are fully supportive of the RSPCA’s Best Practice guidance for pets in private rented property, and we have shared this, along with the Homes for All guide, with private landlords and agents through Rent Smart Wales.”

The new regulations, under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, will "make it simpler and easier to rent a home in Wales" by making paperwork such as contracts "much clearer" and more consistent, the government said.

Landlords will also have to give tenants a 'written statement' that includes all the terms of the contract for both the landlord and the tenant.

You can take part in the consultation here. The closing date for submissions is June 16.