Housing Minister Christopher Pincher has launched an update to the Model Tenancy Agreement that when implemented will prevent landlords from issuing blanket ‘no pets’ bans.
Instead, consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.
The new ‘recommended’ but non-mandatory guidance appears to go further than Andrew Rosindell’s (pictured) proposed Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill, which he told LandlordZONE last year would not make pets a ‘default right’ for tenants.
The housing ministry says that just 7% of private landlords advertise pet friendly properties, meaning many people struggle to find suitable homes.
In some cases, it claims, this has meant people have had to give up their pets all together.
Under the new agreement, rejections can only be made where there is good reason such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical.
To ensure landlords are protected, tenants will continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property.
“We are a nation of animal lovers and over the last year more people than ever before have welcome pets into their lives and homes,” says Pincher.
“But it can’t be right that only a tiny fraction of landlords advertise pet friendly properties and in some cases people have had to give up their beloved pets in order to find somewhere to live.
“Through the changes to the tenancy agreement we are making today, we are bringing an end to the unfair blanket ban on pets introduced by some landlords.
“This strikes the right balance between helping more people find a home that’s right for them and their pet while ensuring landlords’ properties are safeguarded against inappropriate or badly behaved pets.”
The Model Tenancy Agreement is the government’s recommended contract for landlords.
Letting agents say…
“Whilst we acknowledge that allowing pets can make a property more desirable and encourage tenants to rent for longer, even the best-behaved pets will have an impact on a property,” says Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Adviser, Propertymark (pictured).
“The UK Government must recognise the impact of their decision to cap deposits and the knock-on costs that landlords face. This is a complex issue that is determined on a case-by-case basis highlighting the need for landlords to get advice from a professional letting agent.”