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.

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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.

Tiny fraction

“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.”

36 COMMENTS

  1. This will not cause me any problems as a LL – I shall be selling up because I can’t get my electrically heated property upto an EPC C. So I will no longer be taking tenants – with or without pets.

    This Govt is going to single handedly put thousands of tenants on the streets with its raft of ridiculously anti LL bills.

    Sorry, longterm tenant of 5 years (oh and by the way a nurse in the NHS) you’ll have to find somewhere else to live because the Govt says your home is not energy efficient enough 🙁

    • good news for the tenant then, they can find somewhere else to rent where the landlord provides gas central heating and save hundreds of £ per month on heating costs and actually feel cosy.

      • Bob, don’t forget that not all properties have a gas supply! A landlord cannot provide gas central heating when there isn’t any gas.
        One of my properties doesn’t have gas. It has the best EPC rating in the street at 54 (top end of E). No improvements would make any difference, except adding thousands of £’s in solar panels, which “might” just scrape it into a band C.

      • A couple of my rentals are currently rated at a low D. The Government are pushing for C. There is not much more I can do that is economically viable to bring them up to C. With a proposed cap of £10k, I am expected to spend this even though I may only achieve a higher D, yet the annual energy savings between low D and high D are poultry at around £100 per year. I have one rated at E, yet it is still warm and cozy, and perhaps the tenant is paying a couple of hundred a year more in gas than they would if it was a C.

        There is this narrative that anything below the current code is not fit for purpose, and any landlord renting them out is some kind of slum lord. Just look at Bob’s exaggerated comment “save hundreds of pounds a month”. But people buy into this BS adding to the anti-landlord sentiment where much of the new legislation is not based upon fact but a knee-jerk reaction to shouty leftie voices.

  2. Yet more narrow minded rubbish playing into the landlords are all super rich , arrogant tenant exploiting pariah agenda. Yet again the government along with Shelter and the various other sanctimonious do gooders fail to recognise that every nail in the coffin of the PRS will directly impact on the very people they want to help.
    Try and force LLs to accept tenants on benefits, allow them to have any pet they like , and in reality rely on the tenants personal decency to determine whether they pay rent . This is where we are now , but let’s see the surprise when lls exit the market in droves, rents skyrocket to cover the costs of increased repairs and the additional risk of non payment. In addition the only tenants able to get a property will be the gold plated , high earners with garantors and pet allergies. I’m just not sure what happens to the usual decent tenants , they won’t be able to afford the rents and the councils haven’t the capacity to accommodate them

    • LLs who want sell up – please do! You dont need to justify that you are helping to house tenants – cos you are in it for profit and not cos you suddenly feel have a social responsibility to house people. Lets be honest – OK !
      The reality is the Govt needs to wake up – if you regulate any sector out of business then that section will dissapear – unless of course that is what they want with the PRS so that large corporates n pension funds can get into the sector with build to rent .
      Fact is Govt does not care – NOT for LLs or tenants or anyone – its all about votes – does not matter which Govt in power.
      Its about time – Tenants realise – every single legislation brought in will drive up rents as there is less profit for their LLs – yes ! LLs need profit – like any other business – No Profit No Business. Tenants need to accept this truth.
      People need to know by dividing LLs and tenants – no one except the middlemen – govt, legal profession, etc
      Going forward – LLs and Tenants need to work together – cut out the middlemen….
      Just my 2pence worth…

  3. “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.” and that’s really going to happen! How will tenants on benefits pay for the damage? £3-odd a week for potentially thousands of pounds of damage?

    My rental has just gone up £25 per month, tenant must have insurance to cover pet damage, and a guarantor.

    ““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.” How, exactly are, landlords’ properties safeguarded against inappropriate or badly behaved pets?

  4. What stupidity just raised the rent of the house going on rent by £60 per month or selling up. Good luck long term tenants. Putting them in auction to get shot of them even quicker!

  5. OK so we may have to accept pets but can we also stipulate that if a Tenant wants to have pets then we can set a higher rent to cover the possibility of additional costs or that they cover the cost of an insurance backed product that covers any damage????

  6. I’ve tried it, took a DSS tenant with two dogs. She made my life a nightmare and I struggled with a costly eviction. Her two dogs soaked the carpets in urine and when I tried to claim the cost back from her deposit she went to appeal. You can guess the outcome. I was more than livid!!

  7. They strangle the life out of Landlords based on the minority of bad ones while tenants get to run wild and free to damage and not pay rent or repairs. I don’t understand how they can reasonably enforce so many rules. If you rent a car or pretty much anything else you can set the terms… why are we not allowed to set terms on housing? No one is forced to stay there if it doesn’t meet their needs

  8. Several flats I own in blocks state in their leases that pets aren’t allowed? Or in one case, only caged birds are allowed to be kept. What happens then? Which rule/clause prevails?

    • Ditto with flats I own. The clause in lease about pets is there for good reason and is entirely understandable ref blocks of leasehold flats.
      For instance:- What happens when occupant of a flat goes to work all day and leaves their barking dog in the flat to disturb hapless other occupants of the building? Is that unfair on others in the building….or not?
      There is a lack of ‘joined up thinking’ out there with the legislators, who, among other things appear to have a lack of imagination and experience. I hear legislators put forward plans and I have to check my calendar to see whether it’s still 1st April:- April Fools Day.

  9. So the rent is X. T writes saying they’re going to get a “puppy”. Can i then charge X+Y? How does that work with an AST stating rent is X.

    • The rent is £x pcm with no pets. Pets, whether agreed or not will incur an additional £x pcm per pet. In addition, the tenant will need to ensure the pet is kept up to date with any treatments such as flea and worming, is insured and the tenant has insurance against any damage caused by the pet (s).

  10. LL of 16 years and I’m out as soon as I can. years of persecution and one sided policies from government idiots and do gooders with no idea what they are doing has made the decision for me.soon when real rent prices hit tenants they will all be wondering what on earth happened and praying for the good old days. Good luck tenants your in a heap of poop and governments and councils are powerless and clueless and won’t help you. You got everything you wanted and nothing.I had a tenant with pet who caused £7k of damage chased her round the country with all that the law provided me including attachment of earnings order but court lost track and was left with unpaid debts that wiped out 2 years rent it’s just another nail in the coffin you can’t recoup this sort of expense thru increased rent on your next tenancy you would never let out again. double the bond for pet owners and force them to act responsibly.

  11. I thought we elected a Tory government?? There’s no way I’d rent my property to someone with cats or dogs. The smell makes me feel sick, and I may have to live in the property myself again one day. If people must keep pets, then they should buy their own home. Keeping cats and dogs is not cheap!

  12. I couldn’t accept a tenant with a pet as doing so would contravene the terms of my lease. Extra to that main point, it would be unfair on other occupants of the building. A dog is left barking in a fiat is very disturbing to those in close proximity. For instance, supposing shift workers are trying to sleep in the day time and a dog is barking in flat below or above them. How disturbing is that situation?

  13. My clients will simply say they are allergic to dog and cat fur. They will also say that incoming tenants might be allergic to dog and cat fur and therefore they will not be accepting pets.

    Tenants sneak pets in now. The amount of times that we have have carried out visits and the same excuse is mentioned – “my mum is at work and im looking after her cat”

    It will be interesting to see how may tenants will allow you to carry out routine visits with a spare key with their pets being at home. Or how many contractors will want to take a look at a maintenance job with two big Rottweilers in the property.

  14. Finally got out of the PRS on January 8th after 33 largely good years renting out my one London investment property to many decent tenants over the years. I had no mortgage and no real problems to talk about when I decided to sell up in October after my tenant of 7 years gave Notice, but the never-ending raft of petty rules and regulations that have come on real strong in the last few years got me to the stage where I was actually willing to give it all up. The traps that await every law-abiding decent landlord who might make the slightest mistake when granting a tenancy, and the ongoing interference by state-employed “pen pushers” who aren’t nearly finished with a whole load more nonsense on the way finally scared me. Add to that the possibility of ending up with a non-paying tenant you can’t ged rid of (which has to be an increasing risk as Furlough comes to an end), new rules re abolishing Section 21, having to allow pets, extended minimum term tenancies, licencing of landlords, proposed draconian EPC re-rating, possible/probable Capital Gains Tax increases, etc etc.. What next? Back to rent controls? So I’m out.. Will invest in something else.. I can only wish good luck to those wishing to continue, and done correctly it can be a good and profitable business but there’s just too many potential problems now……

  15. I am surprised legally that any entity (ie Government) can legislate for this, as this must be as equally ‘discriminatory’ to the Landlord – no, better term PROPERTY OWNER – than it is for the potential tenant. I should have thought a case for the European Court of Human Rights as a discrimination against the OWNER — or is that now out of our reach I guess ? The Conservative Govt is now poacher turned gamekeeper – these are the traits of a socialist government – but as many have said already, simply a vote winner – more like a race to the bottom. No understanding of practicalities and prudent estate management/consideration for other tenants in a building or the over arching demands of a leasehold situation. What’s new.

  16. The level of Government ( let alone a supposed Tory, party of business ! – ha ha ) intervening in Private property right is staggering.
    But with the failure of landlords to collectively join in a protest against the government and the weakness of the single body allegedly representing landlords, it just gives the Govt the ‘Green light’ to continue to ride rough-shod over the PRS.
    Will the government be legislating that all hire cars provide heated seats for the comfort of customers because they prefer a warm @r$e, even though they can’t afford to buy a car like that themselves !

  17. “The use of the model is entirely voluntary. There is no legal requirement to use it – although landlords and tenants will be able to do so with confidence.”

    From the Government’s own website..

    So long as the Scottish Government doesn’t follow suit. Our PRT is mandatory.

    • You are obviously not acquainted with Tory MP Andrew Rosindell’s Pet Bill due for a second reading shortly to force landlords to allow pets along the lines of the Model Agreement.

  18. Well reading all the comments as listed is nothing new, as I have suffered pretty much all of the above over the years, one tenant especially comes to mind. Single mom apparently, well presented, impeccable references, her farther even signed a guarantee. Property. A two bedroom flat, totally renovated. Paid the first two months rent then nothing, then it started, despite a no pet policy the dog turned up, then the obnoxious hard man boyfriend arrived, then the drug dealing started, then the violence, then the intimidation to other tenants, then threats of violence to me. To cut a long and sad costly story to an end it took over a year to get her evicted, total damage in excess of £7,000.00 pounds plus legal costs plus loss of rental. The references provided turned out to be fraudulent, the guarantee signed by her farther elapsed after the first six months and he just shrugged it of NOT MY PROBLEM! And that’s the short version. On the other hand I have tenants that have been excellent, one in particular same property 20 years never missed a months rental and looks after the property as if it was his own, if only all tenants were this good. However what’s the bottom line we know that the majority of landlords comply with all the regulations new and old and it’s only a small minority that tarnish the business, despite legislation these people will continue to flourish, and finally I will not under any circumstances allow pets to be kept in any of my property with the only exception of a blind dog.

  19. reading this rubbish everyday some new law is passed or changed. this is a social welfare estate or u can say a council estate. givernment will aleays side with tenants. no point fighting. just sellup move assetts abroad.nice and simple. abroad there is no cgt after 5 years.

  20. My leases state that ‘ no animal, bird or reptile can be kept in the property without the permission of the management company’ . As chairman of the management company I say NO. End of!!

  21. Does this mean that Pets will be officially classed under “Fair Wear and Tear”. Last time we had a dog in a house we had to replace all the carpets under “Fair Wear & Tear”. Cats scratch everything and the timber balustrade on the staircase was virtually trashed four years ago. Again it was classed as “Fair Wear and Tear” and normal behaviour for cats. Hamsters, Gerbils, etc are rodents and like rats and mice have no bladder control. You do not want them near babies or anyone with asthma.

  22. I am pleased to say the sale of my first rental property (of three) completed Wednesday. When the other two tenants give notice (one of which owes £1000 in rent) I will be selling these too. The properties are all well maintained and compliant. I am serious about my responsibilities, however I feel the writing is on the wall and I am not confident about the future as a private landlord. It’s just not worth the hassle for the income and the risk all these changes present for me in future.

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