The government has published its latest Model Tenancy Agreement and within it given tenants the right to rent a property with their pet, with the onus on landlords to explain why they think it’s inappropriate for the property.

Although this is a significant deviation from previous government policy, the new model agreement is only recommended to landlords and letting agents when issuing rental contracts. But it marks a significant shift by Ministers.

What do landlords and other players in the housing market think of this mild government U-turn on pets?

Suzy Hershman, mydeposits

“Unfortunately, The Tenant Fees Act scuppered all ways of taking extra money in return for allowing a tenant to keep a pet in the property, other than taking a well-advertised and ‘reasonably placed’ higher rent.

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“A tenant is only responsible for leaving the property in the same condition it was in at the start, allowing for reasonable wear and tear.

“If you agree to a tenant with a pet, then ‘reasonable wear and tear’ could extend to minor damage caused by the pet. 

“Whether a deduction is made from a deposit or is a claim for a no-deposit alternative such as the Ome like any claim, it can only succeed for a breach of the tenancy agreement – i.e. damage that is beyond reasonable wear and tear, which is supported by evidence.”

The National Residential Landlords Association

A spokesperson says: “Pets are not always suitable in certain properties such as large dogs in small flats without gardens. There is often more a risk of damage to a property where there is a pet.

“We call on the Government to enable the level at which deposits are set to be more flexible to reflect this greater risk.

“We are also calling for a tenant to either have pet insurance or to pay the landlord for it to be allowed as a requirement for a tenancy where relevant.

“At present payments such as this are banned under the Tenant Fees Act.” 

Terri Dunne, Chief Delivery Officer at Hamilton Fraser

“Allowing responsible tenants to have pets will increase the market reach for the property and attract a wider supply of tenants and possibly longer tenancies.

“But it is generally accepted that no matter how well trained the pet is, there is likely to be damage to the property.

“Under a landlord property insurance policy there are likely to be exclusions or limitations regarding whether a claim can be submitted for any damage caused by a pet.

“As such, you should always check your landlord insurance policy or speak with your insurance broker.”               

4 COMMENTS

  1. The only way this new suggestion would be reasonable is if we can offer two tiers of rental cost, with or without pets. If not all rents will assume the higher cost of with pets.

  2. No. I can’t say I’m worried. I’ve decided to charge extra for pets. I’m not against tenants having pets, but I am against having to pay for damage (which was considerable for the last pet) and having to clear up after them (dog dirt in the lawn – I had to go over the whole lawn and clear up a year’s worth of dog dirt – and dog dirt in the house).

  3. Im a tenant looking for a bigger property in the private sector , im struggling to find one as I have 2 adult dogs . I totally understand that pets can cause some damage if owner is not responsible ( but so can small children ) . I don’t disagree with paying extra for my dogs as I am confident there would be no significant damage caused . As for anyone leaving dog dirt in a garden let alone a house is disgusting and these kind of people should pay the damages .

  4. I wouldn’t let anyone have pets in my home period. Yes the rent goes up 20/30% and deposit then maybe its worth it. But in my bad experience never again. I felt sorry for the dogs that was staying in that filth . The way the tenants left my home wasn’t fit for animals nevermind human being! Full 3 bed house flooring replacement cost me around £3000 plus loss of rent for a couple of months for the house being empty another £2000 that includes council tax because they dont give any off periods anymore! Most landlords rent their first home growing up which can take an emotional toll on them we had to sell because we finally had enough.
    The smell was so bad it made me throwing up just walking in. And before you start i am a dog owner also but I’ve trained mine . Landlords dont hates pets they hate irresponsible owners.

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