The government has introduced its new Model Tenancy Agreement making it easier for tenants with well-behaved pets to secure leases.
It means that landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets.
Instead, consent 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.
Currently, just 7% of private landlords advertise pet friendly properties, meaning many people struggle to find suitable homes. In some cases, this has meant people have had to give up their pets all together.
The Model Tenancy Agreement is the government’s recommended contract for landlords. Figures show that more than half of adults in the United Kingdom own a pet, with many having welcomed pets into their lives during the pandemic. Ministers say this means it is important that landlords should cater for responsible pet owners.
Under the new agreement, rejections should 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.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “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.
“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.”
Please contact Holly Baker if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.