If you have a pet and need to rent, you will no longer struggle to find properties
Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, announced by Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, on the 28th January 2021, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on tenants with pets.
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 pandemic has led to an increase of people welcoming pets into their lives
It is estimated that around just 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties. Therefore if you have a pet it is much more difficult to find a home to rent. There have been some cases where this has meant people have had to give up their pets.
The Model Tenancy Agreement is the government’s recommended tenancy agreement for landlords. The pandemic has led to an increase of people welcoming pets into their lives, these changes mean more landlords will cater to responsible pet owners.
Tenants will be liable for any damage to the property
If the Model Agreement is used, the Landlord should only reject a tenant with a pet if there is good reason to do so. An example of this would be smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical. To continue to provide some protection for landlords the tenants will have to be liable for any repairs or cover the cost of any damage to the property.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:
“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.”
“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.”
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This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.