New standard tenancy agreement to help renters with well behaved pets

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  • New standard tenancy agreement makes it easier for tenants with pets to find rented accommodation
  • Landlords no longer able to issue a blanket ban on pets
  • Just 7% of private landlords currently advertise pet friendly properties

Responsible tenants with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through the new Model Tenancy Agreement announced by the government today (28 January 2021).

Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, announced by Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on 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.

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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. With figures showing that more than half of adults in the United Kingdom own a pet and many more welcoming pets into their lives during the pandemic, these changes mean more landlords will cater for responsible pet owners.

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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 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.

Further information

Figures on pet ownership taken from The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), February 2020

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The Model Tenancy Agreement is intended for use in England

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