New standard tenancy agreement to help renters with well-behaved pets

The government has announced a new Model Tenancy Agreement to allow responsible tenants with well-behaved pets to secure leases more easily.

Under the new 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.

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.

Under the new Model Tenancy 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.

Animal welfare charity, Battersea welcomes the government’s announcement having long campaigned for more rented accommodation to be pet friendly, so that a larger number of people can enjoy the many positive health and social benefits of pet ownership.

Peter Laurie, Battersea’s Interim Chief Executive said: “At Battersea we see far too many heartbroken owners forced to give up their pets due to housing problems – it’s the second biggest reason people bring their dogs and cats to us.

“The announcement demonstrates the government’s clear, continued commitment to improving access to pet ownership for renters, as well as helping to support responsible pet ownership. This new Model Tenancy Agreement is a great step in the right direction for pet owners, but it is vital that we continue to have conversations around how we can help everyone have the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of pet ownership, no matter where they live.”

Further information on the Model Tenancy Agreement can be found here.