A new standard tenancy agreement will make it easier for tenants with pets to find rented accommodation, the Government has announced.
The rules come after research revealed that just seven per cent of private landlords advertise “pet friendly” properties.
Known as the Model Tenancy Agreement, the Government’s recommended – but not mandatory -contract for landlords in England will now make consent for pets the “default position”.
A landlord who does not want a pet in their home will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide “good reason” – such as large pets in smaller properties or flats.
“Clause C3.5 prohibits a landlord from exercising a blanket ban on pets. A responsible pet owner will be aware of their responsibilities in making best efforts to ensure their pet does not cause a nuisance to neighbouring households or undue damage to the Property,” the new guidance states.
“A landlord should take steps to accommodate written requests from responsible tenants with pets.”
While tenants will continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the costs of any damage caused by the pet to the property, landlords are prohibited from charging a fee to a tenant who wishes to keep pets at the property. Landlords can, however, ask that an additional deposit is paid by the tenant providing it is protected in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme and it does not exceed the deposit cap.
The latest statistics show that more than half of UK adults own a pet, but just seven per cent of private landlords advertise “pet friendly” properties – preventing many families from accessing suitable accommodation or forcing them to give up their pet altogether.
Commenting on the new tenancy agreement, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher 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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