The government has announced that responsible tenants in England with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through a new standard tenancy agreement as of today (28 January).
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher confirmed that the government has updated the Standard Tenancy Agreement to make allowing well behaved pets the norm. Landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets and the government is encouraging all landlords and agents to adopt it.
Under the new agreement, consent for pets will be the default position. Landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant. 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.
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. Currently, just 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties.
Housing Minister 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.”