Jenrick overhauls tenancy agreement to help end pet bans

by Property 118

8:43 AM, 4th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Jenrick overhauls tenancy agreement to help end pet bans

Make Text Bigger
Jenrick overhauls tenancy agreement to help end pet bans

Out of the Blue the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to have well behaved pets in their homes as he announced an overhaul of the model tenancy contracts.

The Press Statement says:

More young people and families than ever before are renting and should be able to enjoy the happiness that a pet can bring to their lives. However, currently only around 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets, meaning many people struggle to find a home suitable for themselves and their pets.

Some renters have been forced to give up their pets all together simply because they have been unable to move into a rented property with one.

But the government’s model tenancy contracts for renters, which can be used as the basis of lease agreements made with tenants, will now be revised to remove restrictions on well behaved pets – to ensure more landlords are catering for responsible pet owners wherever possible.

The government is clear there should be a balance with responsible pet owners not being penalised and landlords being more flexible in their approach, and it is right that landlords’ properties should be protected from damage by badly behaved pets.

But total bans on renters with pets should only be implemented where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owner’s through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing. So, it’s a shame that thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can’t experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning property.

“So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. And we will be listening to tenants and landlords to see what more we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both.

“This is part of this new government’s mission to improve life for tenants, recognising that more are renting and for longer in life. We’ve already taken action, banning unfair letting fees and capping tenancy deposits, saving tenants across England at least £240 million a year, and I will continue to take more steps to secure a better deal for renters up and down the country.”

Further information

The government will be bringing forward a bill to update the relationship between tenants and landlords as well as to introduce a Lifetime Deposit scheme, to make moving between properties easier and cheaper.

We will also establish First Home, a new programme for first time buyers, enabling them to purchase a new build property in their local area at a 30% discount.

The national model tenancy agreement is the government’s recommended contract for landlords to use when signing on new tenants for their properties in England. It sets out the minimum requirements and can be altered by landlords to cater for specific circumstances, tenants or properties.

A revised model tenancy agreement will be published by the government this year.



Comments

Monty Bodkin

11:26 AM, 4th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Marvelous! They make it harder for landlords to take on pet owners by capping deposits and then complain about the obvious consequences they were warned about.

No doubt they'll have the same regard and forethought to banning section 21.

Dr Rosalind Beck

15:19 PM, 4th January 2020
About 7 months ago

I think this could just be the beginning - 'encouraging' landlords initially and trying to force them later. That seems to be the modus operandi. They brought in EPCs just as a kind of measure of energy performance and then forced landlords to get to certain ratings. It's the thin end of the wedge and ties in with this Government's view of the PRS as something which the state can dictate to and to a certain extent remove control over it from the owner and hand that to the occupant and non-owner.
They've really got the whole thing wrong. I just wonder how long it will take - and how many more thousands of people will have to be made homeless - before they reverse this anti-landlord trajectory.

Marie

4:43 AM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 04/01/2020 - 15:19
So it will be illegal for a landlord to turn away a tenant on the basis that they have a rottweiler, or six cats? Really? Look how difficult it is tackling “no DSS”. How do they prove that a landlord has chosen a tenant who has no pets over the one with five cats, or the one with two alsatians? At the end of the day, it’s the landlord’s decision who they choose to live in their property!

Pamthomp33

10:06 AM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

I wholeheartedly agree that pets make people's lives better and help people with mental illness especially but for gods sake, if you want to encourage a better deal for tenants, then introduce a separate pet deposit to protect the landlord for the increased risk of damage. Legislation lumped on landlords is only encouraging them to resist additional risk.
How do you determine a 'well behaved' animal anyway when you dont meet the animal or spend time with it. You can only go on what the prospective tenant tells you.

Pamthomp33

10:07 AM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

I wholeheartedly agree that pets make people's lives better and help people with mental illness especially but for gods sake, if you want to encourage a better deal for tenants, then introduce a separate pet deposit to protect the landlord for the increased risk of damage. Legislation lumped on landlords is only encouraging them to resist additional risk.
How do you determine a 'well behaved' animal anyway when you dont meet the animal or spend time with it. You can only go on what the prospective tenant tells you.

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:30 AM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

As I suspected, it is in the Sun today that Jenrick will 'not rule out enshrining this in legislation.'

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10667493/landlords-cannot-stop-tenants-keeping-pets/

So we will be forced to take pets even if we don't want them for all the reasons given. Clearly, the Government believes now that our houses are theirs to do what they want with; not far off from Labour's Communist plans for us - completely on the same trajectory.

And I've just remembered another thing - my electrician was once bitten by a tenant's dog. I have also not been able to get access for gas safety certificates because of large, scary dogs and some workmen, rightly, refuse to go in under these threats. What clever ideas has the Government got to deal with this? Does the landlord just pick up the tab for a legal case for personal injury because they were forced to accept pets against their will by Government?

Luke P

13:29 PM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

How can they possibly assess who is a responsible pet owner at the outset? ‘Flexible LL’ translates to ‘no choice’. Protection from damage by pets: I’m sure this will only be able to be dealt with after the event and then probably through the Courts at the LL expense - how will anyone assess smell?? Jenrick just another ill-informed do-gooder!

MoodyMolls

14:26 PM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Marie at 05/01/2020 - 04:43
But tenants will move in pet free then the pets will arrive a week later?
This is different to no DSS as its unlikely that working tenants will give up work to claim DSS.
Most landlords are helpful if a tenant is made redundant or become ill so then have to end up on UCredit if the tenant as paid rent every month looked after the property and not caused issues

MoodyMolls

14:35 PM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

When the government brings this in then all tenants should by law get a damage policy secured with a gaurantor.

But I am sure the policy will have clauses about pet not being left more than four hours etc. So will tenants then have to lock them in cages? Not very good for the pet. How about neutering? What about cats which are never let out the hse?
Will vet bills have to be produced to insurers to proof they have flea prevention?
This will be another can of worms.

Marie

19:23 PM, 5th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by MoodyMolls at 05/01/2020 - 14:26
It’s a good point. A tenant can put their big scary dog in kennels for a week, and the landlord be none the wiser. But they are saying “well-behaved pet” here, so a dog that is blocking the landlord from accessing the property to do a gas safety check, or a cat that is ruining all of the carpets with it’s chewing and lack of litter tray training, is NOT a “well-behaved pet”, and you have the evidence right there to put to the deposit scheme, and to a court, if necessary. If a tenant lies and claims that their dog is “well-behaved”, but then the dog is barking all night every night keeping the neighbours awake, it should be possible to evict that tenant for anti-social behaviour, as the tenant has not kept to the terms of their tenancy agreement. The government is proposing to allow “well-behaved pets”, so that needs to be properly specified into law, with strict conditions, so that when Pets are NOT “well-behaved”, the landlord can take swift and effective action to get rid of the pet and/or the tenant who owns the pet.

1 2 5

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

NRLA welcomes government Green Homes grant scheme

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More