Jenrick overhauls tenancy agreement to help end pet bans

Jenrick overhauls tenancy agreement to help end pet bans

8:43 AM, 4th January 2020, About 2 years ago 43

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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.


by David

11:25 AM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Wonderful start to 2020 isn't it although every day its more bad news for landlords. Jenricks has said he "will be listening to landlords" so I suggest you bombard your already overloaded MP about this and Section 21, although the mention of a bill seems to indicate he has made his mind up that this will go through. This will now be carte blanche for tenants to bring in what ever animal they want and dogs or cats may not be the worse as it will include birds and rodents .The now measly deposit may not cover damage even if it can be proved. Will a tenant give me a document saying the pet will not terrorise or disturb neighbours, damage my property in any way (excepting of course fair and tear, ha ha), Its nonsense .Never mind tenants mental and physical well being has Jenrick considered landlords sanity. Just more hassle for the landlord and speci fying in law what a well behaved pet is seems to be just another hurdle for landlords and a windfall for lawyers.

Am I correct in thinking that a 30% reduction in the price of new build for first time buyers will therefore reduce the value of similar secondhand properties by 30% ?

Rather than implementing yet more legislation it would be good if Jenrick dealt with reducing ground rents to zero, which he promised as long ago as December 2019 and would probably assist far more people.

by Luke P

11:31 AM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

What would be the procedure for a landlord with a severe, possible life-threatening, pet allergy? Particularly if they were planning on moving back in.

I don’t have an allergy and have no plans to ever live in any of my rentals, but I absolutely cannot stand the smell of dogs. Even a freshly bathed dog…it’s just particularly offensive to me.

by Gromit

11:39 AM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 06/01/2020 - 11:25
The Government has said that the 30% discount "stays" with the property, but has given no indication of how that would work.

by Whiteskifreak Surrey

11:48 AM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 06/01/2020 - 11:39
Will that 30% be funded by a taxpayer?
I have a feeling that the Government plans to put virtually everyone in debt. An indebted society is easily controlled and manipulated...

by Gromit

11:57 AM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 06/01/2020 - 11:48
Funding is were the Government declaration becomes very vague.

"I have a feeling that the Government plans to put virtually everyone in debt. An indebted society is easily controlled and manipulated..."
Totally agree, hence the Right to Buy, and homeownership for all ideology stems from.

by Simon Williams

11:59 AM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

The point about leasehold properties is well made. In a recent High Court case called Victory Place Management v Kuehn, the court upheld the demand from a block management company that the occupant of one flat, Mr Kuehn, should remove his pet dog because a blanket "no pets" policy was in operation for all flats in this block. Interestingly, the lease said you could actually have a pet, but only with permission. But because the management company had adopted a blanket policy of no permissions save in exceptional circumstances eg blind dogs, Mr Kuehn's dog had to go despite no evidence it was causing a nuisance.

Thus, the courts have very clearly affirmed that no pets clauses in head leases are valid and any landlord with a tenant in violation will be in trouble, with the prospect of a costly breach of covenant claim. Flat owning landlords need to be very alert to this.

A sensible government would join up the dots so-to-speak and make sure that any announcement about pets for tenants was coordinated with an announcement about no pets clauses in head leases. But as per usual, the government fails to demonstrate it has the basic ability to join the dots.

by James Noble

13:14 PM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

I have a strict 'no-pets' rule based on 25 years experience as a landlord. Maybe I've just been unlucky, but when I have allowed 'well-behaved' pets in the past, it has always ended in disaster. On one occasion I had to evict a tenant with a dog that was out of control. I had to throw away most of the soft furnishings, and as for the state of the front garden...
There's an interesting article in The Ecologist (July 19th 2019) showing the significant impart that meat-eating dogs and cats are making on the environment.
Pet ownership for tenants sounds like something the Government should be trying to discourage! James. (sorry about all the \. Can't seem to get rid of them.)

by wanda wang

21:09 PM, 6th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Marie at 05/01/2020 - 04:43
from the way it goes, it is the government decide who we let and how long it should be. not the LL

by Marie

4:10 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by wanda wang at 06/01/2020 - 21:09Alright, well I am moving in to your gaffe next year. Hope ya don’t mind but I am bringing my partner, six kids, Bella and Bailey the Rottweilers, Charlie and Crystal the alsatians, my cats (Archie, Betty, Lizzie and Margie), Cooper the tarantula, and Peter and Paul the parrots. I am sure the neighbours will make us all feel most welcome. We are on UC and we get drunk most nights, so we cant afford to pay our rent on time, but I am sure you won’t mind us sponging off of you. Don’t be calling in the morning please-we like to sleep in. And don’t interrupt our wild parties.
Welcome to 2020 Britain as a landlord guys. It sucks for us tenants too, as you all worry that we might be like that. Thank god not everyone is, but too many are.

by Mick Roberts

7:25 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Marie at 07/01/2020 - 04:10
That's a good point Marie.
Who determines what is too much?
1 cat?
2 dogs?
5 small dogs?

It's us on the ground who's meeting these peoples who's putting them into something that has cost us £100k+ & hours & hours of nights & weekends, surely it's us who MUST decide what is appropriate & who we let live in our hard earned invested money.
U got Licensing on one side saying we must reference these people & we are responsible if dog poos on garden & we got Govt who ain't got any joined up thinking with the Council saying we MUST take all & sundry.

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