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 Jan

8:55 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 06/01/2020 - 11:31
We bought a flat to live in and it literally took years to get rid of the fleas the previous elderly ladys cat left behind. I'm an animal lover but it was horrible, we had to change all the carpets and there's no way I could have let the property, imagine what new tenants would have said!

by James Noble

9:27 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

I've just sent off a letter to Jenrick with a copy to my own M.P. Perhaps a few more of us could do likewise? James

by James Noble

9:32 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

I've just sent off a letter to Jenrick, with a copy to my M.P.
Perhaps a few more of us could do this?

by Whiteskifreak Surrey

9:49 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by James Noble at 07/01/2020 - 09:32
Any template you can share with us, so we can amend and send? Thank you!
I commented on his Twitter account. it is interesting that only few tenants are very happy! Lots of comments point out that there is a lot of other, more important things to fix first - for example cladding...

by James Noble

11:30 AM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak,

Just a general rant really, but I'll copy it below.....

Dear Mrs. Baldwin,
I write to you in your capacity as my Member of Parliament.

I hear the Government is thinking of making it easier for tenants to keep pets in their rented houses. As a small landlord, (two houses and two small flats) could I ask you all to think again about this possible change? The vast majority of landlords do not wish to have pets in their homes. As a retired doctor, I would never want to have any type of pet in my own house. What's good enough for me, should be good enough for my tenants.

I have been a landlord for over 25 years. There have been occasions when I have allowed pets. On each occasion it has been a disaster. On one occasion the furniture was badly damaged. On another occasion the front garden was covered in dog faeces. In one flat, the so-called 'well behaved dog' turned out to be a most dangerous animal. I was once persuaded to allow one small dog - this ended up as six dogs and two cats. It is impossible to monitor such situations.

We are allowing tenants into houses we actually own. We should be allowed to state the terms in which they become tenants. It is not the place of the Government to place such rules within tenancy agreements.

If such an enforced change was made to tenancy agreements, I for one (of many, no doubt) would give my tenants notice to quit at the end of their present agreements, and sell up.

It's all very well stating (and often over-stating) the so-called benefits from keeping pets. But at the same time, the downside also needs to be mentioned - the possible damage to property, the unwanted smell within the house (even from 'well-behaved' pets), the added costs to the household bills (and many tenants already have limited resources), the often unwanted twice or three times daily walks that are required (and still many dog owners refuse to 'pick-up', especially if nobody is watching), the expense of vets' bills, the added exacerbation of allergies....

Yours etc.
(Also sent to Jenrick)

As I say - a general rant. As for cladding, one of the flats I own is in this very expensive situation. The danger is, if we concentrate on these big issues only, the Government can sneak in the minor items (like pets) through the back door.

by Michael Bond

13:03 PM, 7th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Presumably Mr Jenrick advises that I should interview not only prospective tenants but their dogs, cats, parrots, goldfish etc. What language should I speak in these circumstances? Does anyone know of a quick course? Can anyone advise as to how I tell whether a dog (etc) is being truthful when it assures me that it is well-behaved?
More seriously is it not time that the advisers from Shelter brought in in Mrs May's time were flushed out of the system so that the PRS which provides housing for so many people was allowed to operate sensibly without these idiotic rules?

by Martin Spillane

5:54 AM, 11th January 2020, About 2 years ago

We had someone employed by an NGO with her rent and deposit paid on a Bank of England cheque. She signed the lease and then announced she had two cats. In view of her credentials, we went with it. The two cats had five kittens and she took in four strays. As a result the flat was destroyed and we had probems getting her out. Never again! We have to find a solution.
On a more humorous note, we ourselves rented a flat where the drains kept blocking up. I therefore purchased a long flexible clearing rod and emailed the landlady to say that problem was solved. She was round in minutes, screaming that "pets are not allowed". I had made the mistake of saying that we had solved the problem by purchasing "a snake".

by Michael Bond

10:24 AM, 11th January 2020, About 2 years ago

A general point about letters to Ministers and MPs. If you write direct to a Minister, eg Robert Jenrick, you will get a reply from a middle ranking civil servant in his department; and the civil servants will probably not even have told him that you have written him a letter. If you write to your MP your MP will pass the letter to the Minister for a reply, which will be addressed to the MP, and must by convention be signed by the Minister himself, even if it was written by a civil servant. The Minister may not read the reply but he has the chance to do so and has to be aware that he may be asked about the matter next time he runs into your MP at a meeting or in a bar or wherever. Also he might be made aware of a problem when he is brought a pile of letters to sign with the comment: " Another 25 letters for you to sign about landlords objecting to our new policy for pets in tenanted houses, Minister".

by Rod

15:32 PM, 11th January 2020, About 2 years ago

Seems the 'dogs rights' are more important than 'human rights' !!!

by James Noble

18:01 PM, 11th January 2020, About 2 years ago

My local weekly paper (Malvern Gazette) has published a long letter from Dogs Trust endorsing the possible move by the Government to force landlords to accept pets. I quote, 'For over a decade , Dogs Trust has been working with landlords, letting agencies and the property industry on this issue.' Really? They want the changes to be put into practice 'to make it fully effective and mutually beneficial for all parties involved.' Beneficial for Dogs Trust, that is. I can't see how it would ever benefit landords! Dogs Trust is to dogs what Shelter is to the homeless. Dogs Trust calls itself a welfare charity while in fact it is big business, intent only on increasing the large number of dogs (over 9 million) in the UK, for its own benefit. Have other 118 members noticed similar letters from Dogs Trust in their local papers? I shall respond to their letter putting the views of many landlords. James

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