New pet friendly standard government tenancy agreement

by Readers Question

9:38 AM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

New pet friendly standard government tenancy agreement

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New pet friendly standard government tenancy agreement

The government has released its latest standard model tenancy agreement to cater for responsible tenants with well-behaved pets. Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, announced by Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets.

Instead, consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.

Currently, just 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties, meaning many people struggle to find suitable homes. In some cases, this has meant people have had to give up their pets altogether.

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.

Under the new agreement, 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.

Housing Minister Rt Hon 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.”

A spokesperson for NRLA said: “We recognise the importance of pets in providing companionship especially to those living on their own.

“However, pets are not always suitable in certain properties such as large dogs in small flats without gardens. There is often more risk of damage to a property where there is a pet. 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.

“We call on the Government to enable the level at which deposits are set to be more flexible to reflect this greater risk. We are also calling for a tenant to either have pet insurance or to pay the landlord for it to be allowed as a requirement for a tenancy where relevant. At present payments such as this are banned under the Tenant Fees Act.”

Comments

DSR

11:01 AM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

I will be completely ignoring this until such time as deposit rules are changed to take account PROPERLY for possible pet damage. Been there and been burnt before. Until then it's humans only in my properties!

Janet Carnochan

11:11 AM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

I've always allowed pets. I'm a pet owner myself and would be lost without them. In my area by saying no pets it discounts too many potential tenants. We have always said " pets at landlords discretion ". For us that means 1 large dog or 2 small dogs or 2 cats. I have only been burnt once, it was a difficult to rent property and allowed someone in with 4 dogs and 3 cats ( never again ). If you do an inspection of their current property then you can see if there is pet damage.

Luke P

11:54 AM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

Usual timid response from the NRLA.

SM

12:43 PM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Janet Carnochan at 29/01/2021 - 11:11
Hi Janet
Thats great that you do allow pets. However, the removal of a Landlords choice is not acceptable.

Martin S

12:54 PM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

The trouble is, like humans, there are pets, and there are pets. and although I don't have a blanket ban, I've never allowed dogs in my properties which are 1 & 2 bed, as I've seen so much damage done by them in other rental properties, ranging from ravaged woodwork and soiled carpets, plus the attendent smell, to gardens that resemble the Somme, with the amount of dog faeces present.

I'm not suggesting that they are all like this, but I don't wish to take the risk. Plus, when tenants express a wish to have a pet, I talk matters through with them, and they usually end up with a cat. On the whole, cats are fine in my experience, and 50% of my tenants have them.

What I foresee in the future, is the same scenario I've had with smokers, who tell the Agent that they are non smokers, but once in situ, it's obvious from the various indicators that they are. What we'll suddenly find with this legislation, is that tenants will suddenly, unknown to the Landlord, be acquiring multiple pets. I had recently been thinking of buying another BTL property, and have generally been upbeat about renting, but this, along with the mental health issues preventing pursuance of debt, has made me realise that the way things are going, that it's not worth the hassle.

Rennie

13:59 PM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

The great reset. Make things more and more impossible for landlords so they are forced to sell their land and property for peanuts and then the filthy rich people will buy it and own most of the world. Simples

Martin S

15:53 PM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

I don't think I'll be selling anything for peanuts! Plus, I don't think that the very wealthy look at this area for further wealth creation. There are many more lucrative areas for them to continue amassing further wealth.

Richie

16:48 PM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

I too allow pets in houses with gardens but the flats are a bit different and will depend on the desired pet I had a one bed house in Chelmsford with communal areas. I allowed a tenant with a small Dachshund, a sweet little dog. I did regular inspections for a while and all was well. I did notice they had a toilet tray and was assured they would pay for any damage. They asked to fit laminated flooring downstairs at their cost and I agreed. Well time when on I thought all was okay so did not visit as much when they said they were leaving I could not get an agreed date to visit from number of excuses so I did not get a chance to visit before they said they had left the property. When the agent did the checkout inventory they had difficulty staying inside the property due to the smell. Immediate alarms bells and I found that all flooring including upstairs and a complete repaint was needed top to bottom. To get rid of the smell and stains from the chipboard flooring I used a combination of white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda three times on the upstairs floors, The carpets, underlay were absolute sodden, wet and disgusting right through to the floor in the bed room where they slept! I had to shower after removal of the carpets. The landing was just as bad. The toilet pan although not to do with pets looked like a volcano. All in all although started well ended very expensive over and above their deposit (which they did not get back) This and all from someone who worked in a NHS hospital as a blood technician or such. A nightmare that cost a fortune to renovate, end result was to sell, I'd had enough. An NHS worker for god's sake!!!!

DSR

16:57 PM, 29th January 2021
About 2 months ago

I have a tenant (still in situ thanks to Courts shut down and balls up over Covid to date...) that thinks putting dog mess in part closed bags under the upstairs floorboards is acceptable. Only discovered after they stated the ceiling in the room below must be 'faulty' as it had some mysterious brown 'water marks' showing through says it all.............

Janet Carnochan

8:03 AM, 30th January 2021
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SM at 29/01/2021 - 12:43
I totally agree. It should be the landlords choice.

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