New pet friendly standard government tenancy agreement

New pet friendly standard government tenancy agreement

9:38 AM, 29th January 2021, About A year ago 30

Text Size

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

David Williams

9:08 AM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

10 years ago, we were asked by our agent, if we would allow a tenant couple with a dog to rent our small house. We were given significant assurances from the tenant, that they would do this and that and. . . . . to mitigate any damage etc. at no cost to us. You know!
They rented the property for 6 years, during which time we very supportive to them on a couple of occasions, due to issues they encountered outside their control.
When they left. . . . their attitude changed completely. The downstairs carpets were in a very bad state. Stained with urine all over, right through. Smelly, scratched all over, this had been covered up with rugs and air freshener during our inspections. We deducted the cost of replacement from their deposit and they hit the roof. Screeching down the phone at my wife endlessly. Telling us they had been told by a solicitor that rental carpets only had a 5 year life and they had been there for 6, so they should not be charged! Went on for months. Threatening us with court action. Vile, scary and unpleasant times. How things changed from the initial attitude!
Eventually agreed out of court settlement for 50/50 just to close the whole thing down.
Just not worth the hassle! Never again.

Dylan Morris

10:15 AM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

So this isn’t law then it only apply where a landlord uses the Government’s model tenancy agreement. So if like me (and I guess the majority of landlords) you use your own, then we can all continue to say pets not allowed if we want to.

moneymanager

10:20 AM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

"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."

Meaningless drivel.

Edwin Cowper

12:00 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

So if you grant a tenancy like this you have to put in sooner or later by law a provision allowing pets

But hundreds of thousands of long leases have "no pet" provisions (incl sheltered housing) or at best "pets only with consent "

Has anything been done to impose changes on those? If not then landlords of shorter let properties are being penalised in effect. And of course hundreds of thousands of people in those long term leases will need pets too.

Any views?

Dylan Morris

12:20 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Edwin Cowper at 30/01/2021 - 12:00Why on earth would you choose to grant a tenancy using the Government’s model tenancy agreement ? Just use your own and exclude pets. Simples.

Freda Blogs

12:33 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Until it becomes law to accept pets, I am not doing it. I did once (when you could take a pet deposit etc), but never again.

The model tenancy agreement is meaningless and has no teeth - just don't use it.

if and when taking pets becomes law, and if I am precluded from protecting my asset through deposit or higher rent (a provision in my AST agreements), I sell my property.

Thanks again Government, for showing us all the exit.

Dylan Morris

13:02 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Coming soon The Model Tenancy (Adoption) Act 2022 which will apply to all new tenancies from 1st July 2022 and existing tenancies from 1st April 2023.

Edwin Cowper

15:12 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 30/01/2021 - 12:20
With respect, you have missed the point. It will be imposed on us shortly, as another commentator has said.

Old Mrs Landlord

16:28 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David Williams at 30/01/2021 - 09:08I sympathise with you on your terrible experience but you should know that the Deposit Protection Service allow only a five year life for carpets in rented properties, so your tenants were probably basing their claims on that ruling, in which case you did well to get their agreement to 50%. Of course, we all know that, treated properly, good carpets with decent underlay will last much longer and in any case nothing excuses your tenants' behaviour.

Monty Bodkin

17:01 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 30/01/2021 - 16:28
'the Deposit Protection Service allow only a five year life for carpets in rented properties'

Not true;

https://www.depositprotection.com/learning-centre/disputes/common-dispute-questions/

Budget quality 3-5 years
Medium quality 5-10 years
Top quality up to 20 years

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership

or

Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now