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

Old Mrs Landlord

17:48 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 30/01/2021 - 17:01
If that's the case now they must have changed their policy since we were told five years by a representative of the DPS who spoke at a landlords' meeting we attended, admittedly some years ago.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

18:07 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Edwin Cowper at 30/01/2021 - 15:12
Justification to charge a higher rent?

Monty Bodkin

18:15 PM, 30th January 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 30/01/2021 - 17:48I doubt anything has changed, common sense reasonable lifespan pre dates the deposit schemes.
Here is the other dispute scheme's guidance;
https://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Product-Lifespans-Guide_DIGITAL.pdf
Carpets
Low quality – two to four years
Medium quality – five to eight years
Top quality – eight to fifteen years

Carla mason

19:56 PM, 31st January 2021, About A year ago

When you have had a new tenant go into anaphylatic shock, because you didn't know the previous tenant had a small dog you tend to not take risks.
Also try telling Tenancy Deposits that your carpets are stinking, because a cat has been urinating in its favourite corner for years.
They call that fair ware and tear.
The point is that this Government hates Landlords.
Try getting electrical tests carried out in the lock down when tenants are working from home. Any extension time for certification from this Government.
Just gives Local Councils an excuse to issue more fines.

Ian Narbeth View Profile

12:36 PM, 3rd February 2021, About A year ago

If rules are brought in they are likely to follow the Model Tenancy. The numbering in that is awry but clause 1.5 (or it may be C3.5!) reads:
"1.5 A Tenant must seek the prior written consent of the Landlord should they wish to keep pets or other animals at the Property. A Landlord must not unreasonably withhold or delay a written request from a Tenant without considering the request on its own merits. The Landlord should accept such a request where they are satisfied the Tenant is a responsible pet owner and the pet is of a kind that is suitable in relation to the nature of the premises at which it will be kept. Consent is deemed to be granted unless the written request is turned down by a Landlord with good reason in writing within 28 days of receiving the request. ..."
The Guidance note says:
Guidance Note: Keeping pets.
Clause C3.5 prohibits a landlord from exercising a blanket ban on pets. A responsible pet owner will be aware of their responsibilities in making best efforts to ensure their pet does not cause a nuisance to neighbouring households or undue damage to the Property. A landlord should take steps to accommodate written requests from responsible tenants with pets. They should only turn down a request in writing within a 28 day period if there is good reason to do so, such as large pets in smaller properties or flats, or otherwise properties where having a pet could be impractical. Landlord consent is therefore the default position unless otherwise specified in writing by a landlord. If consent is given on the condition that additional deposit is paid by the tenant, the total deposit must not breach the deposit cap introduced under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and must be protected in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme.
Landlords need to be prepared and should ask questions. Obviously cats, dogs and rabbits are likely to be most common. Goldfish are unlikely to cause problems. Questions can be adapted but might include:
1. What is the animal and what sex is it?
2. What size is it? Is it an adult or still growing?
3. Has it been neutered?
4. Has it been micro-chipped?
5. Do you have pet liability insurance?
6. Has the animal bitten or scratched anyone in the past 12 months?
7. Where in the house will the animal sleep?
8. Depending on the animal, are you willing to pay an increased rent to cover increased wear and tear?
9. If the animal has fleas are you willing to pay for carpets (and furniture if the house is let furnished) to be professionally treated to get rid of fleas and their eggs?
Landlords will need to diarise the date a request is received and ensure they respond within 28 days with reasons if they object. Otherwise consent is deemed given. Landlords can impose reasonable conditions for giving consent. That is evident from the Guidance Note which contemplates an increased deposit. Other conditions might include an increase in rent and that only microchipped, neutered animals will be allowed.
Landlords may be able to object if there is only a short time to run on the tenancy unless the tenant agrees to renew.
It is not clear if a landlord will be allowed to say: "Given the poor condition of the property after you have lived in it for X months, I am not satisfied you are a responsible owner and I refuse consent."

Jessie Jones View Profile

22:13 PM, 3rd February 2021, About A year ago

It's not just damage to carpets. If urine gets into floorboards and joists, then they have to be replaced to get rid of the smell and this can run to thousands.
A question that I would like to ask the tenant, is 'will you have your dog put to sleep if it becomes incontinent in it's old age?'

Dylan Morris

6:20 AM, 4th February 2021, About A year ago

Why just pets, how about landlords being forced to allow smokers ? Surely this is also discrimination. Many people have to smoke due to mental issues, stress, depression etc. This has increased since the pandemic and with so many tenants lonely, smoking is their only comfort .....just like a pet. Many tenants are furloughed and having to sit at home and have been forced to watch Netflix for months on end through no fault of their own.
Surely if a tenant can prove that their smoking doesn’t cause any damage to the property or annoyance to neighbours and they have a good record of redecorating when they leave, then why should not be allowed to smoke. Such discrimination doesn’t exist in the owner occupier sector. I’m writing to Rh Hon Christopher Pincher MP to have the model tenancy agreement amended to a default position whereby smoking is allowed unless the landlord objects within 10 minutes of receiving such request from the tenant.

Luke P

11:57 AM, 4th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 04/02/2021 - 06:20
Whilst I disagree (smoking smells may cause distress to the non-smoking landlord/future tenant), but you can write whatever you like into a tenancy (no pets/no smoking) and if a tenant breaches such a clause the only remedy would be a S.8 notice, which requires a Hearing. No Judge is going to grant Possession on the basis of a single breach by doing something within the realms of 'normal' (smoking or having a cat, even against the written agreement would be viewed as perfectly normal and acceptable).

All this serves is to wind landlords up and ultimately they will leave the sector. Don't for one moment mistake them for one of life's 'constants' - there is no duty to remain a landlord if the conditions don't suit individual investors. It's as though we *have* to carry on, regardless of what's thrown our way and we have no choice but to like it.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

0:22 AM, 5th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 04/02/2021 - 06:20
"unless the landlord objects within 10 minutes of receiving such request from the tenant"
You cannot be serious.....

Dylan Morris

7:49 AM, 5th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 05/02/2021 - 00:22My whole post was a bit of irony ..........sorry you didn’t get it.

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