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Government calls on landlords to allow tenants to keep pets in their properties

Many pet-owning tenants have a tough time finding a suitable rental home, as few landlords embrace the idea of a pet in their property.

The reasons are understandable given that some animals, such as dogs, can be noisy, smelly and destructive.

But landlords may soon be forced to start accepting animal lovers as renters under strict new rules being proposed by the government. 


Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has called on landlords to make it easier for responsible pet owners to allow animals to live in their homes. 

The government's model tenancy contracts will be revised to remove restrictions on pets to make it easier for rentals to bring well-behaved animals into their properties.

The move is part of a number of fresh measures being introduced to help improve renting conditions. 

Jenrick said: “Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owners through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing.

“It’s a shame thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can’t experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning.

“So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract.”

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    Of all the things for the Housing secretary to be focussing on, this should be way down the list. I have let pet owners into my properties before but only with major clauses on major deep cleaning and repairs paid for by the tenant.

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    Please - as a newly elected Government - concentrate on making more property available to potential renters and buyers, reducing homelessness and making rents more affordable for ordinary people. (I can't recall that pets in rental properties was a major features of the recent Party manifestos.)

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    Stop just stop who are all those people destroying our lives, do they think we never had tenants with pets before which is why we don't want them anymore, they destroyed my property and I was the one picking up the Bill maybe you like dogs mess in the carpet & hairs everywhere. Some Tenants like Public in general are no better than animals themselves, when I see the way they leave the Toilets in local Supermarkets. Mr Housing Secretary Jenrick so you think Tenants are having a hard time without pets, try being a LL live in our shoes the shoe will soon be on other foot, no mention of our mental health / physical health or wellbeing just hound us from every direction.
    Housing Minister why are you in this job you clearly know nothing about it so now you have rush of blood to the head. MODEL TENANCY AGREEMENT that have cost me potential Tenants in the past and unusable it should be scrapped altogether, surely the DCLG could do better than this or keep their nose out of it, the last one I put in the Bin was 46 pages on its own, are you for real do you think a Tenant is going to sit there long enough to read that rubbish, then I have another 46 pages of Rules, Regulations, Documents, Certificates of every kind to burden them with, Congratulations).

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    government to not own my property ! they cap deposits and now this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I will send my bills to the government to pay !!!!!!

  • Matthew Payne

    Let's see what the proposal is before we pass judgment, it may well be just some recommended wording that HMG would like to see people adopt so they have been seen to do their bit. I don't see how HMG can force Landlords to accept pets.

    Firstly, they have shot themselves in the foot capping deposits and banning contractual cleaning obligations. Many landlords would happily accept pets if they had some comfort on a larger deposit and a guaranteed pro clean. Many landlords are still accepting pets to accoomdate tenants but have been forced to charge pet rents to get this comfort.

    Secondly, such meddling would actually have the opposite effect intended. Forced to choose, a landlord would reject every tenant with a pet if they had no remedy on dilaps. At the moment the pet rent is a workable solution that tenants and landlords are happy with. HMG interference would mean tenants with pets would have even less choice. A landlord can reject a tenants offer for a variety of reasons, and in fact doesnt even have to give one, so I dont see how a ban on rejecting pets can be enforced.

    Thirdly, many purpose built properties have lease restrictions on larger pets, cats & dogs, and where there are not there are knock on implications for block managers and then landlords on communal areas which will require more cleaning and maintenance. Will all the flats in a block be happy to see their service charges rise to cover this when they are owner occupiers?

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    Lets not wait & see we know already, if a LL is willing to let to the Tenant with pets its between them, so why would Minister be getting involved only to remove LL's rights. They must thing we right mugs, once bitten twice shy.

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    Throughout the wording it mentions "well-behaved animals". As a landlord meeting the potential renters and animal for the first time how can we tell if the animal is well behaved or not? Perhaps the Minister will forward his guarantee that this or that animal is what he considers a "well-behaved animal". Perhaps he wants to vet each animal and offer us a certificate or guarantee that the animal is Well Behaved. Without which he can float his boat. Or perhaps his words have been misquoted or out of context. I would hate to think him a foolish person.

  • Andrew Murray

    If the well behaved animal causes any damage send the bill to the housing secretary

  • Kathryn Everson

    As a complete Dog lover, in fact I run a UK dog Charity, I am extremely reluctant to accept tenants with pets now. I used to have a Pet Clause (ensuring my tenants were fully aware of their responsibilities regarding pets) I used to take a returnable additional deposit (to cover any additional costs relating to animals) however, having had a tenant move in 2 dogs without permission, who eventually left owing rent and caused over £10,000 of damage, much caused by the dogs. They were left outside all day in the small cottage garden which was never cleared up (I have lots of disgusting photographic evidence, which I will spare you), they chewed up the kitchen floor, the new carpet on the stairs, the wooden stairs under the carpet, other carpets in the property, the architraves around doors....it went on. After being served with a section 21 (as you can see a 'No Fault eviction order!) she eventually left leaving no forwarding address or contact details. The deposit retained at the time of 6 weeks rent came no where near the damaged caused or the loss of rent incurred by the time it took from when she stopped paying, the eviction notice and the final renovation of the property to get it back into a clean, habitable state for a new tenant. In another property I own , the dog caused damage to carpets, back door and with chickens kept in the garden (without permission) and excrement not cleared up this caused vermin which I had to pay for to be dealt with. I am all for tenants being able to have their pets with them, but my experience sadly in this and the new regulations of no additional deposits above 4 weeks rent, no requesting professional cleaning with de-infestation (vital especially in the case of cats) how can I possibly afford to allow pets. Sadly as Mathew Payne says this could only be possible if there was a reversal of allowing larger (or separate Pet) deposits and a guaranteed professional/ de-infestation clean at the very least.

    Matthew Payne

    Its a good point from an animal lover Kathryn. I think noone is tackling the elephant in the room that you have teased out. Damage is a gaurantee with even well behaved cats and dogs, there is no avoiding it. Perhaps not to the extent you describe, but anyone who has had cats and dogs at home know that furniture, carpets, paintwork, window/door cills, doors etc all suffer. At home you tolerate it, its your home, your pets. It doesnt mean you will tolerate other peoples pets in an investment property and foot the bill to rectify. It is not about the pets, it is about how these dilaps are remedied, so if HMG say no cleans, small deposits, no remedy, then of course all landlords will say, sorry no pets. This might even extend to young children if they arent careful, that will play out in months to come, but I cant see landlords wanting redecorate family homes every 2 years as all the walls have been scribbled on.

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    • L C
    • 04 February 2020 13:00 PM

    The government shouldn't have restricted damage deposits to 5 weeks then.


    I'm one of very few LLs in my area that used to consider tenants with pets, not now though, 5 wks deposit is not enough, might consider a higher rent but that's really going to hurt the tenant, well done government, shot in foot again.

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    Would Pet Insurance cover resolve this?

    If the Tenant has pets, then the tenant buys pet insurance that covers damage to property and landlords contents (carpets etc).

    The insurer details are lodged with the Tenancy Deposit scheme. ie an Independent body, ensures that Landlords are protecting the deposits, provides a reason why a claim for pet damage may be expected and allows industry statistics to be gathered about the extent and depth of the pet damage issue.

    If the insurance is cancelled and the pets remain, then gounds for eviction.


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