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Landlords bite back at government call for pet-friendly tenancies

The National Residential Landlords Association has called for flexibility from government when it comes to insisting private rental sector properties have pet-friendly tenancies.

“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 a risk of damage to a property where there is a pet” says the association.

“We call on the government to enable the level at which deposits are set to be more flexible to reflect this greater risk” it continues. 


“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.”

The NRLA is emphasising to its members and all landlords that the move last week by the government to revise its model tenancy agreement does not make such agreements compulsory to use.

The government’s version includes consent for pets as the default position, meaning landlords who opt to use this type of tenancy agreement are no longer able to issue blanket bans on pets.

Under the government version of a tenancy agreement, landlords will be required to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason for this.

The government says landlords should only make a rejection where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical. Tenants will continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property.

The NRLA has a series of different tenancy agreements which its members can download from the association website.

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  • George Dawes

    Well said , this government should spend more time sorting out the tower block cladding crisis than worrying about trivia like this

    Not every house/ flat is suitable for animals - what about the poor creatures not being able to exercise when there's no outside space ??

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    An increased rent is the only way now where pets are concerned, and until such time as rent controls are brought in we are free to charge what ever rent we like, increased risk = increased payment.

    • 01 February 2021 09:41 AM

    No rent control please. Will be a riot.
    Sounds like William The Conqueror???????

    • 01 February 2021 09:47 AM

    Need to put the rent up so much that they will not pay????

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The pragmatic problems landlords face with pets, is the down-right dishonesty of tenants ( Shock - Horror ) about not admitting to having any when they move in.

    When landlord does inspection many months later, and they see a dog, it strangely is a friends or relatives their looking after short-term !

    And if a landlord believes that, they'll believe the 'cheques in the post' !!!

  • George Dawes

    Rent controls from a supposed Tory government, you couldn’t make this stuff up

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    I have always accepted pets where they are suitable to the property but have asked for slightly more rent to cover the risk. Two years ago I had a tenant with a dog that had puppies. She wouldn’t allow us access for property checks or even to do gas safety etc. In the end after she also got behind on her rent we evicted her. When we got inside the damage caused by the dogs was insane and I was left with a 7k bill!!


    I hope you sued her?

    • 01 February 2021 09:43 AM

    I hope you took here for every penny AND a CCJ that will last for at least 6 years or until she pays the total amount.

    If not, you can still go for it now. It will only cost you about £70.00

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    the problem is generally not the pet but the irresponsible tenant/owner.

  • Matthew Payne

    Storm in a tea cup. The governments proposed wording in the TA says Landlords can object to pets "if there is a good reason to do so..." I think only a 5 week deposit, no pro clean and a potentially trashed property falls under that category.

    Algarve  Investor

    Surely Rosindell's Bill, which is making its way through Parliament and very likely to succeed, is a bigger worry for landlords and agents? That will make it very difficult for landlords to refuse pets as standard - it will be an assumed right as long as they can prove they are responsible and so is the pet.

    I guess there's nothing stopping landlords charging higher rents, or demanding pet insurance, but will be interesting to see how it plays out if that Bill becomes law this year.



    I totally agree with what you think. The trouble is the Government and the rag tag agitators don't think at all!



    Interesting to see how the pet could prove it would be responsible! Would it give a written assurance or swear an affidavit? What collateral would it provide to protect against an irresponsible owner?

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    Just say no!

    • 01 February 2021 10:21 AM

    I certainly will.......Is it a criminal offence?
    What are the repercussions if I refuse to allow pets?


    You don't have to give a reason, just choose a different tenant.

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    • 01 February 2021 10:20 AM

    For sure, I will be putting my properties on the market at the expected rate, as soon as pets arrive, then I will put the rent up to unacceptable levels so as to be able to afford the disgusting, smelly stench caused by shit*ty pets AND tenants....

    For sure I will never accept extra expenses for their stinking animals. My houses are designed for humans, not animals.

    Shame though that so many humans act like animals!!!!!!

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    Algarve, my friend how can I charge higher Rents when I can't even get the Rent that I am owed which is thousands of £'s and some of my Rents haven't gone up in 8 years. The so called Model tenancy Agreement will require to do write to the Tenant as to why I don't want their animals, absolute more work load for me, my cost and unpaid LL's work, the whole place is collapsing under the weight of paper & red tape,it wonderful they think just because we are LL's waste our time no difference to them, yet when we apply for a HM0 license they want £1300. just to look at our paper work.

  • icon

    This is not as simple as it sounds. We've had tenants that have had pets without permission, even though the lease agreement states that they can not have a pet in the flat. Yes in both cases it was a flat, with no outside space in central London. In both cases the pet scratched the leather sofas causing damage. We tried to make deductions which the Tenants took to TDS. We were offered £35 in both cases for the damage. The sofas were virtually new at a price of about £2k each. The flats are luxury flats which we charge about £550 per week for. They let to City Professionals who will not rent a property with sofas covered with scratches. In the end we were left with the costs of paying for new sofas. TDS compensation of £35 was an insult and in no way reflected the cost of the damage caused.


    I too have had tenants introduce a pet without permission, the only way I find to do then is wait until I can increase the rent , then they normally moan about the increase and leave.

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    Funny, I thought that if I owned the property I could decide who I let in and who I didn't. Silly me!

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    • 01 February 2021 10:44 AM

    Don't worry....You are quite right......
    YOU DECIDE......

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    • 01 February 2021 10:58 AM

    NOBODY will be allowed to have pets of ANY make into my houses..........

  • James B

    Had first tenant on today ‘why are you reject pets when the government has just changed the law’
    Clearly causing more hassle as usual with silly policies not properly introduced or explained


    Tell that type of caller to stop barking up the wrong tree and clear off. My property and i will rent to who i want to, No Pets, No UC, No single mums, No benefit claimers, No one without job proof of earnings and last address and first rate credit check, easy and simple.


    ...and therein lies the problem: "I have a RIGHT to have a pet", so they'll start ignoring those clauses like some have decided not to pay rent during COVID because LL can ask for a mortgage holiday.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The next step is Govt telling you Who you MUST let your property to and how much rent you can charge !
    - Until Landlords, enmasse stand together against the Government.

    • 01 February 2021 15:38 PM

    Correct - We need to get our voices heard MUCH louder?

  • James B

    Another policy designed to make tenants think government are fighting for them but will make no difference apart from more negative stuff to keep landlords away .. why can’t they do something constructive for a change like remove the deposit cap Which would enable landlords to take more pet tenants on... something as sensible as that must never crossed their mind

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    Or even build a few more council houses and subsidise the rents and allow loads of two legged animals to rent to, with apologies to those fair and reasonable tenants, who are mindful of taking care of their rented house/flats.

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    • 01 February 2021 15:42 PM

    Oooer..........I just got on here note saying I will get banned????????
    Is free speech not allowed here, in case some wimp feels hurt?????????????

    • 01 February 2021 19:40 PM

    Looks like I won't be on here much longer!!!

  • icon

    Mark, dearest so we will need professional advice from someone that writes this unnecessary burden, would that be an Estate Agent like the one that was so keen to take on one of my Houses and then backed away from it when he realized it had a HMO license. He said the Regulations were too difficult and complex to deal with but if it were for a Family on benefit he couldn't get enough of them & without all the hassle. That tells me we are at a complete disadvantage to own Property that has been blighted by the licensing Schemes forced upon us, not to mention the extra material costs.


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