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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Government wants pet-friendly tenancy contracts as standard

The government’s model tenancy agreement has been amended to be pro-pet.

The new agreement means renters with what are described as “well-behaved pets” will be able to secure tenancies more easily. 

Under the new agreement, announced by Housing Minister Chris Pincher, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets.

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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.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government says that currently just seven per cent of private landlords advertise pet friendly properties, meaning many people with cats, dogs or other companions struggle to find suitable homes. 

In some cases, this has meant people have had to give up their pets all together.

Now the government has acted following research suggesting that more than half of adults in the United Kingdom own a pet with many more welcoming pets into their lives during the pandemic. 

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.

You can see the new model tenancy contract here.

“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” says Pincher.

“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.”

Mark Hayward, ARLA Propertymark’s, chief policy adviser, says: “Whilst we acknowledge that allowing pets can make a property more desirable and encourage tenants to rent for longer, even the best-behaved pets will have an impact on a property.

“The government must recognise the impact of their decision to cap deposits and the knock-on costs that landlords face. 

“This is a complex issue that is determined on a case-by-case basis highlighting the need for landlords to get advice from a professional letting agent.”

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  • Fredy Jones

    How long does it take to evict long term non paying tenants now? Is it possible to get an accelerated case before May deadline when breathing space law comes in? If the tenants were not paying before cv19 they should be ahead in the backlog when the courts reopen?

  • Mark Wilson

    “This is a complex issue that is determined on a case-by-case basis highlighting the need for landlords to get advice from a professional letting agent.” Who writes this stuff?

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    A professional letting agent!

     
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    • 29 January 2021 08:54 AM

    Absolute rubbish. If these lazy people do not pay their rent, then then they must go.
    Simple and tough luck on them.
    They should have managed their finance in a better way.

    Ask the mortgage people to stop demanding payment because I am now in mental turmoil and cannot pay!!!!!!!!!!! Shame.

    Algarve  Investor

    Are you responding to a different article? :)

     
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    A good reason not to keep pets is my property, my decision.

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    • 29 January 2021 09:02 AM

    And you also need a very, very good Guarantor.
    Especially important to get your money back when the sh*ts won't pay

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    We used to operate a well run letting agency. Stopped accepting guarantors as many were refusing to pay, end of. All that was happening was you were taking a bad tenants inability to pay and transferring it on to them.

     
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    Alistair, surely if someone refuses to pay you do a simple money claim online, give them a CCJ to their name then send the bailiffs in, why would let them get away with it ?

     
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    The value of your investments and the income you receive from them can go down as well as up, and is not guaranteed at any time.”

     
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    I would only ever accept a guarantor if it's a close relative. My advice would be to never accept a guarantor who is 'a friend' or 'employer'.
    Also make sure your Agreements are set up correctly to cover an ongoing commitment from the guarantor after the initial fixed period ends.

     
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    Yes John Thompson close relative 'Unlimited Guarantee' explain to the guarantor & wait for the silence when they understand the risk involved. Saved £1000's from just speaking to a potential guarantor beforehand. There is nothing more satisfying when a non compliant tenant gets it in the neck from the person having to cough up when they damage or owe rent. Game changer. However you know Shelter have this on their petition list of screwing up the rental business.

    Oh and John Smithers the more this type of legislation is pushed means we make more or we will just cash out to an owner occupier so there is less inventory available. We play to win

     
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    Totally agree. Guarantors need to be home owners who care about protecting their credit ratings. It's the best (only?) argument for letting to students and young "professionals" and I've found any rent shortfalls are quickly sorted as soon as guarantors are contacted.

    I've had one instance recently of parents suggesting it's unfair to ask students to pay full rent when they can't attend campus for face to face teaching.

    I agreed immediately not to expect full rent from the students but pointed out that was exactly why guarantors are needed - to avoid unneccessary stress on those who couldn't afford to pay - so I would expect the full rents from the guarantors directly given the current circumstances, and reminded them that in Scotland now they can simply give 28 days notice, provided all joint tenants agree unanimously, but not to expect to get such nice accommodation elsewhere once Universities are back to normal. Rent continues to be paid in full on time.

     
    Fredy Jones

    The breathing space could apply to guarantors if they qualify

     
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    Now all tenants will have to put up with pet smells when taking on a property. The requests for new carpets will be firmly pushed back to the new occupant and told they can ask Robert Jenrick to reimburse them.
    I resent the interference from a third party that puts no effort into my business yet taxes me before I make a profit

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    • 29 January 2021 09:25 AM

    And if I have to pay for new carpets and cleaning etc. that will eventually some time get paid for by other tenants.

    I ain't gonna pay for it.

     
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    Agreed. Yet again other tenants have to pay for problems caused by others!

    Surely Shelter will take up the fight on behalf of the silent majority of tenants and ensure that those who can afford pets don't cause unaffordable additional expense to those who can't?

     
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    It's not just 'smells' it's allergies. My current tenants asked to have a dog, despite the contract being 'no pets'. Given lockdown I did genuinely consider their request but refused on the ground of potential damage and my allergies, my family's allergies and those of future tenants. A cat, dog or house rabbit will leave fur everywhere and it can't be fully removed. This isn't damage per se, but for an asthmatic / allergy sufferer the carpets would have to be changed before they could move in. I'm not footing that cost, or limiting my pool of potential tenants, for someone else's pleasure.

     
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    • 29 January 2021 09:16 AM

    In fact, I think I will include in my advertising that I am very, very proud that the property has never been subjected to any animals of any kind. Even some of the human type too!

    It will be a perfect and Unique Seeling Gimmick.

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    I could just about tolerate a rabbit if kept in a hutch in the garden, never to enter the house. Will LL be allowed to charge a bond for these pets? Luckily I rent to couples who both work all day do I would decline requests for pets on basis it would be unfair to leave pet alone all day. I believe rehoming charities will not rehome a pet unless someone at home with them at least part of the day.

  • Algarve  Investor

    I thought they changed this last year, but with no obligation for the landlord to actually use the model tenancy agreement? Has that now changed? Not clear from the above.

    Do landlords actually have to use the model tenancy contract/agreement?

    The changes are coming in anyway, with the current Bill making its way through Parliament, so maybe it is best for landlords to accept the new rules now, but I thought landlords would have at least another few months of autonomy over this issue.

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    I saw this and knew it was old news being regurgitated.

     
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    No requirement to use the Govt's model tenancy.

     
  • David Lester

    Is it legal to put into the Agreement that if a pet is introduced to the property a extra £250 PCM added to th erent?

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    Don't see why not, worth a try at least.

     
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    I`m liking that a lot. Combined with a visit to the current address to see its condition should have it covered.

     
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    You don't need to put it in the agreement just do it on the next anniversary and tell the tenant the rent rise is due to them having a pet.

     
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    • 29 January 2021 10:02 AM

    Don't care......MY property.....I say what goes in my houses....

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    Useless and incompetent weapons grade bellends. This government is protecting the lazy parasites as always. I DECIDE WHAT GOES IN MY PROPERTY.

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    • 29 January 2021 10:25 AM

    Absolutely Kilo................

     
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    'weapons grade bellends'. Can I borrow that in future? :)

     
  • George Dawes

    Dogs either side of me plus I’ve got one - unwanted I assure you - utter nuisance, they make noise etc , rather have a cat or a gerbil . Actually a tortoise is the perfect pet imo . When it dies you can use it as an ashtray

    Had one in a flat , it wrecked the place

    Shame this incompetent government can’t do what it was elected for and stop invading our privacy and our livelihoods

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    I have allowed pets on the condition that the tenant is responsible for any damages (it is a condition in the contract) but we are not allowed to hold a large enough deposit to cover potential damages if you get a chewer, or have to replace flooring etc etc and the tenant leaves without doing the repairs.
    And who decides if a pet is "well behaved"? What a rediculous statement if a tenant can get a puppy and has no idea how to train it.

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    You don't need to hold the amount as a deposit to charge it - bill them and if they don't pay do a MCOL.

     
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    Just say beforehand. Tenancy with Pet is an extra £100 (you know to cover costs for inevitable damage and carpet) as you STILL cannot take extra on the bond. Also a certificate from a veterinary doctor assuring that the pet is well behaved.

    When they say I'm not paying that or getting a cert. Oh ok NEXT!!
    Rents will now go up and non pet owning tenants will be paying for this rule

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    Just dont accept pets end of.

     
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    Typical of so-called elected reps (Erps>MPs Councillors) and many govt / council employees TELL what property owners must do irrespective of consequences to owners and WITHOUT SAFEGAURDS to owners. It is high time all these clowns / dimwits get some money allocated to build more homes for such purposes, instead of sucking blood out of LLs. Oh no that will never happen because their grey matter, if any exists, will not permit such common sense! LL alternative if compelled to take pets rent goes up by £50 to £100 / month. Less to worry with recovery from deposits.

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    • 29 January 2021 10:20 AM

    Lot more than that for pets.....

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    • 29 January 2021 10:22 AM

    Will cost thousands to re-carpet a whole house!!!!!

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    All part of the job of being a landlord. There are easier and less stressful ways to make a living. Intriguing to see lots of commentators here want all the perks of owning assets that provide guaranteed return - but none of the responsibilities. And the moment there is any risk, want the Government to mollycoddle them. And people criticised the stockbrokers for being bailed out!

     
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    I don't want to be mollycoddled just left to get on with doing our job with no interference from third parties with a vindictive agenda. Just renting to good people, providing a high quality product & getting paid

     
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    John S. Why should anyone other than the pet owner be responsible for it?

    Landlords diligently meet their responsibilities but other people's pets aren't on the long list and never should be.

    Incidentally rent payments and capital growth are not "perks" but well deserved and hard earned returns on investment, risk and hard work! Try it some time!

    No one on here is asking for Mollycoddling or government bail outs. We just want the government to let decent landlords and tenants co-exist, without both having to subsidise the feckless, reckless and hopeless!

     
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    One dog leads to 2 dogs and then a couple of puppies or maybe a cat and we must not forget the caged birds. Birds create a stink as do all animals. The worst one is ferrets. Have a couple of those and you end up with cleaning up the human vomit as well.

    I like the replies to pets here especially the - introduce a pet and up goes the rent. Now what tenant is going to bring a pet in and own up to it and have to pay more rent? Answers on a postcard please. You have clearly not thought out the logical conclusion to that one. So it's back to the no pets clause I'm afraid.

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    Inspections - pretty easy to spot a pet!

     
  • Taifoor Chaudhry

    It will help, if government just ask LL for keys of their properties. Too much micro management.

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    • 29 January 2021 10:37 AM

    Neat idea......!

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    Nothing New about so called Model Tenancy Agreement its around for Years by DHCLG it used to be 46 pages and unusable, so no one used it because it was impossible so now 68 pages of more nonsense I did respond to this article at some length but blocked by landlord today.

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    • 29 January 2021 11:26 AM

    Really? Total madness......

     
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    The new Scottish Government one is over 70 pages long, but that's good as they never read it and it's then easy to add other clauses, cleaning windows every 4 weeks, no moving of furniture, no sticking up posters etc. which makes it easier to claim for cleaning etc. on departure.

     
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    You'd think the government had more important things to think about at the moment.

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    Where are these non-paying, pet owning tenants going to live - it certainly wont be in one of our properties!

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    • 29 January 2021 11:25 AM

    Frances:
    What? Of course they will find somewhere!...Just NOT in my property.

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    Yes Francis, maybe outside a Tube station sitting on a bag with their Pets in tow. Perhaps Christopher Pincher could see his way to include mice & rats as well but then you'll have exclude the ferret because he'll soon see them off.

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    A few years ago we had one lovely non-paying tenant threaten to turn the taps on and leave the dog in the house knowing that we would have to break into our own property and therefore suffer a fine to compensate her for not obeying the 3-month access rules at the time. Also had a death threat from another on eviction day as he aimed his Rottweiler at me. There's no depth's these people will not sink to guys. We play by the rules in order to respect their rights. When a system is as stacked as this it's time to move on guys. There's no depth these guys will not sink to.

  • Fredy Jones

    Evicting a non-paying tenant will take a long time, regardless.

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    This is why we will be very selective when checking out new tenants and guarantors

     
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    So ask them to leave, immediately, no ifs no buts. Old rules come into play. Come on people Our properties Our monies Our choices.

     
    Fredy Jones

    realistically it’s going to take years before you get through the backlog and who knows if this vaccine will work or if there are new mutant strains that need more lockdowns and more eviction bans.

    If a tenant says they are suicidal then they can claim breathing space after May this year and LLs are no longer allowed to evict them or pursue the arrears until the they are not in mental health crisis anymore which could be many years

    the one option that will prove cheaper in the long run is for LLs to offer £4K in cash for the tenants to move out now and you get the property back.

    this way you know for sure that unhappy tenants will not damage the property on their way out and you won’t have to worry about soliciting/court fees or years of rent arrears that you will never get back

     
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    • Joe
    • 29 January 2021 17:57 PM

    Would be interesting to see how many people here own pets, if you own a pet there's no reason to stop your tenant having one

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    Yes Joe I own a dog, but if he damages my property I'm the one that puts it right, however I am one of very few landlords in my area that is prepared to '' consider '' renting to tenants with pets, I used to ask for an extra deposit, however I am not allowed to do that now so it has to be an increased rent.

     
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    Not worth the hassle when you can find tenants without.

     
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    Joe. You're totally wrong.

    There is one compelling reason. The properties belong to us and we make the decisions, which can indeed stop tenants keeping pets in properties not belonging to them.

    They can certainly HAVE a pet, just not in our properties without our permission.

     
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    Google 'dog damage' and see what images comes back. You're looking at thousands of pounds that most renters couldn't afford to fix properly. I have a duty of care to my mortgage provider, as well as myself, to not cause uneccessary loss of value to my property. I'd consider fish and maybe snakes. My property is almost competely plasterboard. Consequently, anything with teeth, including small rodents, are off limits. I don't want to be that harsh but this is a business decision and given current laws, I have no way of recovering the true costs of the damage if a tenant is unwilling / dishonourable.

    BTW I am currently renting myself. I'd love a pet but my contract says no and I am happy to repect that. That's what I signed.

     
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    I don't have a pet in my House but that's beside the point and I am not saying any Tenant shouldn't have a pet either. What I am 100% against is Christopher Pincher poking his nose in again into private matters, it should be left up to the owner & the Tenant as to whether its agreeable to both parties or not, everything is being forced on us and we are never given a say and any Consultation is just pretend. The same goes for the 68 pages so called Model Tenancy Agreement nonsense, we already have 50 pages of Documents & Certificates to comply even without our Current Assured short hold Tenancy Agreement in which ever format but all essentially the same, 6 to 8 pages max and even that used to be 4 pages Oyez Contract form from Law Society nothing wrong with it. So he must be trying to destroy the Forest and Environment with other 60 pages not to mention my printer ink £50. a time for pair of cartridges every couple of week from Sainsbury's.

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    I email it to tenants along with all the epc etc. rubbish and just print two copies of the signature page, confirming receipt, understanding and acceptance of the e-mailed agreement and other attachments sent as a PDF document.

    I have only had one barrack room lawyer print it off and read it since the SNP bought out its new 70 odd page version a few years ago.

     
  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    What other Business, ' Can't it be right ' - that the business chooses the product and conditions that it offers for those to take, or leave ?
    A legal challenge is Long OVERDUE !

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    Love dogs but not in Any of My properties, ever!

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    More government meddling telling landlords what they can and can't do with their own properties.

    As much as I love dogs and cats they can practically wreck your property. I have seen many properties with thousands of pounds worth of damage and stink caused by irresponsible pet-owning tenants. Will the tenant pay for all the damage? probably not. Will the deposit cut down by the government cover the cost of all the damage caused? most likely not. Will the government pay for the damage, definitely not!

    Time Dorris and his useless government buggerd off, I will never vote tories in again.

  • George Dawes

    We are a nation of animal lovers

    Well , I’m not , I hate the blooming things .

    Thanks to a family member I’ve ended up with a smelly noisy aggressive moron of an animal and I’m counting the days before it waddles off to doggy heaven .

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    It's really interesting how many comments "pets in rentals' generate - you would think that alone should show the Govt how big a problem LLs believe pets to be.

    The bottom line is there are a significant number of renters who are not at all bothered about looking after someone else's property and until there is a way to identify them (and evict the) all tenants are treated the same and will pay the price.

  • Fredy Jones

    realistically it’s going to take years before you get through the backlog and who knows if this vaccine will work or if there are new mutant strains that need more lockdowns and more eviction bans.

    If a tenant says they are suicidal then they can claim breathing space after May this year and LLs are no longer allowed to evict them or pursue the arrears until the they are not in mental health crisis anymore which could be many years

    the one option that will prove cheaper in the long run is for LLs to offer £4K in cash for the tenants to move out now and you get the property back.

    this way you know for sure that unhappy tenants will not damage the property on their way out and you won’t have to worry about soliciting/court fees or years of rent arrears that you will never get back

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    As I understand it the breathing space is only for the existing debt at the time the breathing space is put in place, going forward from there they are expected to pay ongoing rent etc, if they do not they may lose the original protection, also they can only have one breathing space per year, I think good guarantors will be a must going forward, no suitable guarantor no tenancy

     
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    I've been told by landlords of 50 plus years experience that £500 incentive to sign appropriate paperwork to relinquish the tenancy, accompanied by offers to provide well built helpers to move out personal belongings is nearly always gratefully accepted by tenants with unaffordable debts elsewhere.

    £4k would help 8 such tenants, so fairer to spread it around 8 needy tenants and make 8 properties available for others willing and able to pay market rents.

     
  • Matthew Payne

    The article here states - "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"

    The new model TA states;

    "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."

    How can there be additional deposit for a pet as it suggests if the total depsoit held cannot exceed 5 weeks still?

    The model TA also states, "They should only turn down a request in writing within a 28 day period if there is good reason to do so.."

    Here's a good reason. Sorry you cant have a pet, as the government have capped deposits at 5 weeks, removed the need for tenants to professionally clean, so I have no way of ensuring my property is returned to me in the same condition as it is now.


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