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Pet plan pawsed? Minister explains how landlords can refuse pets

The controversy over government proposals to increase the numbers of pets in private rental properties has taken an unexpected twist.

Two measures have recently propelled the pets issue to the top of the rental agenda.

The Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection Bill, which proposes to make it a right for tenants to have domestic animals in rental properties, is currently awaiting its second reading as it moves through Parliament.


And early this year the government announced that it had rewritten its model standard tenancy agreement to include more 'pet-friendly' elements, making it easier for tenants to be able to keep 'well-behaved' pets - although it is not mandatory for agents or landlords to use this tenancy agreement.

But now housing minister Chris Pincher has given details of how landlords can, in fact, reject pets in their rental properties - even if they are amongst the minority using the model tenancy agreement.

Answering a written question in the Commons, Pincher says: “A good reason for a landlord to decline a pet ownership request would be where a pet is demonstrably poorly behaved or unsuited for the premises in question, for example, a large dog in a small flat, or where other tenants have allergies to animals.”


He goes on to say: “The revised [model tenancy] agreement provides that a private landlord who chooses to use the agreement should accept a request from a tenant to keep pets 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.

“It aims to remove restrictions on responsible tenants with pets, encouraging landlords who use the agreement to offer greater flexibility in their approach to pet ownership.”

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    How on earth does a LL demonstrate a pet is poorly behaved? What a load of twaddle!!


    woof woof

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    Unbelievable Christopher Pincher thinking this way he don’t have to suffer the consequences the LL has to deal with. HM0’s in particular some individuals maybe 6 renting rooms in the house, there is more than enough conflict between them already. I have lost many Tenants this way when they fall out. Why make the problems worse, they are not all going to want pets another reason for a fight and are they going to keep the dog/ pets in their Rented Bedroom only....

  • James B

    The real risk for landlords as this vote winning crusade gains traction will be if tenants are told they don’t need to disclose pets, it’s all well and good landlords rejecting tenants for other reasons but if tenants are given that power landlords will be in trouble.

  • Rob Mills

    Are we forgetting about common sense!!!....you are not likely to have a large dog in a Flat and I would not expect a responsible pet owner to do this, small dog with permission but you have to take into account the animals welfare in respect of being left alone all day in the flat if the owner is at work, not a great idea in my opinion. As we know you can obtain a pet reference so that does go some way towards checking the pets behaviour. A common sense approach needs to be taken....!!!


    Common sense dictates that landlords must be allowed to choose whether to allow or ban any pets as tenants don't own the property, don't stay for ever (even nowadays! ) and thus shouldn't be allowed to limit the number of available properties for let to those with allergies once they move out.

    Incidentally when did irresponsible pet owners stop renting flats? Have you never seen huge dogs go into multi storey flats? I'm willing to bet that's where the majority of very big dogs actually live!

    • 19 March 2021 11:35 AM

    Ha!!! I have often seen 2 (large male) Alsatians in a one bed high rise.
    Not to mention 1 St. Bernard in similar circumstances.
    These people are just not normal!

    Anything is possible.



    I had a prospective tenant for a coach house with no outside space ask if they could bring their Labrador!

    James B

    Yes common sense you would hope but with the fierce shortage tenant will move into anything they can get their hands on even if not suitable for their pets o

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    Common sense unfortunately is not very common.
    James has a good point they probably won’t have to disclose, like currently when a Tenant applies for Benefit there is a Box to tic if you don’t want your LL to know that you are on Benefit, economical with the truth, withholding information & lies.

    • 19 March 2021 11:36 AM

    It is clear that these people are truly not responsible enough to have animals.

  • David Lester

    If you want a pet it is at least £25 month extra!


    That's only £150 extra on a 6 month tenancy and even £300 over a year won't cover cleaning let alone damage or replacement of soiled carpets etc,

    • 19 March 2021 11:25 AM

    And the rest.

    I would want at least a holding amount a month of about £75 at a minimum.
    And then a separate clause, that if those costs are not enough at the end of the tenancy, then they MUST pay the difference.

    And then we will see how much they really like Rex and Kitty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Just leave it between LL and the Tenant to we out and stop all this interference.

  • Matthew Payne

    Sounds like a climb down to me, common sense finally prevailing. On the pet disclosure, they will have to disclose, which Chris Pincher alludes to. There is more to consider than a landlords sensibilities, whether other tenants, neighbours, property suitability, the freeholder, insurer etc, and it would be fair to reject a pet also on welfare grounds, ie: dog in a flat and the owner is at work all day. Just need to add an additional clause if needed that says that should the tenant wish to get a pet mid tenancy, in spite of the "2021 Pet Act", they need to get landlord consent first, and if consent is granted, the rent increases by £150pcm.

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    Sorry about typo I’m up a ladder

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Chris Pincher yet again demonstrating his in-depth and expert knowledge of the PRS.

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    • 19 March 2021 11:32 AM

    Also, with the proposed new rules, I am very confident that no pets will be allowed.

    All I will have to do is ask all the next-door neighbours and ensure that they have animal allergies. Either side and opposite my properties. At least 4 oppositions, and probably easily more.

    That will bypass this ridiculous B
    ill. Easy.

    Everybody is happy. No animals and no tenants with animals.

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    What happens of the Landlord or his maintenance man has an allergy?

  • Philip Drake

    Who is liable if subsequent tenants or their young children have strong allergic reactions or go blind due to faecal organisms?

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    I remember this from a TV program some years back. The case against dogs frightening.

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    I do allow pets, but that's because my target market is families and for the longer term. But it is undeniable that this comes with issues. Damaged carpets and scratched doors especially.


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