The Government has updated its recommended tenancy agreement, and in it, landlords are no longer allowed to issue a blanket ban on tenants with pets.
The National Residential Landlords Association (the NRLA) is calling for flexibility from the Government on the issue of letting to tenants with pets.
Landlords need clarification on this matter
The NRLA released a statement saying;
“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.”
The NRLA statement continues by saying; “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 keen for landlords to be aware that it is not compulsory to use the new Government’s agreement.
Leading organisations back landlords
Propertymark’s Mark Hayward 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 UK 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.”
The agreement provided by the Government offers consent for pets, and this is the default position. This means landlords who use this style of tenancy agreement are no longer able to issue a blanket ban on all pets.
With the Government tenancy agreement, landlords will be required to raise a written objection in 28 days of receiving a written pet request from the tenant. The landlord will be required to offer a good reason for the objection.
The Government is calling on landlords to only offer a rejection where there is a valid reason to do so. Possible reasons for rejection suggested by the Government include a small property being let, and where owning a pet will be impractical.
Tenants will have a legal duty to repair any damage caused by the pet or to cover the cost of repair.
Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “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. We are bringing an end to the unfair blanket ban on pets introduced by some landlords.”
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