New rules that allow renters with ‘well-behaved pets’ find secure a tenancy more easily have been announced by the government.
And under the new Model Tenancy Agreement rules, landlords will no longer be able to put a blanket ban on pets.
Landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written ‘pet request’ from a tenant, instead. They will have to provide a good reason for banning a pet in that apartment or house, for example if it is impractical.
Only 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties, meaning many people struggle to find a suitable home.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “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.
“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.”
The Dogs and Domestic Animals Bill was brought forward by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell.
New rules for tenants
The new guidelines do not currently give tenants an unconditional right to keep pets in their rental properties. But they do give pet owners a better opportunity of finding somewhere to live.
Under the suggested Model Tenancy Agreement, tenants will have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property. They will also have to demonstrate responsible pet ownership, including:
Proof of vaccinations
Microchipping the pet
De-worming and flea treatment
Ensuring the pet responds to basic commands