Government to change model tenancy to help pet-owners

Government to change model tenancy to help pet-owners

The government’s model tenancy contract is going to be changed to allow pets, which should help-pet owners find accommodation in the future.

The model rental contract is used by many letting agents to save them writing up their own contracts, and currently states that tenants can keep a pet at a property as long as they have written permission from the landlord. This is ambiguous and means that the vast majority of landlords ban pets outright, with the government claiming that only 7% of rented homes are advertised as pet-suitable.

The amended version will say that landlords can only turn down requests ‘with good reason’, for example a large dog that would likely damage property. 

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said on Saturday that this change has been made to encourage more landlords to allow more responsible pet owners to rent.

This also works for landlords, as the terms will also be changed to ensure that the landlord’s property is protected from pet damage.

“Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owner’s through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing,” he said.

“We will be listening to tenants and landlords to see what more we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both.

“This is part of this new government’s mission to improve life for tenants, recognising that more are renting and for longer in life.”

Labour, however, proposed a harder stance on this. Their plans proposed that pets should be permitted ‘by default’, and that landlords or letting agents should have to prove that a pet was likely to damage a property.