Ben HaywardJanuary 29th
2021

A new rule, effectively banning landlords from refusing to allow tenants to have pets, has now come into action in the UK. 

According to UK Government statistics, currently just seven percent of private landlords advertise their properties as being pet-friendly.

However under the new regulations, landlords who don't want tenants to have pets will now have to respond in writing within 28 days of a written request to have a pet from a tenant, including a valid reason as to why they are turning down the request.

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.

"We are bringing an end to the unfair blanket ban on pets introduced by some landlords.”

Tenants will still be responsible for their pets and will have to pay for any damage caused to the property should it occur, and landlords will be permitted to ask for a higher deposit from pet-owning tenants - but it cannot exceed the cap of five weeks’ rent. 

Rachel Williams, Senior Parliamentary Advisor for the RSPCA said: "This news is a big step forward for pet owning renters. The RSPCA has long been urging the Government to amend their model agreement and it's fantastic to see that they have finally done so.

"This new agreement makes it clear that pet friendly accommodation should be considered the rule, not the exception.

"The RSPCA believes that responsible pet ownership can bring huge benefits to animal and owner alike and we encourage all landlords to use the new model agreement with their tenants.

"As many existing pet friendly landlords will testify, pet owners can be some of the best tenants.

"And with landlords' support in encouraging responsible pet ownership measures through their tenancy agreements we could see real progress in animal welfare too."

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross added:"Blue Cross warmly welcomes the new Model Tenancy Agreement stating that landlords can no longer issue blanket bans on keeping pets.

"We know that this is an issue of great concern to responsible pet owners, many of whom are placed in the traumatic position of having to give up their well-behaved pet due to a change in their circumstances.

"We believe this will mean pet owners will be able to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership irrespective of their housing situation."

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