Renters Might Be Allowed Pets Under Proposed New Tenancy Rules

10 January 2020

Renters might be allowed pets under new tenancy rules, proposed by Robert Jenwick, Housing Secretary.

If you've ever tried to rent with a pet, you'll be well aware of the difficulty surrounding finding somewhere. It can be difficult to get a landlord to agree to an animal in the property, and often, if the landlord allows an animal, it means forking out extra deposit.

Roughly 7% of landlords allow tenants with pets and with more people, including families having to rent due to soaring house prices, lots of tenants are having to give up their furry friends to secure accommodation.

But that might change…

On January 4th, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick called for changes in model tenancy agreements to encourage landlords to allow well behaved pets in their homes.

Mr Jenrick said: "Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people's lives, helping their owners through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing."

"It's a shame thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can't experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning, so I'm overhauling our model tenancy contract." 

The changes are part of the new measures rolled out by the Conservative government aimed at renters. The government have already banned letting fees, and plan to make more renter-friendly changes in 2020.

Currently, the recommendations aren't legally binding.

Landlords don't have to follow them. However, if landlords continue to impose restrictions on well-behaved pets there may be a new law put in place.

'The government want to encourage a balance with responsible pet owners not being penalised and landlords being more flexible in their approach. It is right that landlords’ properties should be protected from damage by badly behaved pets, but total bans on renters with pets should only be implemented where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical.'

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.