New Laws to Help Pet Owners Secure a Lease
Responsible pet owners with well-behaved pets will be given a fair chance to secure a lease with the new Standard Tenancy Agreement. The government recently announced the new Model Tenancy Agreement will be put into place from January 28th 2021. This new agreement will stop private landlords from placing a blanket pet ban on their homes.
How The New Model Tenancy Agreement Helps Responsible Pet Owners
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP announced the rules of the new agreement. In it, he states that landlords will no longer be able to ban pets in their homes without good reason. Instead of banning pets outright, consent for all pets will be the default stance of tenancy agreements.
Landlords will then be required to object to the presence of pets in their properties. This must be done in writing within 28 days of receipt of a written pet request from the tenant. In each case, it is imperative that the landlord provides a valid reason for their objection.
This comes off the tail-end of the pandemic, where more and more adults and families have introduced pets into their homes during the nationwide lockdown. Statistics currently show that only 7% of private landlords across the UK offer pet-friendly properties. The small percentage of pet-friendly homes available has meant many adults having great difficulty finding somewhere to live. Or, sometimes, even having to give up their pets altogether.
What Properties are Exceptions to The Rule?
There will be no automatic exemptions with the new agreement. All landlords will be required to submit a written objection to pets in their properties, regardless of the property type. However, certain properties are more likely to be able to reject pet occupancy. For example, if the property is a flat, or a particularly small property where owning a pet would be impractical.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP spoke publicly about the matter, saying ‘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,’ before continuing. ‘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.’
Pincher then went on to say that the changes to the tenancy agreement would end ‘the unfair blanket ban on pets introduced by some landlords.’ As such, renters will be able to find a suitable home for their entire family. At the same time, the new rules will still allow the properties of landlords to be safeguarded against potential damages caused by problematic owners.