Useful information about the model tenancy agreement and how it affects pets

Useful information about the model tenancy agreement and how it affects pets

On 28th January 2021, the Government announced that they had updated their model tenancy agreement to make it easier for tenants with pets to secure leases.

What does this mean?

Under the updated model tenancy agreement, “landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets. Instead, consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.”

How does this impact pet owners looking for private rented properties?

Under this agreement, landlords will only be able to say no to a pet in the property if they have ‘good reason’ to. The guidance states that this could include a smaller property where having a large pet may be impractical.

It is important to be aware that whilst this is a step in the right direction, this agreement is not legally binding – instead, it is guidance for landlords who can choose whether to use this model agreement.

One of the biggest reasons we see dogs handed into our rehoming centres is due to a change in the owner’s circumstances, such as being unable to live in a rented property with a pet. We also understand that there are many potential pet owners living in the rental sector that would greatly benefit from landlords taking a ‘pets considered’ approach, so that they could adopt a pet from one of our rehoming centres. Here at Lets with Pets, we hope that these updates will make it easier for tenants to have pets in their homes and help to ensure that fewer owners are forced to make the heart-breaking decision to give up their beloved pets.

What else can I do to find a pet-friendly property?

We know how difficult it can be to find a pet-friendly property which is why we've put together advice and information here to help you in your search. We have also produced a booklet on Renting with Pets which you can order here

How does this impact landlords who are letting properties out?

If you’re a landlord and are open to taking a ‘pets considered’ approach then this model tenancy agreement can be really useful to ensure that you are taking into account all of the aspects of allowing pets in your property. With more and more people becoming pet owners, adopting a ‘pets considered’ approach can increase demand for your property. You are also likely to attract long-term, responsible tenants.

We’ve created top tips for landlords, and we also have a Good Practice Pack for Landlords which you can order here.

If you've like to get in touch with the Lets with Pets team, please do email us letswithpets@dogstrust.org.uk

This is a guide for information only and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice you must consult an independent lawyer.