Housing secretary wants landlords to make it easier for tenants to have pets in rental properties

The government’s model rental contract that is used by many letting agents to issue tenancy agreements will soon be changed to encourage landlords to take on more tenants with pets. Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to have well behaved pets in their homes.


Very few Landlords offer pet-suitable properties

The statistics highlight the difficulties many families have in finding property suitable for them and their pets – currently only around 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets. Some renters have even been forced to give up their pets all together simply because they have been unable to move into a rented property with one.

In response to this, the Housing Secretary has announced changes to the model tenancy contracts to remove restrictions and encourage more landlords to accept tenants that own well-behaved pets. Jenrick wants to ensure that more landlords are catering for responsible pet owners wherever possible.

Britain is a nation of pet-lovers, and these plans are likely to appeal to Britain's increasing number of renters, who are in turn renting for longer and longer


Finding the balance

The government has made it clear that there should be a balance so that responsible pet owners are not being penalised and that 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.

To keep landlords happy, Jenrick also said the rules will be amended to ensure their properties are protected from damage by badly-behaved pets.


Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP said:

“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. So, it’s a shame that thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can’t experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning property.

So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. And 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. We’ve already taken action, banning unfair letting fees and capping tenancy deposits, saving tenants across England at least £240 million a year, and I will continue to take more steps to secure a better deal for renters up and down the country”


What now?

The proposal is going to go through a consultation period where views from both landlords and tenants will be sought with a view of making it easier for tenants to have pets in rental properties whilst also protecting the landlord’s investment from harm by badly behaved pets and irresponsible owners.

A revised model tenancy agreement will be published by the government this year. For landlord’s it appears there will soon be more legislation to contend with.