Could landlords be forced to allow pets to stay in their properties?

Many landlords specify that pets are not permitted in their properties; however the Government are looking to overturn this with official regulations.

There are a number of reasons why not all landlords allow for tenants to bring pets into their properties. These include but are not limited to:

  • Noise complaints from neighbours.
  • Lingering smells and hard-to-remove hair from carpets.
  • Damage to furniture.

Research by Dogs Trust shows that 78% of tenants with pets find difficulty in finding a rental property due to stipulations set by landlords; whilst also 7 per cent of landlords openly advertise their properties to pets.

Strict new rules being proposed by the government however look to change this, and could force landlords to accept tenants with pets.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has called on landlords to make it easier for responsible pet owners to allow animals to live in their homes.

The current default tenancy agreement by the government states that “the tenant must not keep any pets or other animals at the property without the prior written consent of the landlord which must not be unreasonably withheld.”  A fresh revision to this model would see this restriction revoked.

Commenting on the change, Mr Jenrick 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.

“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.”

He went on: “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 can I do as a landlord if I’m forced to accept tenants with pets?

If you’re already a landlord who accepts tenants with pets into your property; great. Nothing here will impact you. If the already listed reasons (amongst others) have detered you from including pets in your tenancies thus far however, there are safeguards already in use by many landlords to allow pets into their properties.

Many perspective tenants with pets are happy to consider a slight and reasonable rental increase over the marketed figure; typically around the £25pcm mark. This can bring in an additional £300 per annum per property.

In the likelihood they bring a well-behaved and maintained pet, this increase works well in your favour; particularly if you happen to take on tenancies in multiple properties with pets.

As always, selecting the right tenant and getting to know them (and their pet) is crucial to ensure you have the right potential tenants; ones who will treat your investment property as if they would treat their own.

At Abode, we take extra care to get to know all applicants and details surrounding their pets. This allows us to give you the best selection of long-term, happy tenants to craft and sustain a healthy tenancy for all parties involved.

For more information on pets in rental properties and the best strategies to approach the matter, give us a call on 0161 883 2525.


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