The government has recently announced changes to its model tenancy agreement to make it easier for tenants to keep well behaved pets in rented properties, great news for the rise of pet friendly? We’re not sure but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. We asked Deborah Rook, Animal Law expert for her thoughts “The government are expressly recognising the importance of pets to people and how traumatic it is to have to give up a pet when moving into rental housing, this is great news. However, merely changing the wording in the model tenancy agreement will not do much on its own. The current model tenancy agreement includes a pet covenant that permits pets with prior consent but many private landlords just remove the covenant and add a blanket ban on all pets instead. Without legislation like that in France and Ontario, many landlords will still include blanket bans on pets.” The use of the model is also entirely voluntary and only applies to the private sector.
What Robert Jenrick, Minister for Housing has given us is hope, inspiration and an excellent platform from which to propel our PAAW House campaign, here’s what we would love you to do. We invite you to call on the government to go a little further by recognising emotional support animals, banning no pet clauses and protecting existing human companion animal relationships, help us by joining our campaign https://paaw.house/campaigns/
If you are active on social media, we also ask you to consider sharing the link with your friends, tag us @paaw_house, tag our friends in Westminster @dilynofdowningstreet, @robertjenrick and @larrythecat and finally use the hashtags #petrevolution #bettertogether #2020paawvision and #petsarefamily
Let’s create a land of tolerance and inclusion where no responsibly owned, loved pet has to be separated from their family because of outdated rules and laws.
Thank you for your support.
Wording in the current Model Agreement:
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 or delayed. If permission is given, it may be given on the condition that the Tenant pays an additional reasonable amount towards the deposit. (Department of Communities and Local Government, Model Agreement for an Assured Shorthold tenancy 2016)
The accompanying guidance note on the model agreement for an Assured Shorthold tenancy states ‘the landlord cannot exercise a blanket ban on pets and should not turn a request down without good reason’
Statistics suggest that approximately 50% of private landlords exclude pets:
In the private rental sector the National Landlords Association reports that 55% of landlords exclude pets and a recent online survey of 985 private landlords found that 58% exclude pets (Cats Protection 2019)
These statistics suggest that some landlords delete the pet covenant in the model agreement and insert a blanket ban instead.