In January 2021, the new standard 'Government model' tenancy agreement was updated; this has made it easier for tenants with pets to find accommodation in England.
Many landlords do not like to rent to pet owners; however, it is worth noting that if you are looking to rent your property to families that will be long-term tenants, they are more likely to want to have a pet at some stage. Often these types of tenants look after their properties better and are easier to manage.
It’s important to note that if a letting agent uses the UK Government's new Model Tenancy Agreement, landlords will now have to seek consent for pets as the default position. If your tenant submits a written request to have a pet in your property, you have 28 days to object in, and you need to provide a good reason for not allowing a pet.
Advice being given to tenants
Tenants are being advised to use an ARLA Propertymark letting agents when seeking new rental properties. They can find properties that allow pets, and they can liaise with the landlord to put arrangements in place.
Tenants are also advised to have a CV and references for pets, which will assure landlords and the letting agents that the pet is house trained and not cause any problems once in the property. The information will include the pet's age, breed, behaviour, training, recent vaccinations, flea and working treatments, and a reference from a vet and/or previous landlord. This will provide a clear picture of what your pet will be like in your property.
Safeguarding our landlords
On top of your security deposit, a landlord or letting agent in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland can ask for an additional pet deposit to cover any potential damage caused by the pet at the end of the tenancy. Like your security deposit, this is refundable and should be held in a protected tenancy deposit scheme; it simply acts as an extra bit of insurance for the landlord.
Since the Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force on 1 June 2019, landlords and letting agents in England can only take a tenancy deposit of up to five weeks to rent for the duration of the tenancy (unless the annual rent exceeds £50,000, in which case deposits are capped at six weeks' rent). To replace a Pet Premium on the Tenancy Deposit, another option could be for the rent to be increased if advertised correctly.
We manage many rental properties where tenants have pets. Our standard procedure is that we add a specific pet clause within the tenancy agreement, which helps covers the landlord against any damage a tenant's pet may cause to their rental property.
Currently, our standard AST template is not the Government model agreement.
If you would like any further advice about managing properties on your behalf, you can call us on 0115 704 3163 or 01623 277115. Alternatively, you can email us via our contact us page – click here.