Landlords must allow renters to have pets in new Government plans

16 June 2022, 16:05

A landlord cannot immediately deny a request to have a pet in a rented property
A landlord cannot immediately deny a request to have a pet in a rented property. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Tenants will have the legal right to keep their pets in rented homes under plans published this week.

Landlords will be forced to allow their tenants to have pets in their rented property.

This is according to new Government plans published today as part of the proposals from The Fairer Private Rented Sector's White Paper.

They want to make it easier for tenants to have their much-loved pets in their homes by "giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house".

A landlord will be required to consider the request and cannot refuse it for unreasonable reasons.

The new plans will mean renters don't have to part with their beloved pets
The new plans will mean renters don't have to part with their beloved pets. Picture: Getty

According to research from the English Private Landlord Survey taken in 2021, 45 per cent of landlords are unwilling to let to tenants with pets.

Due to this, people have been forced to give up their beloved pets when moving, while others have been deprived of the chance to bring a pet into the home which could offer them both mental and physical support.

They Government write in the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper: "Domestic pets can bring joy, happiness, and comfort to their owners, as well as supporting their mental and physical wellbeing including through challenging times."

Landlords will not be able to deny the request for a pet immediately
Landlords will not be able to deny the request for a pet immediately. Picture: Getty

This change comes as part of the Government's overall plans to improve the lives of renters, 2.8 million of whom they say are living in homes "that are not fit for the 21st century".

In more detail, the plans state that they will "legislate to ensure landlords do not unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have a pet in their home, with the tenant able to challenge a decision".

They add: "Alongside this, we will make it easier for landlords to accept pets by amending the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to include pet insurance as a permitted payment. This means landlords will be able to require pet insurance, so that any damage to their property is covered."

Landlords will have to provide a good reason why the tenant can't have an animal
Landlords will have to provide a good reason why the tenant can't have an animal. Picture: Getty

The Government says they will also "work with landlords and other groups to encourage a common-sense approach".

"Pets can bring a huge amount of joy and we are committed to supporting responsible pet ownership in the PRS", they write: "Alongside greater security and quality, these measures will help tenants truly feel like their house is their home."

As part of creating a positive renting experience, they will also be encouraging landlords to allow "reasonable requests" by tenants to redecorate, including hanging pictures and changing appliances.

Tenants will only be able to do this "provided they return the property to its original state when they leave".

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