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Landlords cannot automatically stop tenants from keeping pets under new rules

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There's good news for animal-loving renters in the UK. Landlords can no longer automatically veto their tenants having pets unless they have a good reason.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 01/02/2021, 13:40, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:23

Until now, landlords have had the power to issue a blanket ban on tenants having pets in their rented properties. Renters who bring animals into their home could face eviction or give up their pets altogether.

With just 7% of private landlords advertise their rental property as being pet-friendly, many people are left struggling to find suitable homes to rent.

Fortunately, that's all about to change.

New rules for landlords

The Ministry of Housing has revealed a new standard tenancy agreement template that will stop landlords from automatically issuing a blanket ban on their tenants having pets for no good reason. The new guidelines will bring the UK closer to banning landlords from refusing tenants who have pets.

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Consent for pets will instead be the default position. This means that landlords who don't want animals in their rental properties will have to put their objections in writing, along with a valid reason, within 28 days of a tenant's written pet request. A valid reason could include the property's size or that the property is in a block of flats where it wouldn't be practical to keep a cat or dog.

Pet ownership for renters

While it's hoped that these new rules will bring an end to what many tenants see as an unfair ban on them having pets, the guidelines are not yet legally binding. However, it's hoped that the proposals will soon become law and more renters will be able to share their home with a pet.

However, the new rules may mean it will cost significantly more for tenants to rent a property if they have a cat or dog. Landlords will be able to ask for higher deposits from their tenants with pets, but it must remain within the cap of five weeks' rent.

Check out our tips on how to stop your cat scratching the carpet.

Tenants will still have responsibility for their pets and must pay for any damage their animals make to a rental property.

See also: New law in Italy allows owners to keep their pets with them for all eternity