Minister Urges Landlords to Lift Bans on Pet-Owning Tenants

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick wants landlords to let pet-owning tenants off the leash by allowing them to have well-behaved animals in their rented homes. 

He has stopped short of making the move mandatory but wants to encourage more landlords to offer pet-friendly tenancy agreements. 

The minister has also left the precise description of a well-behaved pet open-ended. 

His announcement is in advance of the government updating a model tenancy agreement to let renters move in with pets. No date has been set for publication of the revised agreement. 

The government wants landlords to be more flexible when renters wish to share their homes with pets but wants to ensure properties are protected from damage by badly behaved animals.

“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. So, 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,” said Jenrick. 

“I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. We will listen to tenants and landlords to see what we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both.”

The national model tenancy agreement is the government’s recommended contract for landlords signing up new tenants in England. 

The agreement sets out the minimum requirements and can be edited by landlords to cater for specific circumstances, tenants or properties. 

Jenrick’s plans do not make allowing pets a legal requirement for landlords but suggest a ban should only be for a good reason, such as renting tiny homes or flats where pet owning might be impractical. 

The tenancy agreement is free to download or print from the government website.

View Related Handbook Page

Tenancy Agreements

Landlords should be aware of the benefits of written tenancy agreements and the procedures necessary for obtaining such an agreement. Although a landlord can create many short-term tenancies (three years or less) without a written agreement, it is generally not advisable for landlords to allow occupation without first having secured a signed formal tenancy agreement.