Tenancy changes end blanket ban on pets

Dog on top of storage boxes

The government has revised the standard tenancy agreement in England to make it easier for tenants with pets to find rented accommodation.

Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets.


Instead, consent for ‘well-behaved’ pets will be the default position and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.

It’s a significant change within the rental sector: currently, just 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties and most contracts don’t allow them. As a result, many people struggle to find suitable homes and in some cases people have had to give up their pets.

The Model Tenancy Agreement is the government’s recommended contract for landlords. Under the new agreement, rejections should only be made where there is good reason, such as large pets in smaller houses or flats, or other properties where having a pet could be impractical.

Lady playing with her dog

Tenants will continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property.

The change has been welcomed by the The Kennel Club, which said that it should encourage responsible pet ownership and also benefit animal welfare.


“For years thousands of owners have faced the reality that finding a place to live might mean permanent separation from their pet,” said Dr Ed Hayes, head of public affairs at The Kennel Club.

“With interest in dog ownership during the pandemic increasing – and when so many people are isolated – it is vital that society adapts its rules and takes a long-term vision, to ensure that our pets can continue to be safely cared for and accommodated in our lives, on the long-term basis that they deserve and need.

“Whilst this clause isn’t legally binding, we encourage landlords to adopt this as best practice and put a stop to unfair blanket bans on pets.”


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