Landlord News

Majority of landlords support Government’s Model Tenancy Agreement change to allow pets

Em Morley - July 2, 2021

Research into landlords allowing pets in their rental properties has revealed the most animal-friendly area in England for tenants.

Intus Lettings surveyed 500 landlords, finding that 72% of those located in the North East allow tenants to keep pets. In comparison, less than 40% of landlords in Yorkshire and the Humber allow pets in their lets.

One of the most common reasons for landlords not allowing tenants to keep pets is a fear of damage being done to the property. Bad smells and the fact that many leaseholds ban animals in properties were also provided as reasons.

In January this year the Government released its new Model Tenancy Agreement. It now has a default position of landlords being expected to allow pets, although the agreement is not mandatory for agents or landlords to follow, and subject to the Head Lease terms. 

Hope McKendrick, head of lettings at Intus, said: “Under the new rules, landlords in England can no longer put a blanket ban on pets within their properties and responsible tenants with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through a new standard tenancy agreement.

“The decision has been the topic of much debate since the announcement, but the fact is that being pet friendly can make properties more appealing and encourages loyalty among tenants. Of course, there are considerations for landlords to make in terms of protecting their property and many options have been discussed in parliament, including higher deposits, referencing for pets and specific insurance.”

Intus’ research found that 55% of landlords support the change, 24% strongly support and just 18% oppose it. 

Hope continued: “When the government revealed the changes, it stated just 7% of private landlords currently advertise pet friendly properties, which is incredible when you consider that almost 80% of landlords are supportive of the updated agreement. As long as tenants remain respectful to their landlords, I’ve no doubt that the decision to take a more flexible approach to pets will benefit all parties. It makes commercial sense to landlords and after all, a dog is man’s best friend!”