The Housing Secretary has called on landlords to “open their doors” to tenants with pets as he announced an overhaul of the current tenancy contract model to make it easier for animal-loving tenants to find homes.
The government’s model tenancy contracts, which can be used as the basis of lease agreements, will now be revised to remove restrictions on pets, reflecting, they say, the changing face of renting.
Many more people are renting than ever before – including more families – and many are renting for longer in life. But according to the government, currently only around 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets, meaning many people struggle to find a home suitable for themselves and their pets.
Some renters are forced to give up their pets because of the difficulties of finding a place despite many arguing that by allowing pets, landlords would attract more responsible, settled tenants.
Making the announcement on Friday, Robert Jenrick MP said the change was part of “the government’s mission to improve life for tenants.”
The government initiative isn’t across the board; a ban on pets in rented accommodation would still apply in homes that would be unsuitable, such as flats or small properties.
They said added landlords’ investments would be protected from damage by badly behaved pets, stressing the new flexible model would apply only to “well-behaved” pets.
Mr Jenrick said: “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.
“So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. And we will be listening to tenants and landlords to see what more we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both.”