Rented Housing: Pets

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Hayman of Ullock Baroness Hayman of Ullock Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to support individuals who rent and have a pet (1) dog, or (2) cat, find suitable accommodation.

Photo of Lord Greenhalgh Lord Greenhalgh The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Everyone has the right to make the house they rent a home and responsible pet owners should not be discriminated against. This is why the Government have outlined legislative plans in our recently published White Paper, 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector', to ensure that private landlords do not unreasonably withhold consent when tenants request to have a pet in their home. We will also give tenants a right to challenge unreasonable decisions.

Alongside this, we will make it easier for landlords to accept pets by amending the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to include pet insurance as a permitted payment. This means landlords will be able to require pet insurance, so that any damage to their property is covered.

Currently landlords can use the Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA), the government's recommended contract for assured shorthold tenancies in the private rented sector, which aims to make it easier for tenants with pets to find private landlords who will accept them.

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