Tenancy Agreements: 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 assessment they have made of the uptake of the revised Model Tenancy Agreement to support more pet-friendly accommodation.

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

The Government has not made any specific assessment of the uptake of the revised Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA) in relation to supporting more pet-friendly accommodation. The most recent report from the English Private Landlord Survey (EPLS 2021) showed that 52% of landlords who responded said they used the MTA for assured shorthold tenancies. The same report also showed that less than half (45%) of private landlords are unwilling to let to tenants with pets.

The revision of the MTA aimed to make it easier for tenants with pets to find private landlords who will accept them. While the use of the MTA and adherence to its contents is optional, we set out in our White Paper, ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’, that we will go further by legislating to ensure that private landlords do not unreasonably withhold consent when tenants request to have a pet in their home. Tenants will be able 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.

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