The Model Tenancy Agreement (MTA) is the government’s recommended legal template for landlords to use with tenants. Previously landlords using the agreement were able to issue blanket bans on pets in their properties. Under changes announced by Housing Minister in January, the default position is that responsible tenants can keep well-behaved pets in rented properties wherever the MTA is applied. Landlords will now have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.
According to new research from Direct Line business insurance, just 30% of landlords say that they would submit an objection, a positive development for animal-loving tenants since currently only seven per cent of landlords advertise pet-friendly properties despite more than half of Brits owning one.
Tenants have responded enthusiastically to the change to the Model Tenancy Agreement, with 62 per cent saying that they are happy. When asked why:
61% said this will result in fewer pet owners having to give up their pets because of restrictions implemented by landlords, 49% say it will result in fewer animals being stuck in animal trusts or rescue centres, and 35% stated that they already had pets so it will make it easier to find a property in the future.
Where it is applied, the new Model Tenancy Agreement should help prevent some tenants from breaking the rules. One in six Brits who have rented a property have hidden a pet in the premises without the landlord’s consent. Younger tenants are the most likely to do this, with 25% admitting to doing so.
Those who have kept a secret pet in their rented property did this because:
44% were concerned that their landlord would say no if they requested permission to keep a pet in their property, 22% said the property they wanted to move into didn’t allow pets, but they felt the need to hide the truth because they already owned a pet, and 16% forgot to check with the landlord before getting the pet and subsequently realised they weren’t allowed to keep one.
Jamie Chaplin, Landlord Business Manager at Direct Line, commented: “The new Model Tenancy Agreement brings good news for animal-loving tenants, with responsible owners able to keep well-behaved pets in rented properties wherever the government’s recommended legal template is in use.
“And with a majority of landlords stating that they do not intend to submit an objection under the terms of the new Model Tenancy Agreement, it looks like more pet owners can rent properties with furry friends without worrying about breaching their tenancy agreement – as long as they are well-behaved!”