Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is to overhaul the model tenancy contract to make it easier for tenants to have pets.
A surprise statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government this morning - Saturday - says more young people and families than ever before are renting and should be able to enjoy the happiness that a pet can bring to their lives.
The ministry claims that currently only around seven per cent of rental properties are advertised as suitable for pets, meaning many people struggle to find a home suitable for themselves and their animals.
“But the government’s model tenancy contracts for renters, which can be used as the basis of lease agreements made with tenants, will now be revised to remove restrictions on well behaved pets - to ensure more landlords are catering for responsible pet owners wherever possible” says the statement.
“The government is clear there should be a balance with responsible pet owners not being penalised and landlords being more flexible in their approach, and it is right that landlords’ properties should be protected from damage by badly behaved pets” it continues.
But it says total bans on renters with pets should only be implemented where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical.
Housing Secretary Jenrick adds: “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.
“This is part of this new government’s mission to improve life for tenants, recognising that more are renting and for longer in life. We’ve already taken action, banning unfair letting fees and capping tenancy deposits, saving tenants across England at least £240 million a year, and I will continue to take more steps to secure a better deal for renters up and down the country.”