Renting with pets is about to get easier

Brits love pets. Fact.

This love goes far deeper than cat videos or dog gifs. In fact, four in 10 of all UK households owned a pet last year.

Of these, 9m are dogs. That’s ruffly the population of Switzerland. In other words, a quarter of UK households own a dog.

‘Pets’ is one of the top four things people search for when looking online for a place to rent. But the number of pet-friendly listings remains low.

Only 4.1% of rent listings on Zoopla described themselves as pet-friendly last year. The percentage of pet-friendly flats was just 2.8%.

The good news for dog-owning renters

But this could all change thanks to government intervention.

In January 2020, the government revised tenancy contracts to encourage landlords to be more open towards tenants who own well-behaved puppies. The new model also discourages total bans on pets unless there are valid reasons to do so, such as lack of space.

But this new model tenancy contract for renters is not legally binding. So although landlords are not obligated to use it’s often used as the basis of the lease agreement with tenants.

However, the model tenancy contract is often used as the basis of the lease agreement with tenants.

The government believes that finding a pet-friendly property is about more than practicality. That’s because living with a pet is also good for your mental health.

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.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

The hope is that more landlords will consider the idea of accepting pets, despite the law not explicitly forcing them to do so.

Make sure to always have your landlord’s consent to keeping pets in a property.

Keeping a pet without informing your landlord is a breach of contract and could be grounds to start an eviction process.