This is great news for tenants with pets, as the rental market does not favour pet owners, leaving those with pets struggling to find a suitable home or even being forced to give up their pets. According to the UK government website, only 7% of rental properties are advertised as pet friendly. This shows how difficult it can be for pet owners to find suitable rental homes.
Use of the Model Tenancy Agreement is voluntary, and so landlords are not obligated to use this agreement. Whilst landlords can still advertise properties as not allowing pets, tenants in existing rental properties can still provide a request in writing for a pet, to which the landlord must respond. The proposed Dogs and Domestic Animals Accommodation Protection Bill is currently under review, which proposes pet owners are eligible to keep pets in their homes provided they obtain a certificate of responsible animal guardianship. This bill has not yet been approved by the government.
Tenants are still obligated to cover the cost of any damages to their rental property that are caused by their pets. Clauses related to pet ownership and responsibility for costs should be outlined in their tenancy agreements. If a tenant chooses to have a pet without written consent from their landlord, then the landlord is entitled to take legal action to terminate the tenancy.