Leeway For Landlords In Letting To Pets

While most landlords are keen to increase the potential number of prospective tenants for their rental property, it is also vital landlords vet tenants.

Selecting the right standard of tenant is crucial for landlords, and this is often the difference between a successful letting period, and a challenging one.

Many landlords find themselves perturbed when considering applications from tenants who wish to live with a pet.

This is an evolving situation for landlords and tenants

The Government has recently said blanket refusals are no longer permitted. However, there are genuine reasons as to why landlords don’t wish to let property to tenants with pets. There is a need for clarification on what landlords can do, and if there are grounds for refusing a tenant’s application.

A recent response from a prominent member of the Government will be welcomed by landlords who would prefer to avoid letting rental property to tenants with pets.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher responded to a written question from MP Rachael Maskell. The question asked what constitutes a good reason for landlords to deny a tenant a pet ownership request.

The response will be welcomed by many landlords who are looking for more leeway in this challenging matter.

A new response might lead to further questions

The Housing Minister responded, saying; “A good reason for a landlord to decline a pet ownership request would be where a pet is demonstrably poorly behaved or unsuited for the premises in question, for example, a large dog in a small flat, or where other tenants have allergies to animals.”

Landlords will likely come under greater pressure

There are groups which work with tenants to persuade landlords to allow tenants to have pets in their rental property. One such group is the non-profit voluntary organisation, AdvoCATS, and their founder, Jen Berezai recently released a statement.

Jen said; “I’d been volunteering for a local rescue, and had seen first-hand the heartbreak of an owner surrendering their pet because they weren’t allowed to keep it under their rental contract. I’d had a couple of cases where I’d been able to successfully negotiate a tenant keeping/getting a pet.”

The group is calling for the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to be amended, presenting landlords with the opportunity to demand tenants hold pet damage insurance (if applicable). This will provide landlords with greater confidence that damages caused by a pet are recoverable.

However, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) want landlords to retain the freedom to say to tenants with pets if they would prefer to not let to these applicants. The NRLA released a statement, saying; “There is also often more a risk of damage to a property where there is a pet. This is compounded by legislation which means they are unable to reflect the heightened risk in such situations in the deposit that is charged.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.