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You may have heard recently in the news that the Government had created its model tenancy agreement to make it easier for tenants with pets to find rented accommodation in England. 

This means that if agents use the UK Government's new Model Tenancy Agreement, landlords will now have to seek consent for pets as the default position and will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.

We frequently come across applicants asking whether or not pets are allowed. In Bournemouth and Poole in particular where there are many blocks of flats, landlords (or lessees) must ask for permission from freeholders or management companies before pets are to be considered, or in some cases pets are simply forbidden under the terms of the block regulations. 

So are tenants automatically allowed pets now?

No - Use of the Model Tenancy Agreement is voluntary and there has been no change in the law regarding the keeping of pets.

For example, we use a Propertymark approved tenancy agreement via Goodlord, our tenancy administration partner, and there are clauses which cover animals and pets which determine whether they are allowed or not.

Am I able to charge a higher rent or deposit if a tenant has pets?

Yes to the rent, but no to the deposit!

Since the Tenant Fees Act 2019, all tenancy deposits have been capped. In the old days landlords may have asked for as much as two months' deposit to cover pet wear and tear but that is no longer permitted.

You are allowed to ask for more rent as a 'Pet Premium' provided the property is advertised as such and that pets are permitted in your property if a block of flats.
 
What do you know about the Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill – England?

This is an idea proposed by a backbench MP as a Private Members’ Bill to establish rights to keep dogs and other animals in domestic accommodation.

We are aware that Propertymark has met with the MP’s office to outline its concerns. Currently, the Bill does not have support from the UK Government and no date has been set for Second Reading. Therefore, it is unlikely to pass into law. However, Propertymark are monitoring the issue closely.

Source for answers - Propertymark