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Pet-friendly landlords

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There is a glimmer of hope for the many tenants in the private sector who would like to own a pet, according to a story appearing in Property Investor Today on the 10th of January.

Some developers of Build to Rent homes are billing themselves as pet-friendly landlords – and offering enhanced, longer-term tenancies, with onsite managers and purpose-designed facilities and amenities.

The Build to Rent sector is growing fast, notes the article, with some 150,000 such homes already completed or under construction in the UK.

They appear to have responded to formal calls from the government – announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on the 4th of January – for landlords to make it easier for suitably responsible tenants to own pets in their rented accommodation. Jenrick is amending the government’s model tenancy agreement to reflect such changes.

It is estimated that around 40% of all British households currently own a pet of some kind, yet only 7% of private-sector landlords offer homes in which it is allowed to keep one or which is suitably pet-friendly.

The Housing Secretary’s revamp of the model tenancy agreement is prompted by the belief that families – especially those with children – deserve the extra joy and wellbeing that pets may bring. Pet owners are often helped through difficult times thanks to the love and care they may lavish on a pet, and whose companionship may improve a tenant’s mental and physical wellbeing.

The government says that it recognises the need for a balance between responsible pet-ownership by tenants and the rights of landlords to be protected against the damage that might be caused by badly-behaved pets.

In September last year, we reported that some landlords charge their tenants a supplement if they keep pets.