The Kennel Club has welcomed a move by Government which aims to enable more people renting in England to keep ‘well-behaved’ pets and prevents landlords from issuing blanket bans.
Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement announced yesterday (28 January 2021), consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.
Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Public Affairs at The Kennel Club, welcomed the move: “This clause within the new Model Tenancy Agreement is certainly a step in the right direction, encouraging responsible pet ownership as well as benefiting animal welfare.
“According to Government figures, currently just 7 per cent of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties and most contracts don’t allow them, meaning many caring and responsible owners struggle to find a suitable home with their pet. In some cases, this can also lead to people having to make a heart-breaking decision to unwillingly give up their pet all together.
“For years thousands of owners have faced the reality that finding a place to live might mean permanent separation from their pet. With interest in dog ownership during the pandemic increasing – and when so many people are isolated – it is vital that society adapts its rules and takes a long-term vision, to ensure that our pets can continue to be safely cared for and accommodated in our lives, on the long-term basis that they deserve and need.
“Whilst this clause isn’t legally binding, we encourage landlords to adopt this as best practice and put a stop to unfair blanket bans on pets, which clearly the Government now recognises is a problem.
“It is of course crucial that these owners ensure their pet who is living alongside them in rented accommodation is well-trained and happy in its environment, in order to be a responsible owner and tenant,” Ed added.
Training advice and resources to aid responsible dog ownership, as well as further information on The Kennel Club’s campaigns, is available on the organisation’s website: thekennelclub.org.uk.