Moving with Pets?

Planning to Rent?

Although the UK is known as a nation of pet lovers, it is estimated that only 7% of landlords advertise their properties as ‘pets considered’. To help renters with pets, on January 28th 2021, the Government announced the release of a new model tenancy agreement to help renters with well behaved pets. Is this good news for you and your trusted companions?

How does the new tenancy agreement help pet owners?

The updated model tenancy agreement and proposed rules means that “landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets. Instead, 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.”

However, renters should be aware that at this stage these are merely recommendations for landlords, who are not yet legally required to accept pets or use the model tenancy agreement offered by the government.

Responsible Ownership Test

Under the proposed rules, tenants will need to pass a “responsible ownership test” before they can move in with their pet.

This would include:

  • Proof of vaccinations
  • Microchipping the pet
  • De-worming and de-fleaing
  • Ensuring the pet responds to basic commands

But, it is hoped that with the introduction of this new tenancy agreement, more landlords will accept pets, conditionally, giving tenants a greater choice of homes to accommodate themselves and their furry companion.

Be Prepared

If you are looking for pet friendly landlords, tell agents from the beginning that you need to find a home that allows pets. Create a CV, document vaccinations and providing veterinary history your pet and if you are currently renting with a pet ask your current landlord for a reference. This will help your case to prove your pet is well-behaved.

Top Tips For renting With Pets

  1. Start searching as early as possible.
  2. Be flexible about where you live and what type of property.
  3. Be honest and tell the agent you need a home for you and your pet. Don’t hide the fact you have or are planning to keep a pet. This could lead to problems and possible termination of your tenancy agreement.
  4. Prepare a CV for your pet and ensure all vaccinations etc are up to date. Include contact details of your veterinary practice and someone who can care
    for your pet in an emergency.
  5. Get a reference for your pet – especially if you are currently renting.
  6. If possible introduce your pet to your prospective landlord.
  7. Get written consent – make sure your contract specifies you are allowed to keep pets. Ensure any ‘no pet’ clauses are removed from the contract.
  8. Check the Pet Policy to ensure you are happy with all the terms.

Reasons landlords might reject requests?

Acceptable reasons for rejecting a request for pets might be the property is too small or it is impractical to own pets in the flat. You should be aware that where pets are allowed tenants will continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property.

Things to look out for in renting a flat?

Most blocks of flats in the UK will be leasehold where the terms of the lease may not allow pets. Even if the landlord allows you to move in with your pet, be sure to check in advance if the freeholder has given their consent, to avoid problems down the line with neighbours or the management company. For more information about letting with pets visit