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The Government Has Introduced A New Model Tenancy Agreement, Giving Renters The Right To Have Pets

By Laura Rogan

The Government Has Introduced A New Model Tenancy Agreement, Giving Renters The Right To Have Pets

This will help so many pet owners.

A brand new bill has passed its first reading which could allow thousands of renters the right to keep their beloved pets in a rented property. The bill, known as Jasmine’s Law, seeks to eradicate unfair “no pet” clauses in tenancy agreements, giving existing pet owners, in particular, an easier chance of finding a home.

Led by Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, the bill is named after a Weimaraner from Surrey – who had to leave her loving owners to live with another family member as a result of the clauses some landlords put in their contracts. Now, the government has announced that they have updated the Model Tenancy Agreement – urging landlords and agents to adopt the new rules.

Credit: Unsplash

The new Model Tenancy Agreement means that renters have the right to keep a pet in their homes, with landlords required to provide a good reason for saying no. It also means that there will be no blanket ‘no pets’ clauses allowed, making it much easier for renters to find a pet-friendly home. Consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords with objections must put this in writing within 28 days with valid reasons – such as pet welfare in small or unpractical homes.

The Model Tenancy Agreement is the government’s recommended contract for landlords, and while some landlords may not adopt it, more work is being done to ban blanket ‘no pet’ clauses by law.

Speaking of the bill, Rosindell said: “There are blanket “no pets” rules in so much of our rented accommodation in the UK. This leads to distress for the owner and the animal.

“This blanket rule of “no pets” has caused, and is causing much heartache. People are preferring to be homeless than give up their animal.

“This is an outdated situation where many landlords choose to have a blanket rule on this, and the welfare implications are vast.”

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While the potential of a new law will be music to the ears of many current and aspiring pet owners, it is worth noting that the bill wouldn’t be completely unconditional, with Rosindell discussing a ‘responsible ownership test’ which could allow landlords to check for factors such as the pet being able to respond to basic commands, having up to date vaccinations and being microchipped.

Credit: Unsplash

Rosindell told the National Residential Landlords Association: “The bill will include measures to ensure that pets are suitable for the type of accommodation,

“The no-pet clause means someone cannot have a dog over for even a short period for fear of recriminations or losing their home. Such discrimination must now end.”

Jasmine’s Law has been backed by key animal charities such as the RSCPA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Dogs Trust, Cats Protection and Dogs on the Streets – and with 51 million owned pets currently in the UK, we’re sure it will be met with a ton of support from your regular animal lovers like us, too. Andrew Rosindell MP promises to continue his hard work in support for the potential new law, saying: “There is more to do to enshrine this in law, But this campaign is changing lives!”.

[Featured image: Unsplash]

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