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Tenants' Rights - Pets

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 it is prohibited to have unfair
terms within a contract. This means that a blanket ban on pets within
a tenancy agreement is not allowed. Instead, if pets are stated as
being prohibited the contract must allow for the tenant to ask
permission to be able to keep one and that the request should not be
unreasonably refused.

In addition, for rental arrangements, the government provides a model
tenancy agreement, which is not mandatory to use. This includes a
suggested clause regarding keeping pets and that the Landlord cannot
act unreasonably:

3.5 The Tenant must not keep any pets or other animals at the Property
without the prior written consent of the Landlord which must not be
unreasonably withheld or delayed. If permission is given, it may be
given on the condition that the Tenant pays an additional reasonable
amount towards the deposit.

Guidance Note: Keeping pets. Clause C3.5 prohibits the keeping of pets
in the property without the landlord’s consent which must not be
unreasonably withheld. This means the landlord cannot exercise a
blanket ban on pets and should not turn a request down without good
reason. For example a landlord might consider a large dog would be
reasonably likely to damage the property but clearly a goldfish would
not. If consent is given on the condition that additional deposit is
paid by the tenant, then the landlord must also protect that
additional deposit in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme.

If a tenancy agreement simply says pets are not allowed that clause
would be disregarded by a court. A tenant should always ask permission
but is not prevented from doing so just because their contract does
not allow for it as they have the wider protection regarding unfair
terms under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.