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Pets in properties

Tim got in touch as he was getting ready to rent out his property for the first time. He is reluctant to allow a pet as he is concerned about damage and is considering including a ‘no pets’ clause in the tenancy agreement. Tim wants to know what the law is on pets in rental properties.

How Landlord Advice helped

Our adviser explained to Tim that, as the landlord is providing a service, his contract with the tenant will come under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This legislation protects consumers from unfair terms and as previous guidance and case law has shown, a blanket ‘no pets’ cause is likely to be considered an unfair term. An unfair term cannot be enforced and a landlord won’t be able to rely on it if the tenant does keep a pet in the property.

Instead, a landlord can include a term which states that the tenant must not keep a pet without the prior consent of the landlord. A landlord will need to give due consideration to any such request from a tenant and can only refuse if he has reasonable cause to do so. A tenant who keeps a pet without the landlord’s permission is in breach of the tenancy agreement and a landlord can take action and ask the tenant to remove the pet or consider ending the tenancy.

Our adviser told Tim that, if a tenant asks for permission to keep a pet, he can ask for further information, such as the breed, whether it has been treated for fleas and a ‘pet reference’ from a previous landlord. Tim can also consider amending the tenancy agreement to include e a specific clause outlining the tenant’s responsibilities for keeping the pet in the property. This could include  specific cleaning requirements, pest treatment, extra garden maintenance and remedying carpet stains and scratch-marks on doors and woodwork.


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If you are a registered Landlord in Northern Ireland and need advice, contact us on 028 902 45640 (option 1), or send an email.