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Who Lets the Dogs Out?

Who Lets the Dogs Out?

A recent survey by the Dogs Trust found that 78% of pet owners have had trouble finding a flat that allows pets. Landlords are often reluctant to let tenants keep a pet in their rental flat as there are often concerns about potential damage or noise caused by the animal.

However, responsible tenants with well-behaved pets will be able to secure leases more easily through the new Model Tenancy Agreement announced on 28 January 2021.

Under the new guidelines, 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.

Alicia Lubeck of Interlet International is familiar with the problem ‘Currently, just 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties, meaning many people struggle to find suitable homes. In some cases, this has meant people have had to give up their pets altogether.’

With figures showing that more than half of adults in the United Kingdom own a pet and many more welcoming pets into their lives during the pandemic, these changes mean more landlords will cater for responsible pet owners.

The government has said that rejections should only be made where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical. To ensure landlords are protected, tenants will continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property.

If you are planning to bring a pet into your rented flat you may find these steps helpful:

Step one. 

Inform the estate agent or property management company of your requirements for your pet when you are looking to rent or buy a property.

Step two. 

Check your tenancy agreement to see if there is a ‘no pets’ clause before moving in. Even if a landlord does allow pets, get their agreement in writing.

Step three. 

Check the tenancy carefully. There may be a covenant that allows the landlord to withdraw this consent if noise or impact neighbours or damage the interior of the property.

You should also be familiar with laws that could affect your pet:

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, sections 106 and 107 amending the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991-Environmental Protection Act 1990 govern the treatment of pets in residential properties:

1. Allowing your dog to be ‘dangerously out of control’ is against the law on private property. as well as in public. An exemption is in place if a dog bites someone who has no legal right to be in your home, for example a burglar.

2. You will need to make sure your dog is not a threat to delivery drivers, postal workers, health workers and other professionals who may visit your property.

3. A dog doesn’t have to bite or physically injure someone for an offence to take place. If a person feels your dog may hurt them, they may still be considered ‘dangerously out of control’. This applies to dogs of all sizes, breeds and types.

4. Owners can be prosecuted if their dog attacks someone in their home. including in their front and back gardens, or in private property such as a pub.

5. It’s natural for dogs to bark sometimes. But when they bark a lot over a long period of time they can become a noisy nuisance to your neighbours. Usually, when dogs bark persistently over a long period of time, it’s because they are distressed. Common reasons include:-being left home alone for too long wanting attention- feeling worried about something

6. Dog barking can be classed as a ‘statutory nuisance’. Your local authority environmental health department can formally ask you to stop your dog from continuing the behaviour and, if you don’t, they can take your dog away from you.
Not only this, but prolonged periods of barking can be stressful for your dog and have an impact on their wellbeing.

Perhaps the most important consideration to be prioritised with pets is the welfare of the animal. Many dogs and cats could be unhappy confined to a flat, especially if they don’t have easy access to a garden or outdoor space. Guidance on this and other issues surrounding the ownership of pets can be obtained from The Blue Cross for Dogs or the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

For more advice on renting with pets, please contact Interlet's lettings team on 0207 795 6525, or email

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