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NOAH Campaign Encourages Wider Use of the Model Tenancy Agreement

Noah

NOAH, the UKs animal health industry representative body, has launched a campaign 'Securing the Right to Rent with Pets: Making One Health Housing a Reality', to help improve access to pets for people living in rented or socially owned housing. This includes encouraging wider use of the Government's recommended Model Tenancy Agreement and introducing new pet-friendly policies to protect tenants and property owners to promote responsible pet ownership.  

With the benefits of pets widely known, from providing companionship to bettering our mental health, NOAH is working to encourage landlords to adopt the MTA to allow tenants with well-behaved pets to enjoy a companion animal.

PDPLA has long supported allowing long term and family tenants in particular to keep pets but advise both an assessment of the property and type of pet to ensure suitability. A formal pet agreement can also help to protect landlords and tenants when renting with a pet, making responsibilities and expectations clear at the start of the tenancy, for example the Lets with Pets clause by Dogs Trust is a good resource for landlords to consider.

Dawn Howard at NOAH said, 'We understand that renting with pets comes with a level of concern for landlords, whether this is perceived fear of damage to the property, badly behaved pets or just general pet smells – however, we truly believe that widening access to pets will actually bring benefits to landlords that will outweigh these often-inflated fears. For example, the RSPCA found tenants who are given permission to look after a pet in their rental property were likely to live in that property for twice as long compared to other tenants – creating long-term, secure tenants for landlords. Allowing responsibly kept pets also increases the pool of prospective renters for properties, meaning landlords are far less likely to struggle to find tenants, and will in turn have a more secure stream of income. It is these very benefits that we are keen to maximise in collaboration with landlords and housing associations, whilst ensuring we tackle any problems that could arise from pets in rented properties.'

Alwin Oliver at PDPLA commented, 'The model tenancy agreement indicates good practice, but it is not mandatory to allow pets. While I think it something landlords should look on favourably, a large dog in a flat without outside space would not be appropriate" He also advise landlords to get an agreement "One dog or cat may be suitable for the property, but several may not, so a written agreement can ensure no boundaries are crossed as well as providing the landlord with details of the vet and pet insurance that the pet owner has arranged - always a welcome reassurance. All things being equal, pet ownership can be highly beneficial. A well settled pet can turn a short-term tenant into a long-term one, so the savings in turnover costs can be significant.' 

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