Question on obligation to take pets

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    Question on obligation to take pets

    I am a landlord with a flat, and thereby a leaseholder. The management company (representing the freeholder) have a 'no pets' policy in place, by virtue of the majority of lessees voting not to have pets resident on site, and this applies to all flats that are either occupied by owners or owner's tenants (under ASTs). What is the position of any tenant, or potential tenant, requesting to keep a pet, given the new rules that may come into force eventually relating to pets? The 'no pet' policy currently applies to everyone who occupies a flat there. Views and comments appreciated. Thank you.

    #2
    It's a 'no pets' policy so they need to look elsewhere if they want pets. A flat is probably not a good place to keep animals that need to go outside eg cats, dogs, rabbits so you could refuse on those grounds alone.

    The governments tenancy template encourages landlords to let to tenants with pets but you don't have to let with pets.

    Some landlords add more rent if they accept a pet so I'm fairly sure that if landlords are forced to accept pets then rents will go up.

    Comment


      #3
      Even under the government's agreement "A Landlord must not unreasonably withhold or delay a written request from a Tenant without considering the request on its own merits".
      If the building has a no pets rule, it wouldn't be unreasonable to withhold consent, because consent can't be reasonable given.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Do you have a clause in your tenancy agreement about pets?

        Comment


          #5
          The exact text of such prohibitions and requirements should be in AST. Otherwise how to ensure tenant understands before moving in?
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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            #6
            I'm sure there will be a Act of Parliament on the subject, that we can't discriminate T's with pets.

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              #7
              Tenants (or leaseholders) are already permitted rabbits or chickens..
              https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2011/04/oh-cluck/
              S12 Allotmernts Act 1950
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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                #8
                All ASTs have to be approved by the management company, to ensure their terms don't conflict with the headlease. Currently they will only approve an AST that has a 'no pet' clause. The headlease says prior written permission needs to be obtained for a dog or cat from the management company, permission not to be unreasonably withheld, but as I mentioned before, when it was put to a vote, the majority of leaseholders said they didn't want pets, and so a 'no pet' policy was implemented that affects the owner-occupiers (leaseholders), as well as any tenants. I voted against pets as I don't believe the site is suitable for keeping animals. All the space on site, outside of the actual flats is communal, and so any pet would either have to be managed inside a flat, or taken off site to be 'exercised'. My question is whether the management company would be forced to withdraw the no pet policy. They do not have a contractual relationship directly with a tenant, only with the leaseholder. It also seems absurd to me that a tenant might be treated differently (i.e. more favourably) than an owner-occupier, because of prospective legislation. What I'm really looking for is assurance that the existing 'no pet' policy (based in large part on the unsuitability of the site), and applicable to all residents, is a sufficient reason to reject a tenant's request to have a pet.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You could use it as an excuse but it's certainly unenforceable and unreasonable. What indeed if somewhat wanted to keep a rabbit or a hen ? Or a goldfish, or spider ? Or an assistance dog ?
                  The headlease is the only valid one.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    There is no imminent ban on pets, so trying to guess what exceptions might apply to rules that don't exist seems a bit pointless at the moment...
                    Maybe there will be something in the next election manifesto, but I guess this government think that they have done enough by amending the model agreement.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                      Do you have a clause in your tenancy agreement about pets?
                      Yes. It's no pets. And there's an increase in the rent for pets whether agreed or not - per pet.

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