AST questions - multiple occupancy and pets.

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    AST questions - multiple occupancy and pets.

    Did a quick search, but apologies if already asked...

    1) With couples, is it normal for each to sign their own AST (splitting the rent), or to have a single AST with both names listed.

    I assume a single AST has the simple advantage that the full rent is covered; whereas with separate ASTs, if one moves out, the other may only be liable for half the rent.

    Is there any circumstance under which they should each sign an individual AST.

    2) The AST also specifies "No animals are allowed in the property without our permission, in writing (which we will not unreasonably withhold)."

    I'm using a standard AST from the RLA, which I cannot change. So...

    I've specified to new tenants (who haven't signed yet), that I specifically won't give permission to cats/dogs... I guess goldfish are ok. Am I unreasonably withholding permission if I just don't want cats or dogs destroying the furniture or jumping out of windows (and sueing me).
    Or do I have to create an addendum specifically stating that pets are not allowed.
    Or do I just have to reasonably state that tenants would be responsible for all cleaning and damage caused by their pets.
    I know the other tenants would not be happy with pets appearing.

    Have a look at this recent thread, which refers to new guidance on this from the Office of Fair Trading:

    They say: "Our objection is to blanket exclusions of pets without consideration of all the circumstances. Such a term has been considered unfair under comparable legislation in another EU member state because it could prevent a tenant keeping a goldfish. We are unlikely to object to a term prohibiting the keeping of pets that could harm the property, affect subsequent tenants or be a nuisance to other resident"

    Does that help?

    I also use an AST based heavily on the RLA one, and there's quite a lot in there which probably needs amending in the light of the new OFT guidance


      I had downloaded the 127 page document, but dread reading it.

      I discussed with an existing tenant about pets, and they've confirmed they have an extreme alergic condition where animals are concerned (which i was aware of). So, as I don't want to be taken to court for causing her to be hospitalized, I'm going to prohibit the keeping of pets that may affect other tenants.

      I assume it would be considered unsafe to modify the AST agreement without solicitors advice, therefore an addendum would be appropriate, stating something similar to:
      "With reference to Section A, Subsection 6 of the AST, the keeping of animals is specifically prohibited where this may affect another tenants' enjoyment of the property"

      Are the RLA likely to amend their AST based on the new OFT guidance?

      Do we have any comeback to renegociate (with the tenants full approval/awareness) an existing tenancy if anything falls foul or is considered unfair and could now not be held up in court?



        RLA Now has a new version to cope with the new regulations.... Just download it.

        If you don't want Pets put it in the can't be an unfair term then as you have no contract... if someone asks you say no..... OR you can say any damage caused by the pets must be put right, but as they are sharing with others they should be considerate and ask them before they get pets.
        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!


          My advice is to claim Asthma. A bit of a dirty trick but they can't force the issue against you if you are claiming medical reasons.
          For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.


            Yes but mjpl, you as landlord shouldnt be in the property :P generally speaking. Good idea though lol :P
            Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


              The 2005 version of the AST still seems suspect, I don't think it's been updated with the OFT guidelines.. not that I'm sure about this one:

              e.g. 3.77. A tenant does not have to give notice to quit at the end of a tenancy.
              “We appreciate that landlords will want to ensure that their properties are not left empty between tenancies, but object to terms that impose a contractual obligation on the tenant to give notice in order for the tenancy to be terminated at the end of the fixed term.”

              RLA states that one month’s is required otherwise it will continue as a monthly contractual tenancy.

              Surely OFT are not implying the tenant can just up and leave if the LL doesn’t give two months notice?


                This rather ancient thread, pre-dating my membership. is worthy of note. It shows that "pets" prohibitions can be lawful if circumstances suit- a point which surfaces fairly frequently.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


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