A briefing from Propertymark was sent to Lord Black of Brentwood before the debate. In the debate, Lord Berkley asked if the Minister was aware of clauses that can be added to the tenancy for cleaning and Lord Goddard asked if the UK Government would encourage wider use of pet CVs to allow more responsible pet owners to keep their pets in rented accommodation.
Lord Flight extended the discussion proposing new ideas, including landlords rendering a modest additional rental for pets. Furthermore, he said it might be worthwhile requiring insurance policies to be taken out by tenants. It might also be an idea to have a system of interviewing tenants and choosing tenants who seem to be responsible with regard to pets.
Model Tenancy Agreement
Earlier in the year, the UK Government updated its Model Tenancy Agreement to encourage landlords to allow pets, but Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked what will the UK Government do to help allay landlords’ concerns over the inadequacy of a five-week deposit to address any pet damage at the end of the tenancy?
In response, the Minister Lord Greenhalgh said that it is right to point out the impact of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and the UK Government recommends that the rental deposit of five weeks is a maximum rather than a default.
The Minister concluded by saying: “charging a deposit of four weeks' rent would provide leeway to expand it to five weeks for such things as pet ownership and also to take up some of the suggestions that we have heard today around insurance or potentially looking at rent levels to accommodate wider pet ownership.”