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Pets in rented property

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768 views 2 replies latest reply: 09 June 2015
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Tenant

My partner and I privately rent a property from a landlord, and we’d like a pet. There is a pet clause in our agreement and it reads as follows:

“The Tenant shall not (nor allow others to) keep pets of any kind on the Property without the prior written consent of the Landlord. Where permitted, any pet must be kept under control to ensure that it does not cause damage to the Property or cause nuisance either to neighbours or in the locality of the Property.”

I’ve written to our Letting Agent, and they asked the Landlord, and the Landlord’s response was that they do not want pets on the property. As I understand it, under Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 any consent should not be unreasonably withheld.

Trouble is, I’m not sure if them simply not wanting pets on the property counts as unreasonable (it is in my eye) insofar as the law is concerned.

What would count as reasonable?

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Administrator

Hi Neil

I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think you’d be able to say this was an unfair term. An unfair term is something that causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer. Not allowing you to have a pet isn’t to your detriment. An unfair term might be one that allowed the landlord to shirk all of his/her duties (repair etc) but required you to meet all of yours.

You could always take some professional advice but I think the reality is that you’d need to move and find somewhere that allows pets or try to convince the landlord by offering something like an extra pet deposit and committing to deep clean the property when you leave.

Alex

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Tenant

There are a lot of factors to persuade him. Firstly, are you out all day? That would put him off allowing pets. He might also accept a substantial addition to your damage deposit or extra rent. It might also depend on what sort of pet you are planning? A puppy isn’t going to be housetrained, for instance. It needs careful negotiating.

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