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Government’s Tenants’ Fees Bill may effectively ban tenants with pets

The National Landlords Association has come up with an unexpected possible side effect of the new Tenants’ Fees Bill – it may add up to a ban on tenants keeping pets.

The NLA’s latest blog looks at what is known so far about the Tenants’ Fees Bill, revealed in outline at last week’s Queen’s Speech.

The Bill outlines a ban on landlords and agents from requiring tenants to make any payments as a condition of their tenancy with the exception of rent, a security deposit, a holding deposit and tenant default fees.

Specifically the cap on security deposit has already been outlined by the government as being one month’s rent.

However, the NLA says this one month limit will reduce landlords’ willingness to accept pets by removing their flexibility to take a higher deposit to cover for pet damage.

The NLA has previously produced research showing that 47 per cent of member landlords were unwilling to allow pets with 41 per cent of those citing the reason as potential property damage.

The association points out that the Dogs Trust’s Lets With Pets scheme advises landlords to either take a higher deposit or include a “professional cleaning on move-out” clause in the tenancy agreement in order to mitigate the financial risk of property damage.

It may well be that the government’s plans, as currently worded, could very well outlaw these practices.

“The end result? Even fewer landlords willing to let to tenants with pets” warns the NLA.

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