The question of whether purchasers or tenants can demand that pets be allowed to live with them in their flats is a topic that has sparked heated discussions and legal debates for quite some time. While the UK is known for its love of animals, it’s also a nation with a significant number of people living in flats or apartments, where pet policies can vary greatly. In this blog, we’ll explore the rights and responsibilities of both property owners and renters when it comes to keeping pets in flats.


Understanding the Landlord-Tenant Dynamic


Before diving into the specifics of pet policies, it’s crucial to understand the legal relationship between landlords and tenants. Landlords have a legal right to set the terms and conditions of their rental agreements, which can include pet policies. Conversely, tenants have rights as well, including the right to a quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their rented property.


Pet Policies in Rental Agreements


The inclusion of pet policies in rental agreements is a common practice. Landlords have the right to impose restrictions on whether pets are allowed in their flats. These restrictions can range from a complete ban on pets to more lenient policies that specify the types and sizes of pets that are permitted.


However, it’s important to note that since January 2021, the UK government has amended its model tenancy agreement to make it easier for renters with pets to find suitable accommodation. These changes encourage landlords to consider allowing pets in their properties, provided that tenants meet certain criteria and agree to adhere to responsible pet ownership guidelines.


Reasonable Pet Policies


A reasonable pet policy should strike a balance between the rights of landlords to protect their property and the rights of tenants to enjoy the companionship of their pets. A reasonable pet policy might include the following considerations:


  1. Pet Deposit: Landlords can ask for an additional security deposit to cover potential damages caused by pets. This deposit should be refundable if no damage occurs.


  1. Pet References: Tenants may be asked to provide references from previous landlords or neighbours to vouch for their responsible pet ownership.


  1. Pet Size and Breed Restrictions: Some landlords may have size or breed restrictions on the pets they allow in their flats.


  1. Responsible Ownership: Tenants should agree to clean up after their pets, prevent excessive noise, and ensure that their pets do not cause a nuisance to neighbours.


  1. Pet Clauses: Specific pet-related clauses should be added to the tenancy agreement, outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties regarding pets.


Challenging a No-Pet Policy


If a flat has a strict “no-pets” policy, tenants do have some options to challenge it:


  1. Negotiate: Tenants can try to negotiate with the landlord to allow a pet, especially if they have a well-behaved animal and are willing to comply with any reasonable conditions.


  1. Check Local Laws: In some cases, local housing laws may override a “no-pets” policy, so it’s essential to research the specific regulations in your area.


  1. Appeal to a Tribunal: If all else fails, tenants can appeal to a tribunal or court to challenge an unreasonable “no-pets” policy, especially if they believe it infringes on their rights to quiet enjoyment and a family life.




The issue of whether purchasers or tenants can demand pets be allowed to live with them in their flats involves a delicate balance between the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. While landlords have the right to set pet policies, recent changes in tenancy agreements encourage a more lenient approach, making it easier for responsible pet owners to find suitable accommodation. Communication, negotiation, and awareness of local laws are key factors in resolving any disputes regarding pet policies in flats. Ultimately, finding a middle ground that respects the interests of both landlords and tenants can lead to more harmonious living environments for everyone involved.