Can a landlord charge a pet deposit for an emotional support animal?

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Emotional support dogs are not considered as service animals in the UK. Service animals include guide dogs for those who are visually impaired. A landlord may only charge a deposit of five weeks’ rent which restricts landlords from adding a higher deposit for pets. The landlord may increase your rent to cover potential damage that may be caused by the pet. 

However, the new rules announced on 28th January 2021 provide a turning point for those who require an emotional support animal. Under the proposed rules, tenants will need to pass a “responsible ownership test” before they can have a pet in the property, which includes:

  • Proof of vaccinations
  • Microchipping the pet
  • De-worming and de-fleeing
  • Ensuring the pet can follow basic commands

In addition, the tenant will need to make a written request to the landlord. Landlords can no longer issue blanket bans on pets. Landlords will need to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason. 


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