OpenRent tenancy agreement and the Tenant Fees Act


Are the requirements in para 9.20 on pet owners to clean or pay for cleaning at the end of the tenancy legal under the new TFA?


Tony Hi surely cleaning up after a tenants pet is not a fee. One of my tenants paid to have the common hallway carpet cleaned after he had an accident on it… If they broke a window you would not pay for it would you?

Hi Colin,

Yes, one would think that. However, an example I saw of an illegal charge was professional cleaning at the end of a tenancy.

In this case you could argue that the tenant has the choice not to have a pet and if the pet causes damage then that should be covered under the deposit.

Just seeking OpenRent’s view on this term in their contract.

Re my earlier postings regarding pets, I’ve managed to get Mydeposits to accept their pet guidance is wrong and they will now change it.

Tony Hi. Does that mean that it would be OK to put into the tenancy agreement at the start that the tenant will pay for cleaning at the end of a tenancy…? after all if a place is left in a mess the landlord can put in claim out of the deposit.

Hi Colin. I believe this is specifically excluded under the TFA. This is what the gov guidance says:

Q. Can I charge a tenant for a professional clean at the end of a tenancy?
No. You cannot require a tenant to pay for a professional clean when they check-out. […] You may request that a property is cleaned to a professional standard. Tenants are responsible for ensuring that the property is returned in the condition that they found it, aside from any fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear is considered to be a defect which occur naturally or as part of the tenant’s reasonable use of the premises.
You cannot require a tenant to use a particular company to clean the property. If the property is not left in a fit condition, you can recover costs associated with returning the property to its original condition and/or carrying out necessary repairs by claiming against the tenancy deposit. You should justify your costs by providing suitable evidence (e.g. an independently produced inventory, receipts and invoices).
You are not able to claim deductions from a tenant’s deposit for any change in the condition of the property which is due to fair wear and tear or if a tenant returns the property in the same condition as it was found.

So I think unless the pet causes undue wear and tear or the property is unduly dirty, you will have a problem justifying the cleaning fee.

Guidance is here:

I am not going to worry too much as In 30 odd years I have never allowed any pets

Hi Tony, thanks for raising this and happy to explain this here in case others have similar worries.

9.20 of our AST now says of tenant obligations:

Not keep any cat, dog, bird or other pet at the Premises without the Landlord’s written consent, such consent, if granted, to be revocable at will by the Landlord upon giving reasonable written notice. If consent is given, the Tenant agrees to undertake a full clean, or pay for the cleaning, of the Premises with de-infestation cleaner upon termination of the tenancy.

(We updated to this just before the TFA, so other users reading this may have older, perfectly lawful ASTs from before 1st June 2019, which will be enforeceable until 1st June 2020.)

This term is not a prohibited payment under the TFA because it is not a mandatory payment. I.e. it is optional. The payment chooses to have a pet and then again makes a further choice not to clean the property as described. By being able to clean the property as described themselves, they can avoid the payment for a cleaner.

I hope that answers your question. Do let me know if you have any more on this issue.

Community members can find our AST here.

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Most animal lovers think their dogs dont smell, but I can usually smell a dog in a house and smell a cat litter tray Not in my places. Before any one says I am not an animal lover, I have 5 outside cats semi feral which were neutered . ( mother cat just turned up with her kittens). they have the run of a huge garden… But not in my house

Thanks for this clarification Sam.

Unlike many landlords, I’m happy to consider pets. So far we haven’t had any issues with cleaning or infestation and it means we have a wider pool of prospective tenants. It seems the TFA is going to make it more difficult for tenants with pets to find places.

Exactly this. I pointed this out to the Generation Rent team and was told to stop being so negative. It will definitely make it harder for pet owners to get rentals :frowning:

i suppose also it depends whether you rent out a whole house or have a place in flats. I have flats so out of consideration for other tenants wont allow pets ,In a house it may be easier

Hi Rachel

I consider every applicant with an open mind, but the TFA will reduce my risk appetitie. The planned removal of S21 will do the same even though in 20 years of being a landlord I’ve not had to use it. Like every pressure group, Gen Rent have a case, but IMO the government should be working to improve standards by supporting good landlords, not penalising us all for the actions of a few.


I agree that it will make it harder for pet owners. This is a sad consequence of the TFA.

Haha oh no! I think that they must have been happy and proud to have achieved a campaign objective. Pressure groups are very concerned with campaign goals.

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Are all the Generation rent team renters? On this site we seem to have a good mix of landlords and tenants. I wonder how many of the generation people are Landlords? Anyone know?

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Generation Rent have quite a small full-time team, but a larger team of directors and board members. I think it’s most likely that all the full time staff all renters as they are fairly young and they are based in London. I would be surprised if any are landlords, but it is possible. Some of the board may be landlords.

The opposite is probably true for groups like ARLA.

I suppose that as people who live and work in the Private Rented Sector, we just have to trust that Government, who actually make the decisions, listens to the arguments of all stakeholders and tries to lay out policies that will improve things for everyone, not just one specific group.

My understanding is that this would be considered a fee and so is no allowed.
The way around this is to state on the listing that the rent is an extra (say) ÂŁ10 per month if a pet is accepted.

Hi Amy, it’s definitely a fee, but because it is optional and not a mandatory condition of the let, it would be a permitted payment if it was made.

You’re right - you could also just decide to charge more rent if you thought that made more sense.