However, there is a little known ‘loophole’ (albeit it a limited one) for those minded to keep hens and rabbits, contained within section 12 of the Allotments Act 1950, which says that:
“Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any lease or tenancy or in any covenant, contract or undertaking relating to the use to be made of any land, it shall be lawful for the occupier of any land to keep, otherwise than by way of trade or business, hens or rabbits in any place on the land and to erect or place and maintain such buildings or structures on the land as reasonably necessary for that purpose:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall authorise any hens or rabbits to be kept in such a place or in such a manner as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance or affect the operation of any enactment”
Despite the name of the legislation, it does not appear as if the keeping of rabbits and hens is limited to allotments. In layman’s terms, therefore, tenants are seemingly allowed to hens and rabbits, including building suitable accommodation for them, regardless of what anything in the tenancy agreement says, as long as they are not used for business purposes and they are not a nuisance or pose any risk to health.
Whilst not many tenants will want to bring hens and/or rabbits into their rented home, this overlooked piece of legislation grants those that do the right.
We have frequently advised clients on residential landlord and tenant matters, so do not hesitate to contact us should you need any assistance.