Pets, can I have one in my house or apartment?
Pets in apartments and houses, can I have one is a question that we don’t get asked very often, but we really should be asked every time people think about getting a pet.
The lease for the apartment or house will normally have a clause about pet ownership. This is normally in the third schedule of the lease but it can vary. Some leases will have a complete and clear ban on pets and then explain what a pet is. Other leases will give the management company discretion over whether a pet can live in the property or not. We have sites where there is a discretion type clause in the lease but the site directors insist on no pets, so you should not assume pets are allowed from this type of clause. Always check first with the managing agent.
Animal / Bird / Reptile – what am I?
The above is the normal wording you will find in many leases to define pets. Animals include cats, dogs, rabbits, etc., but not husbands, wives or partners! Birds and reptiles kind of speak for themselves. Don’t be confused if you read your lease and it has no punctuation (eg: animal bird reptile), this is normal but can seem confusing.
We did have an owner once claim that his dog wasn’t an animal bird reptile, but this argument didn’t fly!
If you want a pet the first thing you should do is review your lease and see if legally you can have one. If in doubt, contact your managing agent and ask. Never go ahead and simply buy the animal thinking there is nothing which the agent can do. You could annoy your neighbours and end up in months of arguments. We have had instances where residents have had to go through the painful process of rehousing their pet.
At best you could be asked to rehouse your furry best friend, and at worst you could be forced to do so by a court and incur all the legal fees for being forced to do this and these can run into thousands of pounds. When you sign your lease you agree to be bound by its terms so please be aware of any restrictions.
Finally, make sure that if you rent out your apartment your tenants don’t arrive with pets or gain pets through their tenancy. As the apartment owner you could be liable for the legal bill of enforcement should the management company insist the animal is not allowed at site.