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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
The day has come when you have to move location and find a new home. This can be a scary time for pet owners and you may come across landlords that just don’t like cats but why do some landlords not allow cats?
I used my knowledge and did some research to answer your questions.
Some landlords will not allow cats to stay in a rental property. They may have had bad experiences with previous tenants or cats in general, and even if you are a responsible owner, the landlord may generally not trust or like cats and may be worried about fleas, furniture scratches and pet odours.
Some landlords just dislike cats and sometimes it can be very hard to change their opinion. Later in this post, we look at the legalities of owning a pet in rental properties and some ways in which you can convince a landlord into letting you have a cat in a new home.
Keep reading to find out more.
#Disclaimer – I am not qualified in law so the information within this post is for informational purposes only!
Can a landlord legally say no to cats?
The rules surrounding whether a landlord can legally say no to pets are different depending on location. In the USA, there is no law preventing landlords from not allowing pets. Some may charge an extra security deposit or an increased rental to cover any costs that may be incurred through damage.
It is always worth looking into what the rules are for your country as they may differ.
In the USA as stated above there are no laws preventing landlords from allowing pets in a property so a landlord may specify no pets at all or they may decide they only want one dog and not a cat.
The choice really is up to the landlord on this one!
They may add extra charges to your security deposit or your monthly rental and the reason they do this is due to any damage that may be incurred. Maybe they have had a bad experience with animals in their properties in the past?
Just make sure that if you do sign a tenancy and you are taking a pet that the tenancy doesn’t say ”No pets”. Not all landlords are honest and you need to make sure that the terms of your lease state that pets are allowed.
The last thing you want is your landlord to use having pets in the property as an excuse if they ever want you evicted.
What about if I live in the UK, what are the laws here?
So the UK is a different ball game, one thing government tends to do in the UK is create official laws and then ”Guidance” and this is where things can get a little confusing!
According to the Consumer Rights Act, 2015 blanket bans on pets are not enforceable. The act itself states that tenants should have the right to ask permission to have a pet living with them. The landlord should then not be allowed to refuse the pet unless they have a good enough reason to do so. Some of those reasons could be allergies, the landlord’s insurance policy etc…
If a landlord uses what is called the model tenancy agreement which is drafted by the government it means they cannot blanket ban pets from staying in a property. The tenant can make a written request to the landlord and the landlord has 28 days in which to respond with a valid decision and they must have a good enough reason to say no!
The model tenancy agreement is a choice and even though most landlords use this, it is not legally binding for them to do so. It’s just guidance that landlords use this tenancy agreement but they may decide to use a different tenancy with different terms.
One thing landlords cannot do in the UK is to charge more than 5 times the monthly rent as a security deposit, so there is some protection for tenants from being charged unfair fees in exchange for keeping a pet.
What happens if you don’t tell your landlord about a pet?
There are multiple consequences if you fail to inform your landlord that you don’t have a pet. They may decide to not renew your tenancy agreement at the end of the fixed term. They may also try to evict you for breaking the terms of the lease however a judge may out rule this if it is deemed as unfair.
In my opinion, it is always best, to be honest from day one to prevent any future issues that may arise, you don’t want to be in a position where you may be forced to move.
I have always said that if anyone tried to force me to give up my cats then I would move to a different property straight away. My cats are for life and they are more important to me than a place to live but it’s best not to be put in that position in the first place.
Honesty is best!
How can I convince my landlord to let me have a cat?
It can be so frustrating when you are looking for a new home and you scroll through lots of property ad’s and so many of them say no pets! Why do some landlords not like cats? How can they not allow them, they are one of the cleanest animals around but unfortunately, not everyone sees them in the same light!
There are however some things that you can do to ensure you have a good chance of convincing your landlord to allow your cat.
You need to think about how desperate the landlord is for needing a tenant, a landlord who is looking to fill a property asap may be more inclined to negotiate with you.
Also, you probably stand more of a chance of getting a rental place if you have one cat or maybe two. I can imagine if you have 10 cats the landlord may not be accommodating especially if they are not a crazy cat person like me and you.
Make sure your cat is well trained before the move
One of the most important things you can do before moving home with a cat is to make sure they are well trained. Do they scratch furniture in your home? Do they spray urine anywhere in your new home?
If so these issues need to be addressed before you do anything else.
I wrote a whole blog post on destructive cat behaviour, the causes and how to deal with it! Click here to take a read if this is a problem you have.
Make sure all these issues have been addressed before you decide to move.
Offer the landlord an additional security deposit
If you actively offer the landlord an additional security deposit this is letting the landlord know that you are willing to cover any additional costs should there be any damage to the property, this should instil confidence and trust in you and your cat from day one!
Show the landlord vet records to prove cats health
The landlord may be concerned about fleas or other viruses that your cat may have, proving your cat’s health history to the landlord may just be what is needed to sway their decision to allow you to move into your new home.
Prove you can be trusted with previous references
A good reference from a previous landlord can make all the difference when you are moving into a new home. You could get your landlord to send an email or even a written letter stating how long you lived in your previous home and that no damage was ever caused in the property by you or your cat.
Create a cat CV with lots of info about your cat
Before we do anything else please take a look at this cat CV by cats protection to give you a good idea of what you can include!
The cat CV can include name, age and sex and some other basic information but it could also include information regarding if your cat has been microchipped and vaccinated. It is also a good idea to include details about the cat’s health and behaviour and even a picture if you want to.
This is just another way to let your landlord know you are a responsible cat owner.
It would be a good idea to put everything into a folder. The cat’s CV, the vet records, previous references and also the offer to pay an additional security deposit.
You can then either give this to your prospective landlord or send it via email.
You may still get told you can’t move in with your cat even though you have tried all these measures and if that’s the case move on to another landlord who is willing to accept you and your little family!
You will eventually find a more accommodating one.
P.S If you are wanting to find out more about moving, what you need to do with your cat when you move and when you can begin to let them outside then this article I put together is a must-read!
Key takeaways: Why do landlords not allow cats?
- Some landlords may have had previous bad experiences with tenants and cats and the experience may have been bad enough that they will never allow pets in the property again.
- The laws surrounding what a landlord can and cannot do in regards to pets is different depending on where in the world you are, so do your own research.
- Make sure your cat is trained to not scratch any furniture or cause any damage before you move into a new home.
- Get together your references, cat cv and proof of health through vet records and be ready to start your search for a new home!
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As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies 🙂
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)