How do I persuade my landlord to let me have a cat?

(58 Posts)
AllPurposeNortherner Mon 18-Mar-13 23:41:26

Moved into a new house three weeks ago, as a single mum for the first time. I really want a cat to keep me company once the kids are in bed. I've had cats before, know what is involved, I work/study from home so it wouldn't be left alone and I have plenty of friends and family nearby that could catsit if I needed. I had been planning to get a cat with DH, it isn't totally out of the blue.

Today I rang the letting agent to ask, and later they texted back to say that the landlord says no pets at all in the property :-(

If I had my wits about me when I moved I could have specifically looked for a pet friendly house, but I didn't.

Is there any hope, do we think?

My backup plan is a couple of guinea pigs, but they are probably as unlikely :-(

higgle Tue 19-Mar-13 12:40:28

And, if you look on animal rescue sites how many dogs and cats need homes because landlords have discovered them!

I've always had pets in rented accommodation by paying a higher deposit and offering to have it written into the contract that any carpets are professionally cleaned at my expense when I leave, as well as adding in that all pets will be treated with anti flea treatments on a regular basis.

Goodwordguide Tue 19-Mar-13 12:45:06

Also hmm by the attitude that it's fine to lie to your LL - like I said, I would usually say yes to pets but would be mightily pissed off if a tenant sneaked one in, particularly a dog or a cat (DH is allergic).

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 12:50:31

Oh god... the fleas!

My house was pet free for two weeks whilst we went on holiday. It was like something out of a horror story when we got back despite the cats & dog being treated with Frontline. Horrendous.

Labootin Tue 19-Mar-13 12:54:09

if I found out a tenant had a pet I would serve notice.

I have a strict no pets rule, but did allow an outside rabbit BECAUSE they asked..

And I am a very good landlord.

DejaB00 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:14:00

Wow that's great, I wish one of you lot were my landlord, cos clearly all would be rosy. My LL does not give a shit about our feelings, or the state of the house (which makes the no pet policy kind of laughable). We pay our rent promptly each month and look after the house and garden like it's our own, yet we are being treated like scum. So I don't feel a bit guilty about having a cat.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 13:19:41

You made the decision about lying to your LL before you moved in though. Your argument really doesn't hold up does it? What would you have done if the LL had been nice? Fessed up about the cat?

DejaB00 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:24:27

soup the answer to that is yes!! We were fully prepared to fess up once we had got to know the agency and LL, maybe say we had to take on a relative's cat or something. Anyway, call me a criminal if you like, I will sleep soundly tonight.
OP, sounds like there are more perfect LLs than I thought so might be worth going back to them with more arguments.

The problem with animals is that it could cause problems for the next tenants, if they have asthma or allergies.

But of course, go right ahead. Be selfish and inconsiderate.

I dont suppose you would be prepared to replace all the carpets when you move and wash down walls and ceilings?

Cosmosim Tue 19-Mar-13 14:28:47

I don't understand all these posts about shite landlord who never maintain a property. Why aren't the tenants moving out? You're hardly going to be taken to court for breach of contract if your LL is breaking it first by not making essential repairs.

xabiuol Tue 19-Mar-13 14:35:50

Moving costs a lot of money. Move from one rental with a bad landlord, pay all the moving costs and suffer all the stress of moving and possibly end up with another bad landlord at the new place?

mungotracy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:44:00

the agent is probably just repeating their standard terms and hasnt actually asked the landlord.....most landlords dont even think about it and the agents put it in because agents are minimum work profiteers...........many landlords understandably don't want dogs in....but.... most wouldnt care tuppence if you had a fish tank. usually i find that clause is dog specific. Ask to speak directly to the landlord or write a letter to the landlord and ask the agent to deliver it so you can tell if they actually have a landlords response or have done the usual agent nonsense and just not bothered..... and offer to pay for any damage or increase the deposit to cover the risk.....

technically theres bugger all they can do if the cat doesnt damage anything..... given they have to announce visits just lock the cat out that day smile

WeAreEternal Tue 19-Mar-13 16:54:22

I can't believe all of the people who have said "just get one anyway".

I am a landlord and I have evicted a tenant for getting a pet and lying/hiding the pet in the past and would again.
Even the best behaved pets cause a substantial amount of additional wear and tear.
It's the landlords house, it's their choice if they wants pets in it or not. If you don't like that or feel you can't live without a pet then maybe you should move.

sugarplumfairy Tue 19-Mar-13 17:16:48

I am also a Landlord and my tenant has recently got a cat, against the terms of her tenancy, and she has also looked after someone's dog! Which is definately not allowed.

I am absolutely amazed at the cheek of it, but when she wants me to meet my obligations, which of course I will do, because I am an honest person, it makes me very cross. We have decided not to do anything about it as we can't be bothered to get her out now, we are waiting for the tenancy to end naturally.

JakeBullet Tue 19-Mar-13 17:24:39

I have been both a tenant and a landlord.
As a tenant I had a cat which I told the Letting Agent about on application.

I would never just get a pet without ensuring the landlord had no objections. A tenant did that to me....I lost all the carpet in my property as tje puppy jad just urinated everywhere. .....it was not revoverable. Had to pull the whole lot up angry .

I wont mention the lack of rent or the time it took to get thr tenant out!

crazynanna Tue 19-Mar-13 18:04:11

Few years ago, I lived in private rented. A brand new house conversion with 2 flats. Beautiful, brand new kitchen,bathroom,doors,flooring, decorating..everything (unfurnished) The LL owned the shop next door, and was there 24/7, and he vigourously stipulated NO PETS!!(I didn't have crazycat then) The lady who took the other flat had a dog, very barky, and in week 1 he had a runny tummy, and pood all over thebrand new carpet downstairs in the communal hall. I didn't mind (I love animals), but the LL definitly knew, and he didn't say a word.

nocake Tue 19-Mar-13 19:37:42

We have a no pets rule on the flat we rent out and we would notice in seconds when we went to check it if a cat had been in there. No matter how well the carpets had been cleaned my DW is allergic enough that she'd notice.

It's very simple... you signed a contract and if you break it you run the risk of being evicted and taken to court for the costs of any damage. Once you have an eviction on your record the chances of a good landlord renting to you are zero.

If you really need a cat talk to your landlord and if he/she says no then you can't have one or you need to move.

AllPurposeNortherner Wed 20-Mar-13 12:12:21

You can't just move out, even if the landlord isn't doing repairs - you are still liable for the rent :-( Not to mention the expense of moving - you have to find the deposit and a months rent up front, whilst still paying the rent on your old place.

I had a house where the oven didn't work for six months, and there was nothing we could do. Every time we rang the agent, they fobbed us off, so we would ring the council, who sent it through all their endless proceedures, got in touch with the landlord, who started repairs. The gas man was their friend and he basically dragged it out as much as he could, leaving weeks between visits, then finding that he had the wrong screw etc. Our entire gas supply got cut off twice, once with a foot of snow outside and a newborn in the house.

Then THEY evicted US. Two months notice, because they wanted to move their daughter in. They fixed the oven the day we moved out and we had to fight them through the DPS for our deposit back as they claimed random damage - luckily we had our check in and check out documents, and plenty of photographs.

I was seriously ill that month (I know they didn't know that) and so we had to find the normal rent, first months rent for the new house, deposit for the new house, agent fees for the new house AND van hire etc out of just XDHs wages.

I've had landlords letting themselves into my house, a smug git of an agent demanding a second inspection because my spare room had unpacked boxes in it (then practically patting me on the head when I had moved them), never ever got a deposit back before the DPS came in, always for utter bollocks reasons, refusal to stop the rain coming in, no warning that a house had a habit of flooding, moving the next tenants in before we had moved out (and were still paying rent) and just endless smug gittery in general.

I'm not going to risk getting a cat here, but I can see why a lot of tenants are very jaded.

fluffyanimal Wed 20-Mar-13 12:26:28

There are a lot of shitty landlords out there.

There are also a lot of shitty tenants.

Having had bad experiences with landlords in the past does not justify ignoring the terms of a tenancy agreement. Please don't get a cat without permission, and if you do get permission, be totally honest with your landlord about anything to do with the cat, e.g. occasional soils, hair, carpet scratching etc, and offer to meet additional costs.

I am a home owner and have a cat who I love to bits. But she has utterly destroyed our carpets, and I mean utterly.

reastie Wed 20-Mar-13 16:04:38

My parents' tenants at one of their properties asked if they could get a cat, DM said no and this is written in their contract. They got one anyway hmm

Does it specify in your rent agreement anything about pets?

AllPurposeNortherner Fri 22-Mar-13 21:42:31

Yeah, it does, but it always does. Friends have told me that they proved themselves good tenants and so were allowed pets after about six months, so I just have to hope for that I suppose.

Corygal Fri 22-Mar-13 21:51:04

Mr Cory, the fat tabby, was introduced to my home as a 'doing a favour for a friend'. Four years on, the landlord's maintenance team bring him cat treats and enquire tenderly after his health.

They even replaced the flooring on the quiet with pure wool twist carpet after I explained the little lad had sensitive claws. They, I and Mr Cory know that I have paid the LL 180,000 quid since I've had the flat, neat profit bar one carpet.

Get a cat.

Atropos Fri 22-Mar-13 21:58:46

I am a landlord and also a cat owner. I do say no cats in my properties and then tend to give way because I know how much people love their pets. I have a clause in my contracts about professional cleaning of the carpets when the lease comes to an end and repair to any damage. However, that said, one of my houses at the moment has the lining paper in a newly decorated sitting room ripped to shreds by a couple of utterly charming kittens only four months into the tenancy. The tenant is currently attempting to rehome the cats and has offered to pay for the damage to be rectified. I am not holding my breath and shall try to be firmer next time someone wants to have cats in one of my houses. It's just too much hassle.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 22:15:00

How about a hamster or guinea pig?

Corygal Fri 22-Mar-13 22:21:38

Atropos - I hope the poor little kittens will be kindly rehomed. Did you instigate the expulsion?

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