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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 :-(

BertieBotts Mon 18-Mar-13 23:45:11

You could offer an extra sum on top of the deposit? It might be an insurance issue though sadly. You could state that you have no plans to get a dog (as these are usually the worry) and that you're very experienced with cats and will ensure that the cat does not damage any of the property (be specific if there are curtains etc). I did get an exception added to my rental contract for my cat but I already had him when I moved in so I was upfront rather than trying to change it later.

I'm pretty sure they can't say no to caged pets, though, they can't impact on the house at all, can they?

AllPurposeNortherner Mon 18-Mar-13 23:56:27

I have my own curtains anyway that I will be putting up (or at least I have them for some of the rooms and am buying them for the other rooms) and I'll be putting the landlords curtains etc in a box safely away regardless. I have all my own furniture and rugs, and the paintwork is all badly chipped anyway (it is still nice, just has been lived in by someone who must have banged into doors a lot)

The house also stinks of next doors drugs in some rooms hmm so it isn't exactly like one well cared for cat could make it smell.

I understand, though, that they haven't met me as it is through an agent, so they might think I can't be trusted not to get 10 cats or a huge dog or something.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 19-Mar-13 00:14:27

Tell them you have mice and you really need the cat to rid you of the pestilent rodents? Or just get a cat then hide foodbowls (and cat) when landlord comes round. Devious I know but a cat makes a house a home.

LeChatRouge Tue 19-Mar-13 00:22:32

I had this on a rental once. I just ignored them and my two cats and I lived there very happily together. But, my cats were very well behaved and would never of scratched anything or left any marks anywhere. You could risk it, they need to give you notice if they are coming round, so you could hide all evidence.

AllPurposeNortherner Tue 19-Mar-13 00:27:29

But what if they are walking down the street and see a cat in the window?

BertieBotts Tue 19-Mar-13 01:34:40

Do landlords often walk down the streets where their houses are? Mine doesn't even live anywhere near here. One of my previous landlords lived in Ireland - hence why he used an agency.

SavoyCabbage Tue 19-Mar-13 01:45:40

Tell them you will get the carpets cleaned when you leave. We said no to our tenants having a cat and it was because we thought they would smell. If they had come back to us with additional reassurances then we might have said yes.

Jaynebxl Tue 19-Mar-13 06:47:53

I lived in a place with a no pets rule, next to the owners, and when we got mice suddenly we were encouraged to get a cat! Or you could get one and if it was ever spotted you could say it is a neighbour's cat who wanders in regularly. Our neighbours on one side have two cats who are regularly seen on the inside window will of the neighbours on the other side.

AllPurposeNortherner Tue 19-Mar-13 08:00:45

A mumsnetter once posted that she had decided to post a letter by hand to her tenant and heard a dog, and so was evicting the tenant!

I know it was rented before, through the agency, so hopefully that is an indication that the landlord doesn't see it as their second home, which is often ime the reason for landlords being inflexible, so maybe there is hope...

MrsJamin Tue 19-Mar-13 09:31:29

Very risky strategy to get a cat anyway, I think offering more deposit for potential damage to the property specific to the cat would be a good compromise. I had cats that weed on the floor - I would have thought that would've been the biggest fear.

NotMostPeople Tue 19-Mar-13 10:43:35

I'm a Landlord, my tenant asked if she could have a cat and we agreed. However my DH is allergic to cats and we only agreed to this because we are absolutely sure we won't ever want to live in that house again. If we were planning to return to that house and the tenant had sneaked a cat in we would know, mostly because DH would be in A&E within an hour. We would have to remove all carpets and use proper anti allergy cleaners before we could ever live there again. Therefore I think it very very wrong to have an unknown cat. Cat allergies are very common.

specialsubject Tue 19-Mar-13 11:14:01

I allowed cats in my property because I thought they were harmless - I like cats and there is no allergy issue.

carpets wrecked by a door, badly scratched door and one carpet ruined as it was full of urine. That came out of the deposit but the other damage did not as it was only partial damage. Never again.

you may say your cat 'never scratches'. You cannot control a cat.

guinea pigs kept in cages should be fine.

curiousgeorgie Tue 19-Mar-13 11:21:41

Honestly? I'd probably just get one.

When we rented we got a puppy, but we're absolutely vigilant about cleaning and training and when we left that property we got our full deposit back.

And we lived opposite the estate agent smile

Cats are much quiter and less work than dogs. If you ever get 'caught out' just say its not yours and you're pet sitting.

This might be an unpopular view but I honestly think responsible pet ownership doesn't have to result in damage or mess. I think telling the landlord you want a pet is like writing them a blank cheque and kissing your deposit goodbye.

DejaB00 Tue 19-Mar-13 11:30:18

Get one! We have a big fat hairy ginger cat and it means we have to a do a very thorough hoover around before 3-monthly visits but that's it! We are lucky though that my DH works down the road and takes the cat into his office for the day when agency bods are coming round. You need to have a back up plan for these situations. Landlords/agencies are not allowed to turn up unannounced. We've been here 2.5 years and never found out.

Cosmosim Tue 19-Mar-13 11:31:43

If there's any damage, if the LL rents to someone who is allergic to cats after you and ends up having huge expenses and takes you to court -- be prepared to pay up. Of you're going to break your contract, then courts will not award in your favour. As long as "that's no big deal" too. Our cats are well behaved, we have 4 scratch posts and the buggers still ripped their claws into our new expensive stair runner (had no interest in the old carpet hence why we assumed they'd be well-behaved enough for us to splurge on a nice new one).

specialsubject Tue 19-Mar-13 11:42:24

what's with this attitude that 'breaking contracts is ok as long as no-one finds out'...

how disgusting.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 11:47:58

Funny how if the landlord were to lie about something they would be evil hmm

silverfrog Tue 19-Mar-13 11:48:21

I'm afraid that you wouldn't persuade me, as a landlord, to let you keep a cat if I had a no pets clause.

I can't believe the number ofposters saying 'just do it anyway' - disgusting attitude. the no pets clause is not there jsut to inconvenience and irritate tenants.

DejaB00 Tue 19-Mar-13 11:50:36

special it's ok because we had the cat before moving into rented property (we used to own a house but lost a lot of money so had to rent) and could not find anywhere, and I mean anywhere, that would allow pets. We didn't find anyone who could have him, and we tried. He is the most placid cat, does his business outside, does not scratch anything. We knew he wouldn't damage anything, and he hasn't. If we had put him in a shelter and denied him a loving home I'd have animal lovers telling me how disgusting I am!
Oh and don't talk to me about contracts, most landlords don't keep their side of the bargain anyway, I know mine hasn't.

pickledparsnip Tue 19-Mar-13 11:50:50

"Disgusting" is a bit much don't you think?
Bloody hell!

I have a cat my letting agent/landlord doesn't know about.

I find the high priced rents far more "disgusting" than having a cat my ll doesn't know about, but that's a whole other thread....

pickledparsnip Tue 19-Mar-13 11:55:17

DejaBOO same here, I had my moggy before we moved. Had to move in a last minute rush & wasn't about to jeopardise our chances of getting the place by saying we had a cat.

Every landlord I have had the pleasure of dealing with has cut corners & lied in some way. I don't feel bad about having my cat, she doesn't cause damage & spends most of her time asleep or outside.

PlasticLentilWeaver Tue 19-Mar-13 12:22:57

Dejaboo having the cat already does not make a breach of your tenancy agreement 'ok'.
As others have said, what if your LL plans to move back there and is severely cat allergic?

I am both a LL and currently a tenant. I live 300 metres from one of the places I rent out, so there is every chance that I might spot a cat in a window.

Although I do allow pets, I specifically ensure that carpets are fumigated between tenants for the benefit of the new ones arriving who might not be keem on fleas. And I would expect them to make good on damage caused. I have asked for a larger deposit on occasion also.

Despite the view that all LL are arses, I have never refused maintenance work, make no profit at all from the rent, use a management agency so that my tenants are left alone by me. In return, my tenants are frequently late paying their rent, or don't pay at all etc.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 19-Mar-13 12:30:19

I think it is a good plan to go back to the landlord with a clear precise addition to the contract that you are totally responsible for any damage to the property caused by the cat.

I am a landlord and if someone asked I would be likely to say yes under the circumstances where liability was totally clear, however, I too would be likely to terminate your contract if you got a cat when you had asked and said no.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 19-Mar-13 12:35:14

also fascinated by how many people feel that housing contracts are easily ignored.

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