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Tips on convincing landlord to let us adopt a dog?

(52 Posts)
MeadowHay Sat 07-Oct-17 18:37:31

I've been after a dog for yeaaarsss people on here might have seen me asking stuff before. I've finally won my partner round and we visited a lovely dog today in a local rescue shelter that we both really like. The rescue are happy with our arrangements and say we sound like a great home for the dog. However our tenancy says we are not allowed pets so we need to ask the landlord first and if he does not given written permission the rescue will not allow us to adopt the dog (understandably btw lol don't get me wrong).

Has anyone persuaded a landlord to allow them to do this? Any tips?? We already have two guinea pigs although I'm not sure if he is aware of that or not tbh. Our flat is managed by the letting agents also so we have no direct contact with the landlord but would it be better to ask to speak to him directly on this matter? I was thinking of writing an email to the letting agents and asking if they could forward it on to the landlord because this way I could mention things that I think would show us to be responsible and unlikely to ruin his flat e.g. the dog is older and therefore not super energetic, the rescue say he is fully toilet trained and he has lived in two previous homes (just got very unlucky bless him), he is friendly with other dogs, he is happy to be left alone for a good few hours and loves to curl up and have a good snooze, he's very quiet etc. Also I'm sure it helps that almost all of the furniture is ours and we are not planning to let him into our bedroom so the only room that will be carpeted that he will be allowed in will be the spare room. The other floors are laminate or tiles so easier to clean.

Should I offer an adjunct of money to the deposit? I don't really want to offer to get the carpet in the spare room professionally cleaned because they were filthy when we moved in here and we had to put a lot of time and effort into cleaning them so that seems very unfair when we are definitely going to keep them clean regardless. In fact the flat in general was dirty in a number of places when we moved in and is now much cleaner.

Anywaysss, any tips/success stories? I should say also that we have only been living here for around 6 weeks and we payed our second month rent about a week late because we forgot to set up a standing order blush which I know is not a great start. However we already provided impeccable references going back many years of renting before we were allowed to secure this flat.

Oops4 Sat 07-Oct-17 20:58:13

As a landlord we have a no pets clause in our contracts. We didn't used to do this but had to introduce it after a tenant had a cat that basically destroyed carpets and wallpaper and left us hundreds out of pocket.

We would consider a request from a tenant to allow a pet but would ask for an additional deposit and would have additional terms written in to the contract that any damage caused by the animal was solely the finiancial responsibility of the tenant. And we would ask for all carpets to be cleaned I'm afraid. The smell of dog could very much put off future tenants. We would be much more likely to allow a pet for a tenant that had been there a while and that we knew was looking after the place. Given you're a very new tenant and have had a late rent payment I think you'd have far more chance of getting the answer you want if you wait a while. Show you're reliable tenants and then contact the landlord directly. Good luck x

SnowBallsAreHere Sat 07-Oct-17 20:59:12

Look at the let's with pets website for ideas & a suggested pet contract for the LL

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-Oct-17 22:12:31

What are your plans for the guinea-pigs , they won't appreciate a dog as much as you will.
And your neighbours (I live next door to 2 pain-in-the-arse canines)
I would also look into the happy to be left alone bit (again voice of experience ) at what he will actually get up to WRT barking, pacing .

There is a reason for No Pet Contracts.

Floralnomad Sat 07-Oct-17 22:19:02

I am close friends with somebody who lets 3 houses , they allow cats in one of them . They did allow a dog in one of the others and the house was severely damaged ( skirting / wood floors / doors etc scratched beyond a quick sanding job) so never again . Most people have a reason for saying no pets .

Lucisky Sun 08-Oct-17 08:28:19

I think you are being rather cheeky really. You have rented a place with a no pets clause, but you already have two pets. You have now looked at a dog in rescue with a view to getting one. You have also blotted your copybook straight away by not paying your rent on time. You also want a dog that can be left for 'a good few hours'.
It would seem to me that you are in no position whatsoever to have a dog. Get your priorities right. The most important thing is to keep a roof over your family's head, not do something that breaks the terms of your lease. If you want a dog, and you can guarantee that you will not be leaving it for hours at a time (the rescue will want to know this), then rent a place that allows pets.

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Sun 08-Oct-17 09:53:23

I've got a dog that was agreed by LL. It is almost impossible to get one in private rented now (for good reasons - far too many people leave them alone for hours and dogs cause thousands of pounds in damage and often become a noise nuisance to neighbours). I only got it agreed because the agent new me & my family and he knew the standard we keep our houses in. He also knew I rarely have to leave my dog home alone for more than school drop off/pick up, my dog is crate trained and gets put in there, when I am out. Dog is also quiet and from a non barky breed. He is also small. Even then it wasn't easy.

In general most dogs in private rented are there as a breach of contract and people hide dog and dogs equipment, toys, etc on the home check. But contract can be terminated as soon as landlord/their agent finds out. In general if you want a dog you either need to be a home owner or have a housing trust or council house. There are a really teeny tiny number of private LL who let a dog in the house - so you either need to have rented one where it was allowed in the first place (like hens teeth) or have been a long term tenant who can show that you've improved the property and will care for the property well. Also that you have fully considered the damage a dog can do and how that will be prevented. For example you seem to think laminate means it'll be easier to clean after a dog - however dog claws can cause horrendous scratches on laminate flooring - particularly the budget types often in lets. Also if dog has an accident on laminate flooring whilst you are out, it can seep under the flooring and cause damage and smell that cannot be got rid of without removing the flooring. Carpet can be ripped and chewed and will need the carpet cleaning form time to time - but you have already said you don't want to do that. Any cushion / vinyl floor can be chewed and torn up badly. Even tiles can be scratched - depending on the quality. Door frames, skirting boards and doors can be scratched and chewed. As can kitchen cupboards, etc. The list goes on. How are you going to be certain these things won't happen? How will you be certain the dog wont bark every time somebody goes past, or whenever you are out, etc?

WitchesHatRim Sun 08-Oct-17 09:56:36

Anywaysss, any tips/success stories? I should say also that we have only been living here for around 6 weeks and we payed our second month rent about a week late because we forgot to set up a standing order

So you've only been there 6 weeks, already paid late and now want to change your lease?

I think it's very cheeky.

Sandycarrots Sun 08-Oct-17 10:08:53

I would add that just because a dog behaves a certain way in a shelter (or is reported to have behaved in a certain way with a previous family) it doesn't necessarily mean that it will continue to behave the same way once you get him home. Our adoptee, for example, only started barking once he had settled with us and felt more confident after six weeks or so.

I'm afraid I agree with others that you are not in very good start position having already broken your agreement by having two guinea pigs. And how will you separate the two? If you have a dog with a strong prey drive, it could get v difficult.

I understand your longing for a dog op, but you need to find appropriate accommodation first. I fear you have set yourself up for a lot of disappointment by approaching a shelter before you had spoken with your ll (and not the other way around).

DeadButDelicious Sun 08-Oct-17 10:19:16

We moved into our current property with 3 cats and a dog (we have since lost our dog sadly). We paid £100 for each animal as an additional deposit, expensive but thems the breaks. When we move out I will be hiring someone to come in and professionally clean the carpets, not because they have damaged them and I haven't been told I have to do it, that is something I want to do as I know that I may not be able to smell my pets but someone else who doesn't keep animals could and I want to, as far as possible, return the property in the state I got it. Ask the question, offer money, don't wait for them to bring it up, offer it right off the bat, look on it as part of the costs of having a dog, assure them that you will repair any damage, put this all in writing. Good luck!

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Sun 08-Oct-17 10:23:04

Also you were very silly to breach contract from the start with guinea-pigs! The vast majority of landlords will give permission for small caged animals if asked - as you should have. Instead you have been dishonest and breached contract from the start- that's really not a good start, especially with the late rent payment.

Have you considered how guinea-pigs will cope with the smell, sound and possibly sight of a predator in the property?

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Sun 08-Oct-17 10:27:09

And YY to what sandycarrots said - just because a dog has been reported to behave in X way and/or has behaved in X way in rescue, it really doesn't mean that's how do will be once they have settled properly with you (which can take 2-6months with a rescue dog).

Notanother1 Sun 08-Oct-17 10:27:13

It might not even be up to the landlord, it could be in a covenant for the building so no amount of convincing will help. If you have to move, having a dog will also limit the places you can move to. If your landlord found out you have guinea pigs he could insist you got rid of them or moved out, I don’t think it’s fair on the dog or the guinea pigs.

GuntyMcGee Sun 08-Oct-17 10:27:23

I don't think.m you're going to win on this one. You're a new tenant who has already been late with payment so the landlord is already going to not regard you particularly highly.

All dogs are noisy at one point or another and as another PP pointed out, a dog that's subdued and seemingly well behaved in a shelter may not be the same in a home environment.

It took a full year for my dogs to settle after we adopted them and there was a hell of a lot of behaviour issues to live through. Both were older dogs and we had barking, howling, shredding of beds, carpets, the kitchen door was scratched to hell. Fortunately we own our house and the damage was ours to rectify. You can't do this when your home is owned by someone else.

Also think of your neighbours - no dog is completely silent all of the time. The sound of barking or clattering around on laminate will carry to the other flats, so this is unfair on your neighbours.

Perhaps when you've lived there for a fair amount of time and proven to be good tenants it may be worth looking into further, but at the moment if I were your landlord I'd think you were taking the piss. And do not get the dog regardless of the contract. Not only are you risking your tenancy but it's unfair on the person who actually owns the house to have it trashed by a dog that shouldn't be there

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Sun 08-Oct-17 10:28:26

* how dog will be

gandalfspants Sun 08-Oct-17 10:57:10

I doubt they’ll agree. In our last rented house we had to clock up a year of perfect quarterly inspections to be allowed a cat. We asked about a dog and were told they only consider it if someone is home all the time.

We are now homeowners, I love our dogs but having seen the damage their nails have done to the floor, and the amount of dirt they manage to get on the walls, I don’t think I’d allow them if I were a landlord.

Cantseethewoods Sun 08-Oct-17 11:05:45

As a LL I'm not that bothered about the wear and tear (kids are worse and I don't ban them plus we don't have carpets downstairs). However, the thing that put me off and has stopped me having dogs is that we had a tenant who basically lied about how often the dog would be left alone and it used to bark a lot. The neighbours complained to the tenants who did nothing about it so they then complained to the agent. We were telling the tenant to stop the dog barking but obviously it's not that easy - fortunately they moved out soon after. However, it has damaged our relationship with the neighbours which is not great as they used to be really accommodating and also know BIL so it's awkward. I'm ok with any other type of pet though.

Polgaraisbloodylate Sun 08-Oct-17 11:18:29

By all means speak to the letting agent and offer a higher deposit but be prepared for a flat, no.

Be careful, you already have animals that you are not allowed and paid the rent late.

The landlord may already be wondering if they want to renew the tenancy in six months or even have a section 21 notice ready to serve in three months time.

If you want to stay in the property, I'd forget about the dog to be honest.

pigsDOfly Sun 08-Oct-17 14:25:41

Have you thought about what you're going to do with the guinea pigs when your LL's agent does routine inspections?

You can ask about the dog, but speaking as a LL it would be an outright no from me so early in your tenancy. Also given that you forgot to set up a standing order for the rent and your second payment was a week late it doesn't send the message to the LL that you're going to be a very responsible tenant.

And what does a good few hours mean in terms of leaving a dog alone? Most reputable rescues will not rehome to people who are likely to leave a dog alone for long periods.

Really sounds as if your life doesn't have space for a dog at present.

MrTurtleLikesKisses Sun 08-Oct-17 15:52:50

I don’t think dogs should live in flats, sorry. I think they should have access to a garden whenever they need/want it.

We rent and have a dog. We pay a bigger deposit and we have to get the carpets professionally cleaned when we move out. We regularly spray the house with decent flea spray every year but that’s our choice.

People seem to forget that landlords are actual people. If they don’t want pets in their house then that’s fair enough.

Polgaraisbloodylate Sun 08-Oct-17 16:22:37

Oh and don't try to insist on speaking to the landlord directly- they will have employed a letting agent for a reason. They don't want to engage with you.

Lindy2 Sun 08-Oct-17 16:26:51

I'm a landlord. I once allowed a dog.
It made the whole place stink by peeing on carpets. Even after a professional carpet shampoo and deep clean throughout the flat you could still smell it.
Never ever again.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 08-Oct-17 16:31:18

No it's not fair on the guinea pigs.

mummabubs Sun 08-Oct-17 16:39:30

Sorry OP, but like the others I'd say not a good idea for a myriad of reasons- you'll be seen as late payers by the LL already, you've already broken your contract with the guinea pigs (who DEFINITELY won't appreciate a dog- I've known of several to die from stress at being forced to live with dogs that weren't small animal friendly), a flat is definitely not ideal for a dog and also any breed of dog you're looking at a maximum of being left for 3 hours or so and not every day.

Trust me, I know how you feel as I had to wait out 6 years of desperately wanting a dog and not being able to due to renting and also working. But deep down I knew it wouldn't have been fair on the dog if I'd got one in an unsuitable environment or when I couldn't give it the time it needed. In the nicest of ways I think maybe you've got a bit over-excited and set yourself up for disappointment in going to see a dog in a rescue centre when you haven't even got permission to have one. If the rescue hadn't asked for your landlord's explicit permission I get the sense you'd have just gone ahead with it anyway? And definitely don't try and approach the LL directly, as others have said that will just annoy them as this is exactly why they're paying an estate agent- if you're serious about seeking permission I'd say contact your agent, but please respect your landlord's decision on the matter and honestly question whether yours is the right environment for a dog at this time.

mummabubs Sun 08-Oct-17 16:46:37

(Meant to add as well that for obvious reasons i.e. that they're very over-filled) rescues will obviously want to portray a dog in their best light to increase chances of adoption, especially with older dogs that are harder to rehome. I'm not saying this dog you've seen isn't as portrayed but with our older rescue dog it turned out he was very quiet and calm as being in a rescue kennel environment had made them become somewhat shut down emotionally. .... After a few days in our house and new environment he changed completely- became incontinent, growled and barked a lot and started destroying items. Don't get me wrong, I love my boy and wouldn't change him for the world but he was represented to us (in good faith!) as a really easy-going ideal dog for first time owners (which I'm not) and instead we got a dog that's needed a heck of a lot of input and support over the four years we've had him to help him become the member of our family that he is today. Worth bearing in mind).

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