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Renting with cats - is it a nightmare?

(27 Posts)
AngryFeet Sat 25-Aug-12 09:46:48

We were planning to rescue 2 kittens in 2 weeks time for dds birthday. All the wheels have been set in motion and my dad has now asked if we can move out after xmas (we have been renting my parents old house) so he can sell. We were expecting to be here another 2 years.

How hard is it to find a rental property if you have cats? We will be buying oiur own house as soon as my dad sells (very popular area so should sell fast) as he is topping up our deposit with the profits.

Is it best to not get these kittens? sad

procrastinor Sat 25-Aug-12 09:52:36

I haven't had a problem. I'm currently renting and I have a property that said on the description "no pets allowed". What they usually mean is no dogs! I had to pay £200 extra on the deposit and have the carpets professionally cleaned when I move out. My last place also had a no pets clause but my landlord was agreeable to a cat. Most houses aimed at families (especially in my new area - yay for up north) were happy with cats. Good luck!

Oh as an aside I think having pets when dc are young is an awesome idea - it has taught my ds a lot about being gentle, respecting animals and learning that sometimes even if he wants to play, sometimes animals don't and he needs to respect that. The only thing you should be prepared to accept is that they may get scratched - my cat has scratched my son very mildly on one occasion - hence he's learnt sometimes kitty doesn't want to play!

tribpot Sat 25-Aug-12 10:04:30

I guess it's possible you won't have to rent at all, if the house sells quickly? Or is your dad wanting to sell it empty?

I (strictly speaking DH) am a landlord for a 2nd floor flat. I was asked by the agency if I would consider a tenant with a cat in return for an additional deposit and carpet cleaning as procrastinator describes. The flat is only suitable for an indoor cat by virtue of its location and as it happened, the cat was declawed, which was great as the flat has a lot of wooden floors. I wouldn't ask for this as a condition, though - even in order to save my floors! But you're unlikely to want to rent something without a garden anyway, I would guess.

Only slight note of caution would be the effect of having to move the cats twice in a relatively short period of time. Depending on how things work out, I'd be tempted to keep them in until you reach your final home.

In terms of pets and children, I completely agree with procrastinator. Our cat is not the friendliest animal (although I am typing this now that said cat has vacated her position heating up my Macbook to nuclear temperatures!) and he has to approach her on her terms, and be very gentle with her. Sometimes she will go in and sleep on his bed, which he adores, but other times she wants nothing to do with any of us. That's cats for you!

babesdontlie Sat 25-Aug-12 18:01:44

We rent with two dogs and cat that adopted us in December.

We had a few refusals when we first started looking, but we paid extra on the deposit and its in our contact we will pay for/repair any damage (not that my dogs would do any damage, they are lazy arses sleep all the time!

Luckily kitten cat has shown no inclination to scratch carpet or wallpaper and we make sure flea treatment is up to date.

Everytime the landlord has been round (he lives in same road) the house and garden have somehow been spotless.smile

AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Sat 25-Aug-12 18:07:34

We rent and have two cats. We didn't tell our landlord we were getting them because our contract specifies no pets and we'd have been heartbroken if he'd said no. They went to my mum's house for the afternoon and we hid all their stuff (bed, bowls etc.), and made sure DS was at nursery so he wouldn't spill the beans (!), when we had our last inspection. We are in the process of buying our own house so soon it won't be an issue.

BoerWarKids Sat 25-Aug-12 18:22:09

I don't think you should lie to a LL about pets. angry

I'm very allergic to fur and I'd want to know if there'd been animals previously, if I moved into a rented place.

Daisybell1 Sun 26-Aug-12 01:09:24

We are landlords, and will accept cats, subject to an additional clause in the lease regarding cleaning/damage. We wouldn't be happy if someone lied to us though about having pets, we'd much rather know.

AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Sun 26-Aug-12 09:29:08

It's because we don't want to have to ask for permission for things, as if we were children (!), that we moving from rented accommodation into our own house. Daisybell, if as a landlord you are happy to accept cats that should be in the lease as standard. (It seem to me that too many landlords forget that the house they rent out are somebody's home. How would you feel if every time you wanted to paint a wall, erect a shelf, hang a picture or get your kids a hamster you had to get somebody's permission?). BoerWarKids, we will be giving the house a thorough clean before we go so in the highly unlikely event that the next occupant is allergic to fur they will be fine. Plus the cats have not caused any damage.

The OP is only looking to rent for a short time. I think she really shouldn't worry about it.

Furthermore, why shouldn't people in rented accommodation get to rehouse rescue animals and contribute to society in that way? It's a good thing the OP's planning to do.

tribpot Sun 26-Aug-12 12:10:51

Yes, sorry - I'd be unhappy if I knew that a tenant had housed a cat without my permission, much as I would be (and have been) annoyed if other tenancy conditions are breached. I've also been on the receiving end of landlords who forget the property is your home not theirs (my previous landlords didn't like the way I was keeping the garden and sent the agents round to do an unannounced inspection when they thought we'd be out) but these conditions are there to protect the landlord's investment.

I fully accept that a cat is unlikely to do any significant damage in an unfurnished property (it is much more likely that children would - in fact I haven't rented our place to anyone with kids although this is purely because no-one has asked to). Nevertheless, the trade-off for living in rented accommodation is that there are certain conditions attached which do not apply to a property you own yourself.

changeforthebetter Sun 26-Aug-12 12:17:39

Don't lie to the landlord. You would be breaking the terms of the rental contract and could forfeit your deposit.

Two cats are unlikely to cause much damage (a lot less than kids) but landlords are likely to want to know that it's 2 not 20!! Also, if someone is renting out their own home then they may be allergic to cats. I've never had a problem when renting with cats but you do need to ask. Some agencies put a 'no pets' clause in automatically but might be open to negotiation.

alto1 Sun 26-Aug-12 12:34:28

We rented with a cat and a dog. All the places we looked at said 'no pets' but most were willing to consider them. The clause was there so that they could say 'no' to people with three big scary barky dogs that would alienate all the neighbours, or 20 smelly cats.

We had the carpets professionally cleaned at the end although we'd kept them spotless. They also allowed us to put a cat flap in, provided that we paid for it to be removed and the door made good at the end. I thought that was a bit pointless (it was a tatty old unloved door, which the purchasers were clearly going to replace as soon as they unpacked) but they insisted and it cost £60.

AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Sun 26-Aug-12 14:09:14

The problem is that landlords don't keep to their side of the bargain regarding the tenancy agreement. They are supposed to do repairs etc. but none of the (private) landlords I've ever had have done this (don't get me started on the problems with our current house. At least nobody's been electrocuted yet, unlike in our old house). I keep hearing that there are good landlords out there but I have yet to meet one of these seemingly mythical creatures! I am not not looking after my landlord's investment, I'm refusing to potentially let an irrational dislike of animals dictate how I live my life! (He is himself failing to protect his investment by doing things like failing to provide us with a key for the garage...yes, we have never been able to lock our garage). (If landlords are willing to consider pets they really should state this upfront. It could be written into the contract - 'Tenants may keep up to two cats, one dog, two rabbits...Tenants may not keep exotic animals...Tenants must repair any damage caused by any animal before they vacate the property...', that sort of thing). I really think that what I do in my own home is, within reason, none of my landlord's business.

AlexanderSkarsgardOhYes Sun 26-Aug-12 14:13:10

Plus, I would like to add, that our cats were part of an unexpected litter of kittens and would have gone to the RSPCA if we hadn't adopted them. We have, dare I say it, done a socially responsible thing by taking them in. People who are willing to give good homes to unwanted animals should be allowed to, no?

anongirl09 Sun 26-Aug-12 14:30:12

We have rented with 3 Labradors, 5 cats, 4 guinea pigs and 12 chickens (all at the same time!) No problems here...

Daisybell1 Mon 27-Aug-12 06:28:00

We don't say 'no pets' in our adverts. The leases are drawn up by the agent who use their standard wording, hence me saying that it's an additional clause.

Oh, and we pay for catflaps to be fitted, not the tenant.

alto1 Tue 04-Sep-12 08:23:41

you're quite right Alex, it was an unequal bargain. They were 'managing' the let themselves from a distance to save agents' fees (I'll never rent from someone who does that again).

It was only thanks to my vigilance that the house and the one next door weren't demolished by a gas explosion. Landlords told us the low gas pressure was 'normal' and did nothing. When I called British Gas they were round before I could put the phone down and turned off gas to the whole street). I had to deal with endless workmen and clean up after them.

But they still charged us £60 to make good the bloody cat flap <fumes>

MirandaWest Tue 04-Sep-12 08:26:41

I have a cat and rent. I can't remember if the description said no pets but we mentioned the cat at the outset and the landlord was fine with it. We weren't asked for any extra deposit or to do carpet cleaning. I think that dogs are generally more of an issue.

EdMcDunnough Tue 04-Sep-12 08:30:29

it all depends on your LL and agent. Our TA has to be changed every year to cross out the no pets bit and add well, last time it was 6 hens, 3 ducks, 1 cat, 2 guinea pigs and 3 rabbits. blush she sat there and patiently wrote these on the page.

Landlord is fine with it - but we did declare our cat when we moved in and also asked if we could get the other things as we went along.

Never lie about it - always be upfront as some are very strict and will insist on carpet cleaning/replacement after the tenancy, also don't do it with furnished as you might then end up liable for scratched sofas as well.

cozietoesie Tue 04-Sep-12 08:35:23

Thinking back to when I was forced by circumstances to rent out a property, I'd have been a lot more worried about a tenant burning the place down or wrecking it than the tenant having a cat or two - and declaring it. As one of the posters above said, I'd not be happy if a tenant lied about it - which rather casts a light on that person's general attitude to truth - but if they'd told me, I'd have been fine although I'd likely have wanted an extra deposit for sorting (if necessary) any damage eg to carpets.

AlexanderS Fri 21-Sep-12 11:50:29

What did you do in the end AngryFeet?

BradM Thu 03-Nov-16 10:13:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TiredAndDeadly Thu 03-Nov-16 10:19:27

I actually think you have enough on your plate at the moment without getting two cats.

Get them once you've moved

thecatneuterer Thu 03-Nov-16 10:24:09

This thread is four years old! How did it suddenly get bumped?

Those kittens will be strapping cats by now.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Thu 03-Nov-16 14:01:46

Presumably advertising. I hadn't noticed and was about to comment about declawing!

Toddlerteaplease Thu 03-Nov-16 15:11:01

I rent and when I found my girls I texted to ask if I could have them. ( contract said no pets) I'd been there years and my landlady is lovely. She agreed ( she's a cat person) and I signed an agreement t that I'd pay for any damage. The furniture is all mine so it easier. I wouldn't want too if the furniture wasn't mine though.

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