Pets Acceptable for Some Landlords Subject to a Written Agreement

Article by Nigel Bowden









For people who own the premises they live in, the decision to keep a pet is usually just a question of their ability to care for it and does not usually involve any third party outside of the family. It’s a very different situation, however, for tenants. As occupiers of accommodation owned by others, they need to seek approval from their landlord before they can acquire a pet. For prospective tenants who already have a treasured pet before requiring rental accommodation, the situation is more stressful. Should the new landlord reject their request for keeping their pet on the premises, they are faced with a very difficult decision.

For genuine pet lovers, it is unthinkable to give the pet away so they can have a roof over their head. Pets have a special place in most families, and to be faced with either being homeless or saying goodbye to a best friend that trusts you implicitly, is a heart-wrenching situation. However, it is possible to have both, and a visit to a Christchurch property management agency may provide a solution.

While some landlords have a strict policy about keeping pets, others are more flexible, especially if the enquiry comes from a tenant with an excellent rental history. If a landlord is approached by the tenant and gives verbal approval, a written agreement should be prepared. This is best done at the start of the tenancy, so a best practice for landlords is to write terms about keeping pets into the tenancy agreement.

The terms of the written agreement must be very specific to protect both the tenant and the landlord. Full details of the pet in question should be recorded including the breed, name and age, and registration number. If the tenant at a later date wants to add another pet, permission must still be sought from the landlord. It is also prudent to actually include the number of pets that will be allowed.

The agreement should also stipulate that any damage the pet may do to the premises must be remedied by the tenant. This includes removing pet waste on a regular basis, and caring for the pet in a manner consistent with the expectations of the RSPCA. Nuisance to neighbors must be minimized, and the animal not be allowed to roam outside the perimeter of the property boundary. It should also be restrained on days when landlord inspections are arranged. A reputable property management Christchurch agency can assist a landlord to draw up a comprehensive agreement about keeping pets.

The agreement should also contain a clause stating that if any of the requirements of keeping a pet on the premises are breached knowingly by the tenant, the landlord can follow standard procedures for breaching the tenancy agreement. This ensures that everyone knows exactly where they stand.



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