are landlords allowed to say no to pets

Are Landlords Allowed to Say No to Pets?

Having a pet is fantastic, and an animal companion can benefit your life in so many ways. For most people, a pet is one of the closest connections they will ever have. Therefore, the ability to live with your pet is paramount when evaluating places to live. 

If you are searching for apartments or flats, you should always ask whether the landlord allows pets or not. Pets can commit severe damage to your property if the owner is not careful. Are landlords allowed to refuse people to live with their pets? Let us find out: 

What Do The Laws Say?

The laws in most places state that landlords can refuse pets of any kind on their premises. Moreover, they can prohibit pets of various sorts on their property at their discretion. 

For example, a landlord can say no to cats but accept dogs on their property as long as they have a good reason. 

A landlord can refuse pets access to their property based on the breed of the animal, the size and can insist that you get the pet neutered or spayed before living in their property. 

Landlords who have had issues with pets before should have insurance protection for such cases. Landlord insurance is specifically made for those leasing or renting their properties to protect them from damage, for example, by pets. Landlords can use iSelect to compare various landlord insurance policies. 

Even though the landlord has landlord insurance, they often require a pet deposit to protect themselves against any damage the pet may cause to the property.

If the pet does not cause any trouble, you will receive your guarantee when it is time to leave the property for good. Landlord insurance is a way to protect yourself from many nuisances a pet can attract to your property.

A landlord also reserves the right to withdraw consent to stay with an animal if the pet becomes too noisy, violent, or acts in a way that affects other people. A landlord’s ability to deny pets access to their property is dependent on individual cases as there are no laws set in stone against the issue. 

In most countries, including the US, a landlord has to put it in writing why they are refusing the pet within a certain period of receiving such a request. Based on the reason, a potential tenant can decide to challenge the denial or not. 

Exceptions To The Rules

In the United States, there is the Federal Fair Housing Act developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The act addresses what landlords can do regarding animal companions in rental properties.

The Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) intersect about using service or assistance animals by people with disabilities.

According to the laws, housing providers must provide equitable housing space for disabled people who use companion animals. Even if the landlord has a ‘no pet’ policy, they may have to make an exception for someone with a disability who needs an animal companion to function adequately, whether by providing emotional support or helping them accomplish basic tasks. 

On the other hand, a request for housing by a disabled person who requires an animal companion can be denied if the animal threatens other tenants or the property itself.

A landlord reserves every right to deny pets and pet owners access to their property. There are exceptions to every rule as described above. However, if a landlord accepts pets, they can ask for a pet deposit or get landlord insurance to protect their investment. 

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