In terms of the overall population, it might be safe to say that most people love pets. However, when it comes to landlords, it can feel like the dislike of pets is second only to the dislike of people who don't pay their rent. Because of this, it can be very difficult to have a pet in an apartment. Here's what you should know.
Can You Just Move a Pet In?
Whether you can move a pet in at all depends on the terms of your lease. There are no laws saying that you have a right to have a pet or that you cannot have a pet.
If the lease does not say no pets, you can move your pet in subject to local laws restricting the number or types of animals that can be in a residential property.
If the lease says that pets are not allowed, your only option is to try to convince your landlord to change your lease. Never rely on verbal permission because if they later decide that the pet must go, a court would only look at the written lease.
Can a Landlord Charge a Pet Deposit or Pet Rent?
A landlord is legally entitled to make permission to have a pet contingent on the payment of an additional pet deposit or monthly pet rent. This has become a very common practice because of the additional costs to clean an apartment that has had a pet in it and the likelihood that the carpet has been soiled and other fixtures have been destroyed.
Like with other terms of a lease, you can try to negotiate. However, failure to abide by the agreed terms may result in your eviction even if your regular rent is paid in full.
Can a Landlord Fine You For Not Cleaning Up After Your Pet?
Many rental communities implement fines for owners who don't clean up after their dogs when they take them on walks. Whether this is allowed depends on the terms of your lease.
If your lease provides for a fine or says that you agree to community rules that have a fine, you can be fined. If your lease doesn't call for a fine, the landlord can't decide to start fining you in the middle of the lease but they can make you agree to follow the rule in order to renew your lease.
To learn more about having a pet in an apartment or other tenant rights, contact a local real estate lawyer today.
For local lawyers, contact a law firm such as Huckabone O'Brien Instance Bradley Lyle.