There are three certainties in life… death, taxes and stringent landlords! One of the many rules associated with rented properties surrounds keeping pets. According to iii.org, there are 85 million families in the United States who own a pet, whether that be dogs, cats, birds, reptiles or anything for that matter; proving just how important our furry friends are to us.
Home sometimes doesn’t feel like home when your pet isn’t around, so many individuals take it upon themselves to try and hide a pet in a rental property without the landlord knowing. Most of the time landlords are ok with pets in their property, however, sometimes they aren’t. There may be no mention of whether the tenant can keep a pet in the lease agreement at all, leaving many tenants unsure of whether they can keep them or not. So, if you are looking to keep your pets with you and want to hide your pet from your landlord, use some of these tips!
Why Would You Need To Hide A Pet?
Friend Or Families Dog
You may have agreed in the past to look after your friends or family pet for the weekend whilst they are away on vacation and forced to hide them in your rented home.
Forced Out Of Your Home
You may be forced to hide a pet if you have been kicked out of your previous home and are looking to move in somewhere as quickly as possible.
How To Hide a Pet From Your Landlord
1. Make Sure To Keep On Top Of Cleaning
Let’s be honest, we’ve all walked into a dog-owners home before and smelt the aroma as soon as we’ve entered; then, proceeded to sit on the couch to find that your clothes are covered in dog hair. Well, if you are wanting to hide your pet from your landlord, you need to make sure that there is no hair, no smell, and no evidence! Make sure to keep on top of your cleaning at all times. Make friends with the hoover, antibacterial wipes, room sprays, and candles to make the house smell and look as clean as possible. If the landlord was to walk in to find hair everywhere and a foul dog smell, question’s would certainly be asked.
2. Prepare To Be Inspected
As you should know, the landlord is the official owner of the property, they have every right to come and inspect the property as they please. You will usually be given a time or date as to when they will be coming to check the property, so this gives you an ample amount of time to try and hide your pet as best as you can.
If you’re told that they are going to be coming in a week’s time, why not ask your friends or the family whether they can look after your pet for a day or two. Yes, you may have to buy them a bottle of wine or owe them a favor, but if it means that you can keep your pet, it’s very much worth it. Plus, they will probably be quite fond of having a pet to look after for a day or two.
3. Don’t Get Spotted With Your Pet
One of the most obvious ways of hiding your pet from your landlord is to make sure that you don’t get spotted with one. Yes, this may sound simple and obvious, but you’d be surprised how many tenants have been caught out purely due to lack of thought. If the landlord even has the faintest idea that there may be a pet at the property, they may take it upon themselves to spy on you or ask neighbors to keep a close eye on you.
4. Act Like You Dislike Pets When First Speaking To The Landlord
Meeting with the landlord for the first time can be pretty daunting, especially as your trying your best to make a good impression and get to know them as well as you possibly can. Even though the process is difficult in itself, why not lay a foundation of safety by acting like you dislike pets when first speaking to the landlord. If they think that you hate pets and don’t like the idea of keeping them, no further questions would be asked.
5. Remove Anything Associated With Animals
A very obvious thing to do when your landlord is coming to visit is to removing anything associated with animals whatsoever. Whether that be toys, cages, food and even pictures with your pets. They need to be hidden away.
6. Use Cupboards/Hidden Corners If You Have A Small Pet
If you have a smaller pet like a mouse, hamster or maybe even a lizard, be sure to keep them in their cage and hide them away in a dark store cupboard for the short time that your landlord would be there. You can also use blankets to cover the cage or even make the cage look like a storage unit by putting other items on top. If your pet does seem afraid of the dark, do not hide them in a dark place.
7. Be Careful When You Speak To Your Landlord
Let’s be honest, we’ve all say something that we wish we hadn’t said and wished that we could go back in time by just a few seconds and say something else instead. It happens, humans are programmed that way! If you want to keep your pet secret and hidden away, you must remember not to mention them whatsoever to your landlord in normal conversation.
For example, if you have a dog that has scratched the surfaces or urinated on the carpet, you will have to make sure you take the blame for your pet’s actions. You will have to lie and come up with a story as to why the damage is there and how you’re going to fix it.
What To Consider
Hiding a pet can become difficult depending on a variety of different factors, being:
You must consider the space of the property itself… are there many hidden places to hide the pet? Do you have a yard? Is it an apartment that you are renting or a large property? These are all things to consider when weighing up hiding a pet from your landlord.
Size Of Pet
Take into account the size and type of pet that you have or want. Smaller animals like reptiles and birds aren’t messy and can be hidden much easier than dogs and cats can.
Does your pet smell or leave fur around that smells?
Implications Of Breaking The Rules:
If you have signed a contract which states that you cannot keep animals in the property, you should always avoid doing so. A landlord may legally terminate a lease if a tenant violates their terms, so you have to be respectful. Remember that the property is theirs and if they have rules in place you should always abide by them. Breaking these rules can land you with some pretty ruthless implications, so always bear this in mind before deciding to take on a pet to look after.
*Disclaimer – do not use these tips if your contract states that you can’t keep pets in the property.*
Kicked Out Of Property/Contract Voided
You may find that as a result of violating the terms, your contract may be terminated and you will be kicked out of the property, leaving you desperately looking for a new place to live.
Losing Your Pet
Worst of all, the landlord may ask you to get rid of your pet as opposed to you being kicked out of the property. If the landlord hadn’t mentioned pets within the terms and conditions and wants to amend the contract due to finding out you have one, you could be asked to give your pet away if you would like to remain in the property.