As many more individuals/families decide to keep pets in their homes, they become a relevant part of the society. Their relevance cannot be underestimated as more media sources in recent times have taken out time to indicate that ‘pets are more than kids’ in some areas around the world.
The custom of keeping pets, however, has a great outcome on various perspectives of people’s everyday lives; For instance, consider the case where someone desires to rent a house to stay in, alongside his/her pet(s).
It is often typical that most landlords will be unwilling to accept pets into their properties for several reasons; one of which could be the fear that the pet may constituent a danger and or inconvenient neighbours.
This may, therefore, creates an added burden on the part of the pet’s owner when seeking for a house to rent.
It is thus imperative for both parties, landlord as well as the tenant to come into an arrangement. They must first of all resolve the laws governing whether or not landlords can forbid pets from rental flats.
The initial stage is to treat the legal aspects by identifying which legislation provision covers this case.
On one side, it is clear that the Horizontal property law like the Criminal code law and the Civil code law does not specifically forbid the ownership of a pet(s) on rented properties.
On the other side, article 4.2 of the Urban Lease Law (Lau) holds that ‘housing contracts must be governed by agreements, codicils and stipulations defined by the will of the parties involved’.
Although this law does not openly address the matter, it emphasises that the issue is managed by the agreement of both parties, so that clauses directly banning the subject may be incorporated into the agreement.
Likewise, in situations where pets are unforbidden, by applying this rule, it remains possible to fix phrases regulating the ownership of pet(s), such as defining the type of pets or enabling the landlord to visit the property to guarantee that no loss has been incurred as well as check whether what was agreed upon have been implemented.
Notwithstanding, if the agreement lacks a definite prohibition, the tenant will have no judicial barrier to be able to stay in the residence alongside his/her pets.
In another case, the ordinances of the area of landlords can ban the inhabitants of the houses from owning any kind of pet. Hence, when in uncertainty, it is prudent for the occupant to obtain satisfactory knowledge to evade repulsive wonders once s/he moves in.
Terminating the Contract
Complying to the obligations of the contract is the responsibility of both the landlord and the tenant such that if any of the party breaks the contract rules, it is right of the other party to terminate the contract.
In the case where a tenant breach the contract (goes against the agreement and brings a pet into the house) despite being expressly prohibited, the landlord can ask him/her to leave the premises according to section 27.1 of the LAU.
The case where the pet is a nuisance
Even when the rental agreements allow pets, some animals can constitute a nuisance to the entire apartment and block, thus disturbing/annoying neighbours.
When this happens, the landlord holds the legal backings to terminate the contract, in most cases.
This equally ties with the details outlined in section 27.2 of the LAU, which states that “the lessor may cancel the agreement by priority” for “the damages effected fraudulently to the premises or of activities not approved of by the landlord when the latter’s consent is expected” or because disturbing, harmful, dangerous or unhealthy actions are performed.
In summary, if the landlord does not desire pets on his estate, it is vital that the prohibition is explicitly asserted in the codicils of the contract. Equally, if a lessee desires to rent a home and has an animal(s), s/he must be sure there is no clause that precludes this, and or exercises the required actions to evade the landlord from cancelling the contract.