Can My Landlord Keep Me From Having Pets in the House?

Fousiya Zaker F
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

The simple answer is, no. Landlords have no right to deny the tenants from having a pet.

Owning pets has scientifically proven physical and mental health benefits, but we see that many pet owners find it difficult to find accommodations and face judgements. While pet owners must be careful and responsible with their animals so that they do not create trouble or discomfort for the people in the neighbourhood, they should also be educated on their rights in society.

Generally, there is a set of by-laws regarding pets to avoid conflicts within the community. As long as the pet owners abide by these laws, their rights must not be denied.

The responsibilities of the owners of the animals primarily include maintaining the hygiene of the animal, keeping them updated on their vaccinations regularly, training them to be well-behaved to people and other animals, not leaving them unsupervised, keeping them on a leash while in public, giving them proper potty training, cleaning up after they eat or excrete in common spaces, taking them out for playtime to prevent them from getting aggressive etc.

By-Laws Regarding Pets in India

As mentioned before, no resident’s association or landlord can deny the tenant their right to own pets. This remains the same even if the other tenants disagree with it. The by-laws also state that no discrimination can be made based on the size or breed of the animal.

While barking and excessive noise from the pets cannot be used as a reason to ban them from the neighbourhood, the owners must take ethical responsibility to mitigate the problem. The same applies if the animal excretes in public.

The owner cannot be fined for it, but they must be a responsible resident and clean up. If any rule is passed by the landlords or RWA to harm the animals in any manner, they will be punishable by law. Any form of animal cruelty is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Pets also cannot be denied the use of public facilities such as parks and elevators, but the RWAs are advised to set aside a specific time for the animals to use the parks.

That being said, landlords do have the right to fine pet owners that are ignorant towards the by-laws.

Landlords can actually experience several benefits by allowing pets in the house

  1. Pet owners have limited choices when it comes to the availability of accommodation. If a landlord welcomes pets in their house, they would have a greater choice of tenants to choose from while renting the property out. They can also demand a higher rent if they want.
  2. Pet owners usually tend to be more mature and would take good care of the property. They also stay for longer periods due to fewer rental options.
  3. A contented tenant is also good for business.

On the Whole

Instead of denying pets, landlords are advised to have an insurance policy that covers their property from damages caused by the tenant, as well as the repair costs, and the liabilities from pets.

They should also include their policies towards pets in the rental agreements so that it would help them if the tenants create problems, as it will be counted as a breach of contract.

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