How to keep your Pet by Keeping your Landlord Happy

Being a tenant, you’ll be aware that not all landlords are tolerant when it comes to keeping animals in the property. If you’re fortunate enough to have found one, it is important to keep your landlord happy and minimise nuisance and damage which can be caused by your loved one. Your pet will mean the world to you, however sadly not everyone is of the same opinion.

If you are looking for a property, ensure that your pet is permitted and that you have a pet friendly landlord or letting agent.

In order to keep your pet on the right side of your landlord and ensure that you don’t have to move house or worse, re-home your pet, there are a few essential tips to bear in mind when keeping a pet in a rented property.

Cats and dogs like to sharpen their claws, pick carpets, scratch furniture, dig up gardens etc. Try to keep your pets claws trimmed as much as possible although be careful if you are doing this yourself – trimming to close to the quick can cause your animal pain and leave them susceptible to infection. Get this done by a vet unless you are experienced and confident at doing this yourself. This will prevent them from scratching door posts and shredding carpets near door strips. If you have a garden, your cat may wish to use certain areas as a toilet which is fine as long as it’s discreet and not on your favourite delphiniums or worse, in your neighbour’s garden! You may wish to keep a cat tray for your pet to discourage them from using yours or your neighbour’s garden however you will need to ensure they are trained to do so. Training is much easier with a kitten but with much encouragement and patience you can change your cat’s habits to use the tray. If your cat is older they may be getting idle and will welcome the opportunity not to have to go outside. However, the litter tray or box will need to be changed regularly (once a day generally unless you have more than one cat). Cats are generally clean animals and won’t want to use a dirty toilet so will often look elsewhere to relieve themselves. Their choice may include behind your television or sofa and hunting the cat faeces won’t be welcome on your list of things to do when you have so much else to get through in one day! The same case will apply to a dog – ensure they have plenty of toys to play with to discourage them from digging up the garden or chewing furniture and exercise your dog regularly. Of course it goes without saying that a well loved and exercised animal will reduce their desire to be boisterous.

Keep your pet free of flea infestations and ticks. Fleas will get into the carpets, into your sofas and your pets bedding and once they lay eggs they become harder to eliminate. Use flea collars and a regular treatment recommended by your vet to keep these pests at bay. Unless you have a clause in your rental contract to have the carpets professionally cleaned when you vacate the property, you may be presented with a hefty bill for a deep-clean or worse, lose your deposit for a replacement carpet.

A very important thing to consider is to ensure your pet is neutered. Not least because it reduces the amount of unwanted animals, but cats and dogs in heat can make a lot of noise. An unspayed female cat will call to any tomcat in the area, which can become very vocal. This will attract the tomcats and you may find that they will start to urinate against your doors to mark their territory and warn off other cats. Dogs tend to give off a rather unpleasant smell when they are in heat too. In addition to this, if you have a tomcat who is not neutered, they will spray in several places in the house leaving behind a stench which is extremely difficult and costly to remove. If however your cat is spayed/neutered and you find that another tomcat is attracted to your house and marking it’s scent, try some vinegar on the offending spot to neutralise the ammonia and some citronella to discourage the animal. Foreign smells from other animals will upset your pets and they may feel threatened in their own home and begin to mess in the house as they will see this as marking their own territory to warn off would-be intruders.

Perhaps one thing to consider when you do take on a property with a pet, if you’ve not already moved in (providing he or she likes animals), is to introduce your pet to your landlord. A reference from a previous tenancy will also go a long way.

With this in mind, if you are planning on moving any time soon, you need to ensure your property is kept in as good condition as possible, so that you can obtain and take with you another glowing reference for your pet’s brilliant behaviour, improving your future chances of renting and keeping your costs of moving house, down.