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Rental with 2 pet limit

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I'm struggling financially, and I'm worried I might lose my house. My real fear is that I won't find a place that will allow 3 cats, a dog , and bearded dragon. My husband says not to worry and if it comes down to finding another home we can say we have only a cat and dog and sneak the rest of the pets in when no ones looking. Does anyone do that? I know it's dishonest, but I can't give away a family member. When I was renting as a college student I've always had all kinds of pet and never ask the landlord. What do you think?
post #2 of 25
My brother has cats hidden in his place.
Dogs are hard to hide.
We had a place before we bought our house that allowed 4 cats.
We made a deal with them when we moved in.
post #3 of 25
After knowing several people who've been evicted for hiding pets, it's not something I would risk.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
How would a landlord find out you have more pets? I rented a house from a lady, and her property management did all the work. I don't think I ever seen management or landlord and I live there for a couple of years. I also had a dog and everyone in the complex played with him. I guess it would be better to find property that would allow all pets. Hopefully, I won't have to move and this won't even be a problem.
post #5 of 25
I've known lots of people who had "unauthorized" pets. I can't really recommend it, but if you're willing to take the risk it might be an option. Ugh...I really wish rentals were better about allowing pets.
post #6 of 25
I personally would not take any risks, not only for the reason of eviction but also for not creating homeless animals.

I went through lists after lists before I found my current apartment. If I didn't have any pet, I'd be able to find a place lot easier...but for me, moving in with my cat was the #1 priority. I know so many ppl do hide their pets & live in a rental property but what if they get caught? They'd either lose the place or their beloved pets, but this is not the only risk.
When moving into a new place after that - what if their potential landlord/lady contact previous landlord/lady for referrals? They often do that these days.

Even if you hid it very well without getting caught, it still may cost you if your rented property leaves any traces of pets. Cost of cleaning up when moving out, i.e. carpet or floor cleaning, fixing scratches etc etc will all be out of your pocket.

Better be honest & safe than sorry...this is IMO, though.
post #7 of 25
IMO, it's almost impossible for the to find out that you have more than one cat... You definitely need to report one cat and the dog. The Dragon doesn't make any difference...
If the landlord comes in, you need to be prepared to take the other 2 cats out of the house for the day. Usually they leave a 24hr notice.
post #8 of 25
Hopefully it will not come to moving, but it might be worth to start checking around for rentals that allow pets (if you're looking at rental complexes), so you're ahead of the game if you do need to do something. You may have to volunteer to pay a large pet deposit, over and above the standard, given the number of pets you have. Worse case if you 'fib', is that you're evicted or you lose the animals, and you won't get a very good reference for the next place. And, if a rental complex doesn't allow animals, you only need one tenant to report you to have a major issue.

A lot of shelters now maintain list of pet friendly communities...might be worth checking with them. But hoping this is all worrying over nothing.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
What do you mean by losing my animals? Can rental properties take away your pets? I was thinking of renting from a private party, perhaps a single family home or condo. I have found apartment complexes that allow 2 pet max. I'm just worried that it would be hard to find a place that would allow all my pets. Thank you everyone for the advice, wish me luck in keeping my home. Before we were married, my husband had 2 cats in his rental place ,and the landlord never knew for 4 years. He always kept cats in his apartment and thinks it should be okay. I just hate having to sneak around.
post #10 of 25
My brother boards them at the vet when there is inspection.
He is allowed one small dog and a cat.
If I lived nesr there h would send them to my house.
post #11 of 25
I don't believe they can physically come and take your animals away, but you can be told you have to choose between being evicted and rehoming your pets. Regarding a condo please make sure you know what the condo association rules are regarding number of pets - that will apply to both owners and renters, regardless of what the condo owner may tell potential renters.

You know, if your pets are quiet and things are kept immaculately, you may never be 'found out' - but, I think you have to know worst case scenarios and be ready to address them, just in case. I guess do make very good friends with the neighbors would be a very good thing - people tend to overlook things if they like the 'culprit'.
post #12 of 25
Sneaking pets in usually backfires and you could either get evicted or have to give someone up. I would keep looking for a better place where you can keep everyone. Is there anyone in your family or trusted friends that could adopt them if need be?
post #13 of 25
I know my cats love to sit in a window together. In a complex, all it would take is a maintenance guy or a nosy neighbor who doesn't like cats to see 3 cats sitting in the window together. They report it and you would have to decide on keeping the pets and moving or rehoming some pets. The place where I live charges a fairly large pet deposit plus extra pet rent every month. Before I moved several people told me I was silly for telling them about the cats and paying the extra money, but I would rather have everything right so there can be no bigger problems later.
post #14 of 25
And keep in mind that any neighbors that come over can "talk"....
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes, I do know a rescue group that would take my cats and find good homes. I think I would have to move if I were found out. My sons are way too attached to our pets to give them away. I just spoke to a lady at my sons school and she has 3 dogs in her rental so it is possible.
post #16 of 25
Our landlord agreed to one cat--our lease says one cat. Now we have two...our friend adopted Harley for us, because the shelter has to contact your landlord to okay it. So his technical owner isn't us...we like to remind our friends of that when we got out of town and need a sitter! We're like your cat Harley needs someone to watch him while we're gone.

Our landlord never comes here and honestly I don't think they'd care. The reason they were apprehensive was that the people before us had dogs that ruined the house--the carpets had to be all ripped up and replaced and they were dead set that our cat would ruin the carpet. We assured them he had never ruined anything in our apartment (where we also had him illegally) and would not ruin anything here, or they could keep our deposit.

post #17 of 25
We fudged it at our last apartment. Technically the lease said 2 cats. When we moved in, Raven was pretty ill with terminal Fibrosarcoma. He only made it about another month to month & a half. Then Lola found us a couple months before our lease ended. But we knew we were buying a house. We finally reached the end of our rope on landlords, their pet restrictions, and constant inspections of our apartment.

The apartment we had before that was a complex and you could not fudge it there. That place was also strict with their declaw policy (not a problem for us at the time, our cats had been declawed by previous owners). We also lived right across from the office, so they would be more likely to see. That place allowed 3 cats though.
post #18 of 25
I disagree that hidden pets usually backfire. My complex didn't allow pets, but nearly every single apartment had cats, and some had dogs. Eventually the landlord wrote the existing pets into the leases; she was fine with it.

However, it's a decision each individual needs to make for his/herself. It might be a good idea to look around a prospective apartment complex to see if the rules are really followed... if there's a pet in every window, then you know the attitude is lax.

On the other hand, if they're strict, you have to be open about it and see if you can write it and a pet deposit into the lease. Caged pets like reptiles and rodents are unlikely to be found out (or an issue), but it's hard to hide a cat or dog.
post #19 of 25
I wish landlords were more tolerant of pets too, especially cats. We are a semi-retired couple with one cat (and a foster who is hiding in a bedroom). When we moved here we didn't have any pets, so wasn't an issue. Now we have 2 cats in residence. Our beloved Dusty is a stray that we rescued, and the other is the product of the deceased owner, and she may or may not become a permanent member of our family.

The funny part is that our Dusty doesn't cause any kind of a mess. She faithfully uses her litterbox, and has only had a couple of accidents when she wasn't feeling well. I promptly cleaned them up.

Landlords, by law can't discriminate against children, but they can deny pets. My cat is infinitely less destructive than 3 or 4 young children!
post #20 of 25
My brother and his roommate lived in a "no-pets-allowed" apartment, and they sneaked in 2 kittens. The cats sat in the windows all the time and nobody cared. They did remove them for inspections, though. I don't know if the landlord would have cared or not. And I've never heard of anyone else being forced to move or re-home their pets after being found out, unless the pets were causing trouble. But it is still a risk, so be careful!
post #21 of 25
I got caught lying about having cats when management entered my apartment WITHOUT TELLING ME! I was totally p*****d off that they entered my home with notice or permission, but technically I was in the wrong for having cats so I couldn't do much. Fortunately, the only cat they saw was Taxi, who was a kitten at the time. Minka & Leo hid under the bed (that's just what they do). So I was able to say, "Well, we just got a kitten. Can we pay a pet deposit now?" and they let us do that.

Another time I got caught because two of my cats were sitting in the window and the landlord saw them.

I think you can try to lie, but you'll eventually get caught. Even if a place says they only allow 2 pets, maybe you can negotiate with them by making the pet deposit non-refundable or something. They want to fill their apartments and have renters, so don't be shy about asking for what you want. You may not get it on the first try, so move on to the next place. I'll bet you can find someone who will work with you.

Good luck!
post #22 of 25
It's funny because in our lease it states no pets but when I asked my landlord if I could have a cat since the previous owner did I talked him down from 'has to be de-clawed' to 'we'll use claw caps and you can keep our damage deposit if there's something wrong'. Really he was a massive push over. But it really all depends on your landlord and what they'll let you get away with.
post #23 of 25
in the apartment i had last, before i bought the house, i had 2 cats for a single deposit per special agreement. i just explained when i was renting the place that i was planning on getting a pair of kittens, but that i really couldn't afford 2 deposits. they wrote it into the lease.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
I guess it really does depend on the landlord. Like I said, I use to live in an apartment and I NEVER saw the management or owner. It was a no pet place, but everyone had pets. My neighbor had a St. Bernard, and I had a Golden Retriever ,and they even got together to play in the grass area. My husband always had cats in his place and would put them in a kennel in the closet when the landlord would come over. I don't think he cared because he was a good tenant. The worst the cats ever did was scratch up the couch.
post #25 of 25
We posted an ad on craigslist seeking pet-friendly housing and had quite a few owners contact us. I figured it was easier to let them come to us rather than the other way around. At the time, we had a dog (a labrador puppy) and 2 cats. Some places wouldn't let big dogs live there, or they would only let 2 pets max, or whatever. It was tough, but not impossible. Our pet deposit for each pet was very reasonable also ($200 each, compared to $300 each at most other places in town). We have since acquired a 3rd cat and haven't mentioned it yet...
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