If you’re renting an apartment and have recently reported a maintenance issue, you might be concerned that you’re about to get into trouble with your landlord if you have undisclosed pets. While you may have only recently welcomed a kitten, hamster, or small dog into your apartment, the idea of being kicked out by your landlord for concealing a pet is pretty intense. The question is, does maintenance report pets in apartments, and do they really care whether you’re breaking your lease agreement?
The quick answer is: Yes, if it’s required by the landlord. That said, it’s rare for maintenance workers to know the details of lease agreements. If pets are prohibited for everyone in a rental property, it’s possible that maintenance is aware of this and will report violations. If your pet is aggressive toward maintenance workers, expect to be reported.
Does Maintenance Care About Pets In Apartments?
If the maintenance team is also responsible for property management, they must report on any unauthorized pets in apartments. However, if maintenance is only responsible for carrying out repairs and fixing issues as they crop up, they may not even be aware that you’re breaking your lease agreement. The best thing to do is talk to the maintenance team to find out which applies to them. With this information, you’ll be able to plan your next move. Either declare the pet, ask a friend to look after it for a while, or in the worst-case scenario, get in touch with a lawyer who is experienced in landlord/tenant law.
Some states have laws in place to protect renters with pets. In these cases, leasing agents are required to allow renters with pets in apartments unless the pet is causing a disturbance or other issues for neighbors. The laws vary by state and local municipality, so it’s important that you check your state law before leasing an apartment if you have a pet.
Renting An Apartment With Undisclosed Pets
When renting an apartment, it’s important to read the lease agreement carefully before signing anything. This is especially true if you have a pet, as many agreements forbid tenants from having pets in the property. If you do have a pet and decide to rent an apartment that prohibits them anyway, you may be worried about what could happen if your landlord finds out that you haven’t disclosed that you have a pet. This also applies if you moved in without a pet, but after a couple of months, have acquired a new one. While it can be fairly easy to keep new pets in apartments hidden from landlords, if you have a maintenance issue, you may be worried about an upcoming visit or inspection. Should you come clean or try to keep your pet concealed?
What to Do if You’re Caught With An Unauthorized Pet
Suppose you undergo an annual inspection and maintenance reports that you have unauthorized pets in your apartment. To avoid being evicted, you could do the following;
- If your landlord allows pets but you haven’t disclosed your pets yet, state that the pet is a recent addition and you were about to declare it – and then do so immediately to avoid violating the terms of your rental agreement.
- Explain that you are only minding the pet for a friend or family member and then ask a loved one to take over the care of the pet for you.
- Register your pet as an emotional support animal.
- Offer to pay a one-time pet fee or pet deposit in order to allow the pet to live in your apartment.
- Ask whether you’d be able to pay slightly more each month to compensate for having a pet in your apartment, for example, paying pet rent.
- Or better yet, learn how to convince your landlord to allow pets.
In any event, it’s best not to try to conceal the presence of unauthorized or undisclosed pets in your apartment. Risking eviction is almost never worth it. If you can’t negotiate with your landlord to keep your unauthorized pet, and the suggestions above don’t help or don’t apply to your situation, consider trying to find a pet-friendly rental when your lease agreement expires.