Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 8 years ago

What is the likelihood that I can keep my hamster a secret from my landlord?

I have had my hamster for about 3 months, and I have to move out asap. I have said I want a certain flat and am in the process of making it mine. When I viewed it I asked about having a small pet and that he would be no trouble and the man showing me round didnt seem to care and said it shouldnt be a problem but it is best not to mention it and hide it when there is an inspection or something. Today I had a voicemail from a woman at the same letting agents double checking that i will still be bringing him because they will need to check with the landlord. Now, I never mentioned him again from that moment on so this is the man's doing. Is it a legal obligation for the letting agent to give me notice for an inspection rather than a random one? They would have no reason to have a random one as I am a tidy, quiet person so will be no trouble, and I dont give my hamster free reign of the house or anything so I would even risk my deposit in saying they can have the lot if he damages anything. I have someone who will take my hamster on the day of inspection, but do you think I could just hide him in a wardrobe?

I fully understand that it's not right to break this rule in my contract if the landlord says no, but I am 100% it will not be a problem and they will never even know he was there. I would fully understand if it was a cat, dog or rabbit or something like that. What are your thoughts?

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Much as it can be a pain, it's ALWAYS best to be up front re pets, and get it in writing. That way there's no messing around later on. I can't personally see why you can't have a hamster on a property, but from a landlord's point of view, will it stop there? Normally you'll get a letter stating how many and what animals will be allowed on the property, to over-rule the standard 'no pets' that are on most standard rental agreements in the UK.

    It would be very easy to 'hide' a small animal like this on inspection day, but do you want to be looking over your shoulder, when an inspection isn't due? It can happen that a landlord may want to pop by with short/no notice, even if they are supposed to give you 24 hours notice, especially if you have a friendly relationship going on. Having to leave him standing on the doorstep rather than inviting him in could be awkward to say the least. I've done a hiding thing, for a while, and didn't feel very comfortable about it!!

  • 8 years ago

    Now you have been asked, if you lie and are caught out you can be evicted under section 8 (grounds 12 and 17) of the 1988 Housing Act. Even if you hadn't been asked, ground 12 would still apply unless the tenancy agreement doesn't say anything about pets.

    Interestingly, a clause saying "no pets" is considered 'unfair' under european law. A clause saying "no pets without the landlords written permission which will not be unreasonably withheld" is considered okay - something to do with a Spanish Goldfish - honest.

    You are right that a letting agent or landlord 'should' give you 24 hours notice - but they do hold keys for emergency access (gas or water leaks for example) and it is not unknown for these keys to be used in non-emergency situations.

    If I were you I'd tell the agency and say to them that if it's a problem with the landlord you're willing to pay £50 extra deposit in case of hamster damage.

    On a moral ground, you'd be upset if the agent broke the contract and entered without permission - so you can imagine they'd be upset if you broke the contract by keeping the hamster. They'd be looking for signs because the guy knows you have one.

  • 8 years ago

    this is all very juvenile. Your contract is with the landlord, so you need to contact the landlord and say nicely that you know it is no pets, but would it be ok to keep a hamster, in a cage, and that you will clean it out regularly and not let it out.

    the agent works for the landlord and is obligated to pass this kind of thing on. Landlords don't like pets because of the smell and damage, but I would have thought a hamster would be ok under the above conditions. And of course any damage will come out of your deposit.

  • 8 years ago

    It's a hamster.. I really doubt your landlord would notice it, or see it, and if they did, call it a toy and they'd probably believe you, heh.

    An illegal inspection finding your hamster would be illegal to do anything about :P so unless it's prescheduled, you have a better chance of suing them :D

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