Q. I have been renting my apartment for the last two years and very happy there; I use it basically as a crash pad as my family is still based overseas so I fly home every weekend. However there has been a change in circumstances and given the longevity of my contract my family has decided to join me permanently here in London. This is great news and the apartment is certainly large enough but we have one small or could be large issue if we are to remain in our current rental. We have two very old cats that will also be relocating with us. Do you think the landlord will accept a pet given our rental contract prohibits them?
A. Besides the rental contract not allowing pets the first thing you will need to check which would have an even greater impact is if the Head Lease allows pets?! Normally apartments are located within developments and the vast majority of these have a no pets rule. Before speaking to your landlord go and have a chat with your concierge on general manager on site to ask if pets are allowed within the development as if they do then that will be your greatest stumbling block overcome, however if it is to the contrary then ultimately even if your landlord would agree to the cats moving in they would be in breach of lease for doing so, which means this would be an absolute no go. On the flip side if the Head Lease does allow pets then having an honest conversation with your landlord about the situation is the best way forward. Given you have already rented from them for the past two years they obviously approve of you as tenants and I am sure they would want you to remain. Reassuring the landlord that you would be willing to perhaps pay an extra sum towards your existing deposit can sometimes be all they need to feel comfortable with the situation. The landlord may suggest you formalise the agreement by adding an appendix to the contract or getting you to sign something to assume responsibility for any damages that the pet may cause during the tenancy. If however pets are not allowed on the development or the landlord will not approve I am afraid it means it’s time to relocate, perhaps to a house, where such restrictions are not applicable as long as the landlord consents.