Renting to Tenants with Cats: Landlord Found Out I Have a Cat

Finding a rental apartment is often difficult for cat owners. Even the viewing appointment can become an acid test if the future landlord asks you about pets. If you are considering including a cat in your rented apartment, the lease is decisive. If keeping animals is generally allowed, you do not need to explicitly ask the landlord for permission before purchasing a cat. In principle, the landlord may not rule out keeping cats in the rental agreement. Nevertheless, he has a say.

Asking Landlord for Cat

  • A blanket ban on keeping cats in the rental agreement is invalid.
  • The landlord may forbid the cat with an individual justification.
  • Do not hide your cat from the landlord.

Keeping Cats in the Rental Agreement – These Regulations Apply

In principle, the landlord may not prohibit small animals and non-dangerous animals. These include domestic animals that are kept in cages, aviaries, aquariums, or terrariums. You are definitely allowed to keep “ordinary” pets such as guinea pigs, budgies, or goldfish in the rented apartment. Cats and dogs are not considered small animals as they are not kept in cages. Whether you have to ask the landlord for permission before buying a cat depends on the agreement made in the rental agreement.

Pets allowed

You can get a cat without your landlord’s consent.

Pets are not allowed

A blanket clause in the rental agreement that prohibits keeping pets is invalid. Because this disadvantages the tenant inappropriately. If your rental agreement contains such a clause, you still cannot simply let a cat move in with you. In this case, you have to ask the landlord for permission before purchasing the cat.

Dog and cat only with the consent of the landlord

The landlord has the right to refuse permission to keep a cat. For this, however, he must give good, factual reasons and take your individual needs into account.

Note: Even if the landlord has agreed to keep cats, he may withdraw his consent afterward with a good reason.

Conclusion of the Rental Agreement: Keep the Cat Silent

Before signing a rental agreement, the landlord has the right to find out whether you already have a cat. Here you are obliged to provide truthful information. Do not hide your cat from the landlord. In this way, you prevent the latter from demanding that the cat be abolished or terminating your tenancy.


Courts repeatedly decide whether the landlord can ban the cat or not. The judgments vary widely and are often in favor of cat owners. Oftentimes, the landlord’s wish to get rid of an existing cat does not meet with approval. The individual reasons why cats are banned must be valid and verifiable. For example, a co-tenant’s severe cat hair allergy (asthma attacks and other serious health problems) reinforces the ban on a cat. Judgments are different for devices on the house wall that the tenant has installed. If the landlord is visually disturbed by an attached cat net, he can request that it be dismantled. The prerequisite for this is that he has not already allowed other tenants to use a cat net. Please do not just let a cat move into your rented apartment despite the landlord’s prohibition. With a provoked legal dispute, you not only ensure a tense tenancy. In the worst case, the fur nose has to take off again. This is neither in your interests nor in the interests of the animal.

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