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Old 17.11.2011, 20:39
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Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Hi All,

I have looked through the forum and have done some searches, but to no avail.

I am hoping someone can please tell me if a contract for renting an apartment must state that one can have pets or one cannot have pets. It might be a bit of a confusing question, so here is the situation:

1. I saw an apartment and the person currently living there has two cats. I asked, "Oh great! Pets! So animals are allowed in this building?"

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I am not really sure, but I have two cats!" The ad (Homegate.ch) through which I found the apartment did not mention anything about pets being allowed or forbidden.

2. I applied for the apartment, and under "Pets" very clearly put (in German) that I would like to buy a dog when I move. I received a call from the rental agency two days ago to ask a question about when I could move in and whether I owned a car.

3. My application was approved and today I received the contract from the rental agency in the mail (yay!). It does not state that pets are allowed nor does it state that pets are not allowed.

Thus, my question above and the dilemma below:

A. Do I call and confirm that pets are allowed (which might result in the answer being a clear "Nein."); or,

B. Do I just move in and get a dog and if there is a complaint explain that in my application I stated I would be purchasing a dog?

At the moment, from having met the current tenant and being explicit in my application about getting a dog, my gut feeling is that there is not a firm rule for the building and that as long as the pets are quiet and not making a ruckus, no one is really concerned.

Thanks for any feedback anyone can provide. It is a great apartment in a great location for a great price, so I would hate to not be able to accept the contract offer if I cannot get a pet.

I think it is time to join the "Mieterverband!"

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Old 17.11.2011, 20:50
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

If you ask and they say no, you can't get the dog.

If you don't ask, and they later say no, you either have to move or get rid of the dog.

If they say yes, problem solved.

No brainer, I think!
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Old 17.11.2011, 21:14
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

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Hi All,

I have looked through the forum and have done some searches, but to no avail.

I am hoping someone can please tell me if a contract for renting an apartment must state that one can have pets or one cannot have pets. It might be a bit of a confusing question, so here is the situation:

1. I saw an apartment and the person currently living there has two cats. I asked, "Oh great! Pets! So animals are allowed in this building?"

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I am not really sure, but I have two cats!" The ad (Homegate.ch) through which I found the apartment did not mention anything about pets being allowed or forbidden.

2. I applied for the apartment, and under "Pets" very clearly put (in German) that I would like to buy a dog when I move. I received a call from the rental agency two days ago to ask a question about when I could move in and whether I owned a car.

3. My application was approved and today I received the contract from the rental agency in the mail (yay!). It does not state that pets are allowed nor does it state that pets are not allowed.

Thus, my question above and the dilemma below:

A. Do I call and confirm that pets are allowed (which might result in the answer being a clear "Nein."); or,

B. Do I just move in and get a dog and if there is a complaint explain that in my application I stated I would be purchasing a dog?

At the moment, from having met the current tenant and being explicit in my application about getting a dog, my gut feeling is that there is not a firm rule for the building and that as long as the pets are quiet and not making a ruckus, no one is really concerned.

Thanks for any feedback anyone can provide. It is a great apartment in a great location for a great price, so I would hate to not be able to accept the contract offer if I cannot get a pet.

I think it is time to join the "Mieterverband!"

Hotspur
There are many different contracts around but many have a clause about pets in the 6 pages of terms and conditions. Usually it reads that the keeping of pets is not allowed without permission.

What you want is permission to have the dog now. This should be added to the front of the contract, and they may make it very specific, for example, it will say the type of pet and how many.

Now comes the fun part. There is a supplementary agreement for the keeping of pets and you will also need to provide proof of insurance. Pets owners need additional insurance. The challenge is that you do not have the dog yet.

If you have your heart set on getting a dog, do not leave this up in the air. The current tenant's situation is irrelevant. She has cats, perhaps she never asked permission. Cats are not dogs. Landlords can, and do, make a big distinction.

Before you sign, you should really take a good look at the apartment to see if it is really suited to a dog. There have been many posts about neighbours in apartment buildings blaming dog owners for everything that might be wrong, even if not caused by a dog.

Consider if the apartment is really dog friendly. Does it have a garden? Can you fence it?

You will save yourself a lot of grief down the road by taking a very long hard look at the situation. Definitely do not leave the dog situation open. They have ignored it and I would certainly be suspicious. It is not a small issue.

Pets and musical instruments can become a very big problem for apartment dwellers.
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Old 17.11.2011, 21:49
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

I agree with Mrs. Doolittle. Landlords can and often do make distinctions between allowing cats and dogs in apartment blocks. If I were you I'd get a definite answer one way or another, even if it means giving up the apartment.

Don't forget also that if you have a dog you may need to do a course to prove you know how to look after it properly, especially if you're planning to adopt a rescue dog. They may well want to know that you will be able to take the dog out for walks during the day so how near is this apartment to your workplace? Do some research on what the law now requires of dog owners in Switzerland before making a final commitment to rent.
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Old 17.11.2011, 23:17
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Thanks Corbets, Mrs. Doolittle, and Medea Fleecestealer for your replies and input.

I will give the agency a call in the morning and see what they have to say. Hopefully it will be good news!

Cheers!

Hotspur
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Old 18.11.2011, 00:11
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Another reason to get this nailed down:

Most breeders and rescues will require proof that you are allowed to have a dog in your flat. You'll need either a copy of the contract explicitly allowing dogs, or a letter from the landlord stating so - without this, you will not be allowed to buy/adopt a dog from them.

(And any breeder or rescue who doesn't check on this doesn't have the welfare of the animal as first priority - walk away!)

So please - find out what is allowed before you go further.



BTW, the course Medea is referring to is the SKN:

First time owners are required to take the theory course BEFORE acquiring a dog, all owners regardless of experience must that the practical course within 12 months of acquiring the dog. This is mandatory under the TSchV.

You can read all about it here, including a searchable database for trainers certified to offer the course. Especially read the FAQs (Haufige Fragen...):
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/index.html?lang=de


Good luck with the flat - and hopefully you'll be sharing it soon with your four-footed friend.
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Old 18.11.2011, 08:50
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Meloncollie,

Thank you so much for this information. It is extremely helpful!

So far all signs are pointing towards getting it in writing in the contract that I can have a pet! I will be contacting the agency today to clarify the matter, and fingers crossed for a positive response!

Have a good weekend!

Hotspur
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Old 18.11.2011, 09:39
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Good luck! Maybe you can get a letter in writing that you can keep a dog up to for instance 15 Kg weight.
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Old 18.11.2011, 10:04
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

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Thanks Corbets, Mrs. Doolittle, and Medea Fleecestealer for your replies and input.

I will give the agency a call in the morning and see what they have to say. Hopefully it will be good news!

Cheers!

Hotspur
Try to word it as such that you've indicated on the application that you wanted to get a dog when you move in and if they would be so kind as to clarify if a separate contract is needed for a dog? Kinda gives them lesser room to manouver out of changing their minds versus asking out right "is a dog allowed"

I had a similar problem - answered the ad on homegate with no indication that "pets are allowed". I called the agent and clarified. He said yes, we viewed, we applied but when we received the contract, it said on the contract that special permission must be sought. I thought I was well buggered and about to lose the apartment but all it took was a special contract for my dog.

Congrats on the apartment! Meanwhile get ready to do the mandatory theory test and commence the search for your new furry friend!
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Old 18.11.2011, 10:16
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Legally, if your contract doesn't state anything to the contrary, pets are allowed. In fact, it is disputed whether a rental contract can legally forbid any and all pets. What is clear, though, is that if a pet is causing a lot of problems (e.g. noise) or damage to the apartment, the landlord can give you a written warning and then tell you to get rid of it if nothing has improved.

I think that you have gotten a lot of good advice and it is best to clear it up now. The Mieterverband provides a "pet agreement", which you may want to take a look at: http://www.mieterverband.ch/fileadmi...tiere_iemt.pdf

They also have a summary sheet on pets in apartments:http://www.mieterverband.ch/fileadmi...ierhaltung.pdf These documents are in German. If you are interested and don't speak German, I, or others on the forum, can translate the main points.

Good luck! Sounds like it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
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Old 18.11.2011, 21:16
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Ziger, Summerrain, et. al.,

Thanks for the feedback and advice!

Well, to come full circle, the apartment rental agency gave a resound "Nein" to my request for a dog. They say that only cats are allowed!

So, I am deciding what to do, and leaning towards not taking the flat. Having a dog is really, really important to me.

Bummer! So close!

Hotspur
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Old 18.11.2011, 21:21
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

My elderly neighbour is moving to a flat in a couple of weeks as she can't cope anymore. She's had to re-home her dog and her poorly husband is broken hearted. So so sad- at least you know now. Some people decide to just 'try' and then have to give up their dog- which is one of the many reasons refuges are full to the brim.

There are apartments where dogs are welcome and which are as suitable as can be- and you will find one one day. I congratulate you for not taking the risk of making yet another homeless. Respect and 'bonne chance'.

Last edited by Odile; 18.11.2011 at 22:08.
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Old 18.11.2011, 21:36
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

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Ziger, Summerrain, et. al.,

Thanks for the feedback and advice!

Well, to come full circle, the apartment rental agency gave a resound "Nein" to my request for a dog. They say that only cats are allowed!

So, I am deciding what to do, and leaning towards not taking the flat. Having a dog is really, really important to me.

Bummer! So close!

Hotspur
Clearly the agency does not read an application or as I said, they just ignored your request hoping it would go away. I wouldn't take the apartment. We have missed housing opportunities because of our pets but that is the way it is. I do know that I have never regretted owning pets. It may take a bit of time and patience, and you will likely have to compromise (less than ideal location, for example) but I am certain that having a canine companion will more than make up for some things you may miss out on.

Just to give you an example, when we first moved back home here from Asia, we needed a house to rent. We found one, the owner said yes in a heartbeat to us. The house was old, old windows and poorly insulated. The bedroom was freezing. But add three dogs and the room warmed up quite quickly. The location was great, very central yet fantastic for dog walking.
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Old 18.11.2011, 22:03
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

In our recent apartment search, we were passed up in favor of other potential tenants because we had a dog (although dogs were allowed, when push comes to shove, dog free tenants ware probably preferable to some landlords). Continuing to look was actually a good thing, because in the end, the apartment we found was the best in terms of space and commute, and is the best for our dog.

So anyway, good luck! And it's really wonderful to have a dog (or dogs).

e.
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Old 18.11.2011, 22:09
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Totally agree Mrs Doolittle - I'd much rather have an older flat or house with space suitable for a dog - much more important than a posh kitchen or a jakuzzi


Sadly, it is the behaviour of SOME dog owners which has resulted in many landlords/agencies refusing them. Those who leave dogs alone all day to bark incessantly, and those who do not walk their dog properly and just let them out to do their 'business' on the common green areas around the buildings.
Mind you I met someone the other day who seemed to have found a solution - he drove into the motorway rest area at full speed around 5.15 (end of work) and opened the door. Dog run out onto childrens' play area - peed and pooed in several places around the play equipment whilst owner had a fag - then back into the car for home. Every time some dog owners behave like that - it is the dogs that suffer in the end- what a shame.

Last edited by Odile; 18.11.2011 at 22:34.
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Old 18.11.2011, 22:23
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

Definitely did the right thing by checking. We did the same when we were looking for a place to rent; it was always one of the main questions we asked because we were bringing our cat over from the UK. It was worth it because, although she gave me an earful of complaints about what had happened to her during the past week on the way back from Geneva airport, she soon came to love her new home and had many happy years here in Switzerland.

Have patience. You'll find the place where you and a dog can live happily without worrying about being evicted for breaking the rules.
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Old 19.11.2011, 12:20
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

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Ziger, Summerrain, et. al.,

Thanks for the feedback and advice!

Well, to come full circle, the apartment rental agency gave a resound "Nein" to my request for a dog. They say that only cats are allowed!

So, I am deciding what to do, and leaning towards not taking the flat. Having a dog is really, really important to me.

Bummer! So close!

Hotspur
BOOO!!!!! That sucks! I am sorry but kudos on you for giving up the flat for a dog you havent even met

If it helps, next time when you call for a viewing, ask outright if dogs are allowed. I usually do - saves me the hassle of wasting my time to even view the flat. You will usually get the following responses:

a. yes
b. no!
c. er, how big is the dog?

Landlords seem more open to smaller dogs and even to re-consider their "no" if you take the time to explain your living situation - for example: if someone will be home with the dog majority of the time, if you work from home etc etc.

I've lost count the number of times I've lost a great flat because of the dog but I got more rejections because of my piano and not the dog. Keep looking, and I am sure you'll find a home soon.
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Old 20.11.2011, 10:19
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

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Clearly the agency does not read an application or as I said, they just ignored your request hoping it would go away.
Thanks Mrs. Doolittle and everyone for your replies. What was interesting when we called the agency and explained that we had listed on the application that we wanted a dog they said, "We did not see that on your application." They then pulled the application out and saw our note and said, "Oh, our applications are machine-read and the machine 'read' that you currently do not have a dog. Oh well, our apologies, but do you want the apartment or not?"

I find it interesting that applications are machine-read! Anyhow, lessons learned: Some applications are machine-read and call first to see if dogs are allowed before spending time filling in a 3 page application!

Have a good Sunday everyone!

Hotspur
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Old 20.11.2011, 18:12
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Re: Apartment Rental Contract - Must Explicitly State "No Pets"?

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They then pulled the application out and saw our note and said, "Oh, our applications are machine-read and the machine 'read' that you currently do not have a dog.

I work with many agencies, some of the biggest, and I have never heard of this but I suppose there is a first for everthing.
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