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Keeping animals in the rented apartment: what is allowed and what is forbidden

The animal has to go: a "yes" can be withdrawn

In the event that the landlord said “yes” to a particular pet, he can still withdraw his consent. But for such an outspoken animal husbandry ban, he has to give good reasons. If the reason is sufficient, the landlord can request the removal of the animal. "If this does not happen, he can even give notice to the tenant," warns Fouquet.

How quickly the animal has to get out of the apartment depends, according to Fouquet, on the situation: “The landlord should give the tenant a period of two weeks, which cannot be done overnight. But if an animal is dangerous for other residents, then it may have to be removed immediately. "

Hospitality also applies to animals

Even if the desired pet is not allowed to move in, there is a small ray of hope for tenants. According to Fouquet, the landlord cannot forbid him to be visited by people with animal attachments in the apartment.

The animal guests have to respect etiquette: They should behave in such a way that they do not bother anyone and do not stay too often or too long. The question of where a visit begins and where it ends is difficult to answer, says Fouquet: “A visit that lasts longer than six weeks can no longer be a visit. But it cannot be delineated in general terms. "

Keeping animals in the rented apartment: In case of doubt, the individual case decides

Dog keeping prohibited: Clauses in rental contracts that generally prohibit keeping dogs are ineffective after a BGH decision (Az .: VIII ZR 168/12). A clause would be effective that makes keeping dogs dependent on the consent of the landlord.

Enough space for two: The keeping of two Labrador Retriever dogs in a 50 square meter apartment is in accordance with the contract (AG Reinbek 11 C 15/14, WuM 2014, 480).

Any number of small animals: A tenant is allowed to keep more than two pet birds in your apartment. According to a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia, this keeping of small animals is part of normal residential use. (Ref .: 10 A 985/14). However, this could find its limits if too many animals lead to an impairment of the rental property or of roommates.

Big dog, small apartment: If it is allowed to keep dogs, landlords cannot retrospectively prohibit keeping them in a species-appropriate way in the apartment (BGH, Az .: VIII ZR 329/11).

Hedgehogs are not small animals: Small animals such as ornamental fish, canaries or hamsters can always be kept by the tenant without a permit. Hedgehogs are not small animals, but wild animals and are not allowed to spend the winter in the apartment without permission (AG Berlin-Spandau, Az .: 12 C 133/14).

Mini dogs are to be treated like small animals: Tenants may keep a Yorkshire terrier the size of a guinea pig in the rented apartment without the consent of the landlord (LG Kassel 1 S 503/96).

FAQ: Animal husbandry - what is allowed, what is forbidden?

Pets in apartments: Can the landlord prohibit dogs, cats & Co.?

A clause in the rental agreement that generally prohibits keeping dogs and cats is ineffective. Only clauses are effective that make the attitude dependent on the consent of the landlord after a weighing of interests.

Can the landlord revoke the permission to keep pets in the rented apartment?

Under certain conditions, a landlord can revoke a given permit, for example if a dog turns out to be vicious.

Can the landlord terminate the tenant for keeping pets?

Unauthorized keeping of animals in violation of the contract can constitute a serious breach of contract, which can also result in termination (without notice).

If allowed - how many pets can you keep in the apartment as a tenant?

There are no exact regulations as to how many pets a tenant may have. However, the limit is always reached when the keeping of animals leads to impairment of the rental property or of the roommates.

What can the tenant do if the landlord prohibits pets?

According to recent BGH rulings, a landlord cannot simply ban the keeping of animals - including cats and dogs - across the board. There must always be a weighing up of whose interests carry more weight. If no disadvantages are to be expected if a tenant gets a cat, the landlord can hardly forbid that.

Which animals cannot the landlord prohibit?

The landlord may never forbid keeping small animals. A rental contract clause with a general ban on keeping animals is therefore ineffective.

Small pets for the apartment: what species can you keep in an apartment?

The usual small animals such as hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and the like are problem-free. However, the consent of the landlord may be required for dangerous smaller animals such as poisonous spiders.

When can the landlord prohibit a dog?

Whether or not a dog can be kept is a matter of weighing up mutual interests. If the dog poses a danger, if roommates are frightened or if the dog damages things in the residential complex, a ban can certainly also come into consideration - even afterwards.

What are pets?

Pets are usually those animals that can be bought at a pet store. No pets are usually wild and farm animals.