No Smokers or Pets... how strict is this?

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    No Smokers or Pets... how strict is this?

    I'm looking for a new house/flat to rent and many of them say "No Smokers" and "No Pets". How strict are these policies?

    For example, can a smoker move into one of these properties but simply not smoke in the property itself, going outside each time for a cigarette?

    Also, what about small animals like fish, mice, and hamsters? Might landlords be ok with these? They're tidy, don't smell, and would be kept in their cages or tanks all the time.

    #2
    The Landlords which specify "No Pets" do this because we dont want our property left covered in dog hair or to have the banister and spindles chewed. We dont want to upset the neighbours with a dog barking at all hours and have our gardens messed up.

    If I was approached by a prospective tenant who wanted permission to keep a small caged animal or fish I wouldnt have a problem with that. Just ask and see what they say.

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      #3
      Smokers and Pets

      As a landlord - my ASTs stipulate no smokers and no pets. My reasoning is this:

      Regarding Smokers: my (modern) houses are nicely decorated and carpeted. I have a friend who smokes and the paintwork is yellow/brown and the house stinks of nicotine (such that my clothes need washing after visiting). I do not want my houses to be put in this condition. If they are, this would be a breach of the contract and I would expect to use the deposit to redecorate and professionally clean as a result.

      Regarding pets - I prefer not to risk the damage and particularly the smell and fleas (to which ALL dogs and cats are host, however careful their owners) from dogs/cats etc. I have lived next door to dog owners where the animal was allowed to defacate in the garden and this was most unpleasant for myself and other neighbours, particularly during the summer. I do not want this nuisance for the neighbours of my properties.

      I would not object to fish and would be prepared to give special permission for this - and possibly hamsters and mice - although once again, smell can be a problem.

      I realise that pet owners will probably object, but the properties are mine and I am a good landlord - so I expect the privilege of deciding on who shall be my tenants.
      Mrs Jones
      I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

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        #4
        If one of my tenants were to behave in a manner that I do not approve of, I would give the required notice and evict without giving any reason.

        I suggest that if you are a smoker and pet-keeper that you are up front with your prospective landlord and negotiate prior to signing a tenancy agreement.

        Many landlords do not want smokers and pets because they leave lingering unpleasant after effects (putting it nicely), that involve extra cost and potentially are turn-offs for incoming non-smoking, non-pet-keeping tenants (ie the majority).

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          #5
          Originally posted by wibbly View Post
          I'm looking for a new house/flat to rent and many of them say "No Smokers" and "No Pets". How strict are these policies?
          I have no idea of the smoking issue because i'm vehemently anti, i'm afraid. But I do have ideas about the pet thing.

          I have dogs and I have found finding somewhere to rent no problem at all. Currently I'm in an old house in a rural community where animals are the norm. Plus when I do work, I work from home. My animals are very rarely left to cause mischief.

          Your issue might be in the term 'new' house. do you mean 'new' as in new to you - or a brand spanking new build?

          If its the latter, then you might have more of a problem getting what you want as the landlord is likely to budge and risk damage / deterioration to his / her property that are seen as 'executive' rather than gaffs such as my wonderfully 'characterful' cottage!!!!

          LL's might feel differently with regards to small furries and fish. Although I'd strongly disagree that mice don't smell - we had a couple and they were evil: they wee constantly. If you've an aquarium it might be worth having some kind of insurance in case the worse should happen and the tank fails: LL hasn't got to worry about carpet / flooring replacement / cleaning then?

          Like others have said. Key is to ask, to explain fully - and not to fib.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for all the replies. What I meant by "new" was "new to me", not necessarily a freshly built property. I've checked around and the nicest places seem to be those who either have a problem with tenants having pets, or being smokers, or both. I am the latter; I have a hamster and I smoke.

            I understand completely if a landlord doesn't want to risk a fire, or having the walls turning a funny colour, or there being any lingering odors, so this is why I would gladly go outside to have a cigarette rather than smoke in the property. Also, if I were to have visitors who smoked, regardless of whether I did or not, I would send them outside to smoke too. Do you think landlords would have a problem with this?

            I also understand that having loose pets at the property can make the place hairy, dirty, or become damaged. My argument here is that I have an animal that will remain in it's cage unless the cage needs cleaning, in which case I have another smaller temp cage it can stay in for, at the most, an hour a time. It's true that rodents can smell, but only when poor owners don't clean their cages regularly. I clean out my hamster's cage once a week without fail, so smell certainly wouldn't be an issue.

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              #7
              When landlords state that they want non-smoking tenants, they mean exactly that.

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                #8
                It's the laws of supply and demand. If a landlord owns an attractive property, it will attract more potential tenants, thus the landlord can afford to be choosey. To minimise any form of hassle non smokers or pet owners are specified. The fewer potential tenants that are available, the less choosey a landlord has to be. As stated above, ask the agent to approach the landlord of a place you are interested and state why you can minimise this hassle from the LL's point of view. You might be lucky.

                P.P.
                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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                  #9
                  house we just left had a big non smoking clause in it: from memory it was no smoking on the property or within its boundaries: so that was the garden out too.

                  not one for the house i'm in now. I know the people who had it before us were smokers but only smoked outside. there is no smoke residue or lingering smells in here thank goodness.

                  I think most LL's might worry that if they agree to 'outside only' it all to easily becomes 'on the step' then 'just inside with the door open'. I appreciate that with an inventory youve got the chance to claw back damages and cleaning due to smoke and staining, but its far easier to say 'no'.

                  plus.... house next door to my parents is rented. they have an outside clause which they stick to: and you've got people in the garden at 2am smoking and chatting: so outside security lights click on, dogs kick off and its a general wake up call and pain in the bum for everyone.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                    When landlords state that they want non-smoking tenants, they mean exactly that.
                    Even when the tenant isn't smoking IN the property? What about if the tenant has guests every now and then who smoke. Are they not allowed to visit at all?? If the smoking tenant smokes outside of the property, it means no stained walls, no fire hazards, and a vastly reduced smell of nicotine (which can be easily combated with an anti-smoke air freshener), all of which before were points against smoking tenants that were raised in this thread.

                    Originally posted by glantisant View Post
                    I know the people who had it before us were smokers but only smoked outside. there is no smoke residue or lingering smells in here thank goodness.
                    This is precisely what I mean. Some of the places I'm looking at are 1st floor flats, so I would have to go down the stairs and outside of the building before lighting up. If I had to smoke beyond the walls of the property, say at the end of a driveway or on the pavement, so be it. I'd accept that.

                    Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
                    It's the laws of supply and demand. If a landlord owns an attractive property, it will attract more potential tenants, thus the landlord can afford to be choosey. To minimise any form of hassle non smokers or pet owners are specified. The fewer potential tenants that are available, the less choosey a landlord has to be. As stated above, ask the agent to approach the landlord of a place you are interested and state why you can minimise this hassle from the LL's point of view. You might be lucky.
                    When I spoke to the agency the other day, they said one of the places I'm interested in had been on the market for a few months now and is still available. I don't know if this means that there's something wrong with it though, but I'll soon see that for myself. Are you saying if I ask the agency to state my good intentions to the LL, not smoking in the property and having just a pet hamster, he/she might allow it?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
                      It's the laws of supply and demand. If a landlord owns an attractive property, it will attract more potential tenants, thus the landlord can afford to be choosey..
                      Conversely, if a LL comes across as an interfering, priggish pain in the neck, then they might find the tenants can also afford to be choosey.
                      Health Warning


                      I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                      All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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                        #12
                        When we put up our house for rent last summer, we stipulated no pets. A prospective tenant, without even looking at the house, signed up and paid her deposit, then we heard nothing for a few weeks. At the 11th hour she admitted to having a dog. We reluctantly agreed because it would have taken another month or so to find another tenant and we needed the income. Anyway, we stipulated further rules that the dog be kept under control, only allowed to do its business off the premises etc, and eventually found, cutting a long story short, that the dog had weed in the house constantly (luckily the floors are all ceramic tiled but it stayed in the grout and now smells), it had chewed all the radiator caps off, left hair and muck everywhere, and ruined the garden by racing round it and pooing on the lawn. The tenant did not clean the house or do any gardening either, but now thinks she is entitled to her deposit back. Oh, she also moved another dog in without asking, and would never allow us access to the property to inspect. This is why we say NO PETS, particularly dogs. Our new tenants, friends of ours, have guinea pigs which are to be kept in a hutch in the garden, and we have allowed them to do this. You will find that most landlords, while prohibiting dogs and sometimes cats, will allow for hamsters/rabbits/guinea pigs/fish as long as appropriate steps are taken to prevent damage. But I think everyone else has already said this; this is a just a warning about what can happen when landlords use their discretion about pets, it backfired on us in a big way.

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                          #13
                          Thanks for your input nonetheless. I'm glad to hear my hamster is unlikely to stop me finding a nice place

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by wibbly View Post
                            Thanks for your input nonetheless. I'm glad to hear my hamster is unlikely to stop me finding a nice place
                            Is no hamster, is rat. Man in pet shop, he say so, Senor.
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Donething View Post
                              When we put up our house for rent last summer, we stipulated no pets. A prospective tenant, without even looking at the house, signed up and paid her deposit, then we heard nothing for a few weeks. At the 11th hour she admitted to having a dog. We reluctantly agreed because it would have taken another month or so to find another tenant and we needed the income. Anyway, we stipulated further rules that the dog be kept under control, only allowed to do its business off the premises etc, and eventually found, cutting a long story short, that the dog had weed in the house constantly (luckily the floors are all ceramic tiled but it stayed in the grout and now smells), it had chewed all the radiator caps off, left hair and muck everywhere, and ruined the garden by racing round it and pooing on the lawn. The tenant did not clean the house or do any gardening either, but now thinks she is entitled to her deposit back. Oh, she also moved another dog in without asking, and would never allow us access to the property to inspect. This is why we say NO PETS, particularly dogs. Our new tenants, friends of ours, have guinea pigs which are to be kept in a hutch in the garden, and we have allowed them to do this. You will find that most landlords, while prohibiting dogs and sometimes cats, will allow for hamsters/rabbits/guinea pigs/fish as long as appropriate steps are taken to prevent damage. But I think everyone else has already said this; this is a just a warning about what can happen when landlords use their discretion about pets, it backfired on us in a big way.
                              That is truly annoying... both for LLs who have to endure such nonsense, and responsible pet owners who are renters.

                              We found it a little bit tough finding a nice place here in Cheltenham that accepted dogs. We did eventually find a recently constructed townhouse (isn't that just a fancy word for terrace?) that had no problems after having been introduced to said mutt.

                              So it is possible.... but it was a help that several houses in the vicinity were up for rent I reckon.
                              Now signature free.

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