Living in a rental apartment with pets?

Aug 26, 2021

Living in a rental apartment with pets?


Dogs, cats, birds, fish ... There are many and varied pets that you can share your day with, but what happens to them when you decide to rent?

Whether you live in Malta with your favourite pet, if you are thinking of adopting one or you want to bring your friend from your home country with you, there are certain points that you must take into account if you want to rent a pet-friendly apartment.


The law


An animal can be much like a member of the family, but when it comes to renting, another opinion must be taken into account: that of the owner.

if the contract does not include an express prohibition, the tenant will not have any legal impediment to be able to live in the house with pets.

Can the owner of a rental apartment not allow animals in his property? According to the Maltese law, the landlord can prohibit the ownership of animals in his rented home.

Thus, if you are a tenant and you are thinking about having a pet, you should tell the landlord. Putting an animal in the rental apartment without permission is reason enough to terminate the contract.

However, there are some things that you can do to negotiate with the landlord about pet ownership at the apartment.

In those cases in which it is prohibited, based on this rule it is possible to establish clauses aimed at regulating the possession of the pet, for example, limiting the type of animals or allowing the owner to visit the house to make sure that it is not damaged have been produced and the agreement has been fulfilled.

On the other hand, if the contract does not include an express prohibition, the tenant will not have any legal impediment to be able to live in the house with pets.


Service animals


Service animals are animals that have been trained to do things to help people with disabilities both by performing tasks and providing emotional support.

An animal fitting this description is considered a service animal and should be excluded from any no pet policy clause.

Size does matter


Both the size of the animal and the size of the rental flat ... you have to use common sense because even if the owner has no problems, it is not correct to put an animal that needs a lot of space in a small apartment. It would not be good for either the pet or the tenant.

Tenant-landlord communication


Communication between landlord and tenant is essential. If you already live in a rental apartment and consider having a pet, you should speak calmly; the safest thing is that there is no problem. If you are looking for a rental apartment and you have an animal to share a house with, you have to make it clear from the beginning. In the event of any inconvenience, the best thing is to show that the pet is harmless and well educated.




If you are a landlord of a property, from the outset, you should banish the idea that an animal will destroy the house or furniture. If the animal is well behaved, it can be a perfect tenant.


The agreement

Many landlords decide to prohibit the entry of pets into their homes for reasons of hygiene, cleanliness and coexistence in the community.

Likewise, many owners are flexible in negotiating a deal. Keep in mind that if the landlord does not want to accept pets for some of the reasons mentioned above, you will have to offer them guarantees that ensure good conditions for the home and for the rest of the neighbours:

  • Pet insurance: Whether it is a Chihuahua or a large mastiff, there is nothing that can guarantee a pet’s behaviour, "accidents happen" and no landlord wants to find unpleasant surprises on their property. Even if your pet is well trained, lives in a cage or has exemplary behaviour, the best thing you can do is offer a guarantee to the landlord for all those accidents that nobody expects. Many insurance companies in Malta offer pet insurance that, aside from covering your pet against vet expenses and accidents also will cover your legal liability for property damage. This is one of the best ways of guaranteeing your landlord 

  • Offer an extra deposit: Almost all flats require a deposit when renting a home, it is the easiest way to assure the landlord that any damage will be covered economically. For this same reason, offering an extra deposit to cover any unforeseen event caused by the pet can be seen as the simplest solution for the homeowner.

  • Negotiate the no-pets clause: Some landlords are willing to negotiate pet ownership at their apartments if they can have some guarantees that the pets won’t cause any damage or disturbance. Aside from insurance or an extra deposit, it is common to add a clause that includes owners’ responsibility and liability regarding the pet.


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