What's the Yorkshire thing anyway

Tenancy law: These animals are allowed in the apartment

February 17, 2020 - 4:03 p.m.

Why a Yorkshire Terrier isn't a dog at all

A little place for the cute kitten has already been found. But as soon as the pet is accepted as a new member of the family, it should be gone again: The landlord is against it, prohibits keeping it in the rented apartment. But is he even allowed to do that?

The keeping of animals of any kind in the rented apartment is not regulated by law. Basically, the following applies: The apartment may only be used in accordance with the contract. Bad cards for pig or horse lovers. Because an apartment is not an animal pen.

But can the landlord simply prohibit the keeping of small animals or pets? If the rental contract does not regulate the keeping of animals, the tenant does not have to ask the landlord beforehand if he wants to get a dog or a cat. Problems can only arise afterwards. If the dog keeps dirtying the hallway and barking loudly in the apartment, then it could be a nuisance to the neighbors. If this is the case, the landlord can even retrospectively request that the animal be removed from the apartment.

In many rental contracts there is a reservation of the landlord's permission. This means: The tenant must first ask the landlord for permission whether he can keep an animal. But this only applies to larger animals. If you want to keep small animals that can be kept in cages, aquariums or terrariums, you do not need the consent of the landlord. Because they can neither damage the rented apartment nor annoy the neighbors with smells or noises. According to case law, iguanas or magpies kept in cages are to be classified as small animals. However, according to the courts, Yorkshire terriers should also be treated like small livestock - and not like dogs. Reason: They do not cause any nuisance to other residents.

In the case of pets, the landlord should be informed

But of all things with pets such as dogs and cats, the landlord can decide whether they are allowed into the apartment. In a landmark judgment (Az. VIII ZR 340/06) the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided that the keeping of pets must not be excluded in principle in the rental contracts. However, a reservation of permission is valid in the rental agreement.

But that doesn't mean that the landlord can decide on a whim whether the tenant can bring a cat into the apartment - or not. In order to be able to determine whether keeping a pet is part of the contractual use of the apartment, a comprehensive weighing of the interests of the landlord, tenant and neighbors is required according to the BGH.

If all house residents agree to keeping pets, then the landlord actually has no reason to refuse. The other way around, however, does not mean that the keeping of animals can be prohibited just because the neighbors are disgusted with it. Tenants are allowed to keep rats or even snakes in their apartment. The decisive factor is, above all, whether objective dangers or impairments to others can justify a ban. The Brückeburg District Court ruled that a non-poisonous king snake is not expected to cause any odor or noise pollution, so that it can be kept in the apartment. However, exotic animals such as monkeys, poisonous or dangerous animals are not pets. If the landlord prohibits keeping the apartment in the apartment, the tenant must accept it. If he does not adhere to it, he is even threatened with termination without notice.

If you want to get a pet as a tenant, you should discuss it with your neighbors beforehand. If they have no objection to an attitude, then the landlord should have little reason to object. So there is a lot of hope for the little kitten.