Getting ready to adopt a four-legged friend? At MOVU, we’re animal fans, but beyond the cuteness of a baby cat or dog, an animal is above all, a lot of responsibility. That’s why we wanted to remind you of a few essential rules before adopting an animal.

Cute cat on his back

First of all, can you have a pet in your home?

You do not need permission for small pets, such as rabbits, goldfish, hamsters or guinea pigs. However, if you have just found a kitten and want to take it into your home, can you really do so? What happens if your landlord refuses to let you have a pet in your home?

If you are a landlord, you can do what you like in your own home, but if you are renting a flat, you must respect the obligations written in your rental agreement.

“It is permitted what is not prohibited: In other words, if your tenancy agreement does not state that you are not allowed to have a cat or dog, you can adopt your pet. Your landlord cannot prohibit it afterwards without good reason.

However, if your tenancy agreement states that you are not allowed to have a pet, you will have to comply with this condition or discuss it with your landlord to obtain permission. Generally, this applies to dogs and cats.

There must be equality of treatment between tenants: If you know that a tenant in your building has a cat or dog, you cannot be refused a pet.

Having a cat as a tenant

Often for indoor cats that do not go outside, you can get permission. For cats that go outside, it is understandable that landlords may be reluctant to install a ladder on the building or a cat flap.

Having a dog as a tenant

Having a dog in a flat, even if your contract allows it, can be complicated. Before adopting a dog, you should consider the animal’s needs. You live in a studio and want to adopt a Husky. Is this the best breed of dog for you? And won’t the dog damage the flat or be too noisy for the neighbours?

If so, your landlord may revoke your permission to have a pet in your flat. In the worst case, if the environment is completely unsuitable for the animal, it could be seized.

Bear in mind that you will also have to take theory and pratical courses to properly train your pet and register it with the local authority.

Having a pet that can be “scary”

Not a big fan of kittens? Are you more into snakes and spiders? Always ask your landlord if you can keep such animals in your home. Neighbours may be frightened by the idea of a snake living next door. Your landlord may have to ask for the agreement of all the residents of the building, even if the animal is neither dangerous nor venomous, as it can be a source of anxiety and even phobia for some people.

In addition, for some animals, you may need a permit. Make sure you have all the information you need before you get involved with a snake.

Asking the tenant to part with their pet

If the tenant does not comply with the lease agreement, the landlord or management can ask the tenant to “part with the animal” or to leave the premises.

It is quite surprising to know that landlords can ask a tenant to give up an animal when we know how many animals are abandoned each year in Switzerland.

As a reminder:

  • 25 animals per day are abandoned in Switzerland
  • More than half of the animals in shelters have been abandoned. The others have been found or seized.
  • Approximately 18,000 animals are taken in each year by the SAP – Swiss Animal Protection.

It is quite incredible that this solution is being offered at a time when animal protection has never been so important. If you are a landlord or part of the housing authority, the rules concerning animals should be explicitly reminded before signing the contract and if an animal lives in the accommodation despite the ban, an alternative to abandonment should be proposed.

As for tenants, they should think twice before getting an animal. Especially since it is rare these days to stay in the same home for several years, what will you do with your dog or cat if you have to move? Can you take it with you to your new home?

Are you moving?

We are happy to move aquariums, terrariums, cages and cat trees. However, we ask you to transport your pet yourself. Yes, we sometimes have a few special requests…