Keeping Pets in an Apartment
Some Guidelines for Malaysia
Keeping Pets in Apartments
We are often asked about keeping pets in apartments. In Malaysia there is no definitive answer but hope these guidelines below help to explain the situation.
Although keeping pets (especially dogs) in apartments is not something we encourage, the points below may help you make a decision if you really want to do this.
(a) If you live in a rented property now and want to get a pet or
(b) If you plan to live in a rented property and already have a pet
First check with the landlord to see if he/she will allow pets in the apartment.
Before (a) or (b), double-check your leasing agreement to determine if there is a “no pets” clause. If your landlord does allow pets, make sure you acquire a written agreement from him/her. The landlord may have a condition in the lease that allows termination if problems with the pet affect the neighbours or cause damage to the property’s interior.
If the landlord is agreeable or you own or plan to own the property, enquire about the apartment/condo rules with the management.
Before buying or renting, it’s imperative you ask the management about pets – ask for a copy of the “House Rules”. These rules differ from property to property:
- only allow small size pets
- only allow one pet
- no pets allowed
- pets allowed unless neighbours complain.
Strata Management Regulations
In Malaysia there is a provision in the ‘Third Schedule of the Strata Management (Maintenance & Management) Regulations 2015′ on keeping pets in apartments. The By-Law Section 14 states:
14. Keeping of animals
a) In a building used for residential or dwelling purposes, a proprietor shall not keep any particular animals in his parcel or on the common property thereof that may cause annoyance or nuisance to the other proprietors or which may be dangerous to the safety or health of the other proprietors or which contravenes any written law or rules and regulations of the State or the local authority.
b) A proprietor who is in breach of sub-paragraph 14(1) of these by-laws, shall within three days upon the receipt of a written notice from the management corporation remove the particular animals from the building. If he fails to do so, the management corporation may take whatever action deemed necessary to remove the particular animals from the building and –
1) all costs incurred shall be charged to and imposed on the proprietor, and
2) the management corporation shall not be liable for any damage reasonably caused to the property of the proprietors in the process of removing such animals.
State or City Council regulations or by-laws may supersede this Federal law.
Pets Suitable for Apartments
If you plan on getting a pet in an apartment, here are some options you can consider:
The cat must stay in the apartment at all times and not be allowed to roam in public areas. Keep the litter box clean. If the cat is allowed on the balcony, make sure it is kept clean and doesn’t have a smell that would upset neighbours. Use fine-mesh grills for windows and balconies so the cat cannot jump out of the property.
Having fish can have a calming effect and they are low maintenance.
Gerbils and hamsters enjoy staying in cages and do not take up a lot of space. Since their cages have running wheels in them, there is no need to take them out for exercise.
You will need to train them to use an area of a bathroom/balcony and/or take them outside of the apartment/condo compound for exercise regularly. Keep the bathroom the dog uses and balcony areas clean so that smells do not affect your neighbours. When taking the dog out, carry them or place them in a carrier to get to your car or outside the compound and take extra care if using an elevator.
Medium and large size dogs are really not suitable for an apartment. Also aggressive dogs will not sit well with your fellow tenants. Dogs that bark a lot will irritate your neighbours and will probably cause you to get an official warning from the management.
All dogs over the age of three months must be licensed with the local council. In Penang it is not possible to get a license for a dog if the owner resides in an apartment – this applies to both MBPP and MBSP.
Keep the apartment/condo areas clean
Accidents happen – if your dog messes in the public areas of your property, clean it up immediately.