Renting with Pets in Malaysia: What Tenants Need to Know

by | i-Stories, Rental Trend

Malaysia is witnessing a growing trend of pet ownership among renters, which presents unique complexities and joys for tenants renting with pets. Often regarded as cherished family members, pets bring immeasurable happiness into our homes.

This article aims to navigate through the details of renting properties as a pet owner in Malaysia, exploring both the challenges and the rewarding experiences that come with it.

The Benefits of Renting with Pets

Pets bring joy and companionship while significantly improving the owner’s quality of life, making the challenges of renting with pets worthwhile. The benefits of having pets include:

  • Alleviate loneliness
  • Enhance well-being
  • Promote a healthier lifestyle
  • Transform a rental unit into a homely space.

Legal Framework for Renting with Pets in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the legal landscape governing renting with pets is defined by specific regulations that tenants must navigate.

The Strata Management Act (SMA) 2013, for example, allows pets in high-rise buildings, though this is subject to the rules set by the building’s management and the regulations of local authorities.

These local regulations can vary significantly, influencing what types and breeds of pets are permissible in different regions. It’s also worth noting that tenants in landed properties typically enjoy greater freedom regarding pet ownership compared to those in high-rise or stratified properties.

Here are some examples of the rules specifically for dogs:

Local CouncilRules and Regulations
Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ)Dogs are permitted on the premises. If a dog causes a disturbance to neighbours and a complaint is lodged, the Joint Management Body (JMB) and Management Corporation (MC) can intervene. The JMB/MC has the authority to establish a “house rule” regarding this issue.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ)Dogs are only permitted on the ground floor of multi-storey buildings.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)If the JMB and MC permit dogs in multi-storey buildings, only the following small dog breeds are allowed: Miniature PinscherBichon FrisePekingesePapillonPoodle (Toy)Japanese ChinMaltesePomeranianChihuahua

There are no common, public legal rules about other small pets like cats and birds. Hence, tenants and property owners should always reconfirm this issue with local authorities.

The Role of Condo Management & Landlords

The decisions of condominium management and landlords are critical in determining whether pets are allowed in rental units. The management’s policies can sometimes override local council permissions, creating a complex situation for tenants.

Moreover, landlords‘ openness to pets, influenced by concerns like property damage or suitability of the unit for pets, is a significant factor for tenants wanting to live with their furry companions.

Read More: 6 Benefits Of Choosing A Furnished Rental in Malaysia

Potential Conflicting Policies when Renting with Pets

Imagine a situation where you’ve made sure that your local council permits pets. But you also discovered the building management doesn’t allow it. Here’s what you can do.

If building management doesn’t allow pets despite local council approval, you can contest by submitting an online application to the Strata Management Tribunal (SMT).

However, keep in mind that, as a renter, your ability to lodge complaints is limited, so it’s advisable to ask your landlord to file a complaint on your behalf.

Alternatively, you can avoid this trouble by choosing a rental unit that explicitly allows pets when you first start your home search.

Choosing The Right Property to Rent with Pets

So, selecting a pet-friendly rental property involves careful consideration of the property type, location, and specific pet policies. Here are some tips for choosing the right property:

1. Property Type and Space Considerations

Landed properties usually offer more space and freedom, ideal for pets needing outdoor access. Active pets also need more space to develop in a healthy manner. You should assess the property’s size and layout to ensure it meets your pet’s needs.

2. Location and Environment

You can consider properties near parks or walking paths that are beneficial for pets requiring outdoor activities. Other than that, you should evaluate the neighbourhood’s pet-friendliness, including community attitudes and facilities.

3. Understanding Pet Policies

It is important to thoroughly review the landlord’s pet policies covering size, breed, or number restrictions. You should make sure these policies are aligned with your pet’s requirements to avoid future conflicts.

Responsibilities as a Pet-Owning Tenant

Maintaining the rental property and being considerate of neighbours are key responsibilities for pet-owning tenants. This includes:

1. Property Maintenance and Cleanliness

You should regularly clean the property to manage pet hair and odours, maintaining the rental’s condition. It’s also important to address any pet-related damages promptly to avoid disputes with the landlord.

2. Neighbour Consideration

It’s a common courtesy to ensure your pet’s behaviour doesn’t disturb neighbours, including noise and leash compliance. You should always respect communal spaces and follow community rules regarding pets.

3. Resolving Neighbour Disputes

If a neighbour’s complaint does happen, you should learn how to address it amicably and show a willingness to find solutions. If push comes to shove, you can consider mediation when direct communication doesn’t resolve the issues.

4. Financial Responsibilities

When scouting for a home, remember to discuss potential pet deposits with the landlords and understand their financial implications. You should also be prepared for additional costs related to pet-induced wear and tear.

5. Handling Legal Challenges

Last but not least, be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities as a pet-owning tenant. It’s advisable to seek legal advice or support from tenant advocacy groups if you face eviction due to pet ownership.

Read More: Smart City Evolution: The Future of Urban Living

Find the Perfect Pet-Friendly Property with Rumah-i

In conclusion, renting with pets in Malaysia requires thoughtful consideration, a sense of responsibility, and effective communication.

As the landscape of pet-friendly rentals continues to evolve in Malaysia, it is the mutual respect and understanding between tenants, landlords, and neighbours that will pave the way for more inclusive, pet-friendly living spaces.

If you’re looking to find a new home for you and your furry friends, you can start with Rumah-i’s app on Google Play or App Store for free.


- Entitle ONE time rental collection service for free

- Rental collection service for free is limited to FIRST 1,000 properties which engage the service and is for pre-launch registered owners only.

- Tenancy agreement must be prepared by Rumah-i.