Can You Keep Chickens on a Rental Property?

The answer depends on the type of rental property agreement you signed with your landlord. While some property owners allow tenants to keep animals on their premises, others have strict measures that prevent tenants from keeping such animals.

There are also legal loopholes that tenants can use to keep small animals such as rabbits and chickens. The legal loophole will grant tenants full permission to raise their chickens on the rental property without the interference of the property owner or a housing association.

What is the “No Pets Policy”?

The no pet policy prevents tenants from keeping animals on a rented property. Both property managers and landlords have reasons why they come up with a no pets policy. This particular policy protects the rental property, keeps tenants safe and comfortable, and comply with insurance.

So, some property owners can decide to come up with “no pets allowed” not only to protect their property but also to ensure that other tenants are safe. The policy further restrains tenants who may decide to sneak unauthorized pets into the rental premises.

The unauthorized pets can be discovered by the property management during the inspection, at the time of repair on the property by maintenance, or by other neighboring tenants who may have been inconvenienced by the presence of pets around them.

When such cases occur, the landlords and property managers can consider the legal situation in a professional manner. Lease terms and conditions can also come into play just in case you as the tenant violets the lease agreement.

More often, the lease agreement clearly states the pet policy for a given rental property. It goes as far as outlining the cause of action that will be taken should you bring an authorized pet or chickens to the rental property.

So, before you move into any property, read and understand the lease agreement, particularly the clause discussing pets and animals such as chickens.

Can You Build a Chicken Coop on Rental Property?

Yes, you may build a chicken coop on a rental property if the terms and conditions in the lease agreement allow you. But that alone is not enough. Before you even break ground on the coop construction, you must do some research. This is attributed to the fact that livestock ordinances differ from one state to another or from one town to another.

As such, you will have to check with your local by-laws and policies to find out if you can construct your chicken coop in your area. Your research should start from the city’s website before proceeding to make a phone call to the local government’s office.

Also, local groups on social media platforms such as Facebook and the NextDoor apps can help you find the right information that will guide you while constructing a chicken coop on a rental property.

Apart from carrying extensive research, you should go the extra mile to understand the rental property’s zoning. Look around to know if you are within a residential area, outside the confines of some ruling, or near commercial buildings.

To find the information regarding the local ordinances, you can approach the local municipality’s staff who may help with the up-to-date details of the property’s zoning. If it is your first time to start raising backyard chickens, you may need special permits or to petition for special permission.

Guidelines regarding the type and size of coops to be constructed may also come in handy. Not to mention rules and regulations governing the keeping of backyard chickens. Bear in mind that the laid-down regulations are put in place to protect your neighbors, the rental property, and your chickens.

Can You Have Chickens in an Apartment?

Yes, although this depends on that particular apartment you are living in. However, you need to check with the local ordinances just before you make up your mind to start raising chickens in your rented apartment. Take the lease agreement into consideration as well to be sure about the property owner’s decision on pets or small animals.

Once you have fulfilled all that, make sure to pick a chicken breed that can do well in confined places such as the limited space in your apartment. In addition to that, take into consideration the number of birds that you can raise at one time to avoid causing overcrowding in your apartment or inconveniencing your neighbors.

Create some time from your busy schedule to clean up the mess created by the chicken in order to keep your apartment clean. The noise of your chickens should come in as an important factor, including keeping them comfortable if the apartment is located in a temperate climate. In this case, you may consider providing the source of heat for at least three seasons.

Most importantly, chickens are susceptible to different kinds of parasites and diseases, so you may need to reach out to a local veterinarian for more advice and medical intervention should they get sick.

How to Convince Your Landlord to Allow Chickens?

Even though the current lease agreement may prevent you from raising chickens in your rental property, you can still persuade your landlord to allow you to keep a few birds. This is applicable if the rental property is located within an area with flexible local ordinances on small animals.

In this sense, you may arrange a meeting to have this discussion with your landlord, ask your landlord to have a look at your chickens (at least to persuade him/her into allowing a few chickens on the rental property), have your chickens house trained, and try negotiating the terms and conditions under which you want to follow while chickens are on the property.

If need be, put everything on paper for future reference just in case your landlord changes the rules that may affect you and your chickens.

Can You Get Evicted if You Keep Chickens?

Most likely yes. You may be evicted from a rental property if you illegally keep your chickens there. The eviction can come in after you have violated the lease agreement. Your landlord or property manager will send you an official notice that states the lease violation and give the timeline in which you need to fix your current situation.

The timeline depends mainly on the state laws as well as the lease agreement. Failure to comply with the official notice may warranty your eviction.


You can keep chickens in the rental property provided that your state laws allow it. Most importantly, your lease agreement needs to state clearly that the property owners permit chickens and pets on their premises.

You may discuss with your new landlords and property managers to allow you to move in with your chickens even though the lease agreement may say otherwise.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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