"Having Pets" Legal Issues about Pets(1)

  • Twitter
  • facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Del.icio.us
  • friendfeed
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz

1. Issues Concerning Having Pets

I'd like to talk about some legal issues of having pets in Japan. More and more people are now having pets such as small dogs in rental houses. If you are one of them, there are some rules that you would have to comply with.

First of all, whether you can have a pet in your rental house totally depends on the lease contract. Generally speaking, the rent fee is more expensive when you are allowed to have a pet or you may end up paying more key money or security deposit upon signing up.

For many cases, the lease contract includes an article prohibiting pets. If a lessee keeps a pet in spite of the article, the lessor can ask for the cancellation of the lease contract, and can also ask for the expense of restoration upon the lessee's leaving if there is any damage caused by the pet in the room. The expense includes the costs for repairing damaged walls and for cleaning the room. When the lessor has to get rid of the smell of the pet in the room, the lessee needs to pay for that cost as well, which could be a large sum of money.

On the other hand, if the lease contract allows the lessee to have a pet in the house, the lessee already pays a more rent fee or more initial fees. Therefore, the lessee does not have to pay for the cost for any expected damages caused by the pet because they are considered "expected deterioration". However, even if the lessee is allowed to have a pet, keeping animals that are not allowed in the contract or having pets more than permitted may cause the cancellation of the contract. If there are more damages in the house than expected due to these violations, the lessor can ask the lessee for the costs for cleaning and repairing.

2. Instructions for Keeping a Dog

According to the Rabies Prevention Act, any dog owners must register his dog to his local public entity within 90 days after the dog is born or within 30 days if the dog has been obtained after its birth. The owner is also obliged to have his dog inoculated against rabies once a year.

3. Issues Concerning Walking Pets

Prefectural Ordinances of Tokyo, Osaka, and other cities prohibit pet owners from walking their dogs without tying strings. In case you violate it, you may imposed a petty fine. When your dog causes a damage to someone such as by biting him, you as the possessor of the dog must take the responsibility and have to compensate for the damage caused. However, if you are walking your dog with reasonable care, then in that case you don't have to owe any responsibility for damages. But, you will not be considered that you are taking reasonable care if you are walking your dog without a string to control it or carelessly letting your dog walk near other people upon knowing that your dog tends to bite people.