Keeping a bird as a pet can be a fulfilling experience for most bird enthusiasts. These avians can enrich your home and make it feel more lively. However, if you intend to move to an apartment in the near future, you may face restrictions on keeping your birds there.
There are no laws banning you from keeping a pet bird in your apartment, but your apartment’s landlord can prevent you from keeping a bird because it is their property and they have the final say.
For this reason, it is important to check with the landlord of any apartment you wish to rent before moving in. In this guide, we will go over whether you can keep a pet bird in an apartment and the special considerations you will need to keep in mind when doing so.
Does the Law Allow You to Keep Birds in Apartments?
There is currently no law in the United States that prohibits you from keeping a bird in an apartment. This means you aren’t likely to run into legal issues for having your feathered friend live with you in your apartment.
That being said, your landlord has the right to prohibit pets on their property. They can choose not to allow any pets on their property. Alternatively, they can pick and choose which types of pets they are willing to allow.
If you intend to keep a bird in your apartment, you must ensure it has the landlord’s approval.
How Can I Get My Landlord to Allow Me To Keep a Bird?
If your apartment lease explicitly mentions you are not allowed to keep pets such as birds, you are obligated to follow these terms once you sign your lease. Violating these terms gives your landlord the right to evict you.
For this reason, it is best to avoid getting a bird if your landlord has explicitly prohibited it. However, there are some ways you might still be able to keep a bird in an apartment.
Convince Your Landlord To Change Their Mind
You can try convincing your landlord to change their mind in different ways. This approach isn’t guaranteed to work, but it is worth a shot.
For example, you can speak with your landlord and explain that you have owned your bird for many years and that they are part of your family. You can also point out that you don’t have other suitable housing options to choose from in the region.
You could also point out that your bird is well-behaved and doesn’t make a lot of noise. You can also have your landlord meet your pet bird to see its behavior for themselves.
There is also a chance that your landlord might change their mind once they see your bird’s actual size. They could be more open to allowing small birds such as Parakeets in the apartment as opposed to large breeds such as African Greys.
Have Your Pet Bird Designated as an Assistance Animal
If you can’t change your landlord’s mind, you can tell them your pet bird is an assistance animal. The law would be on your side in this instance, but only if you suffer from a physical or mental disability.
The Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from discriminating against their tenants on their property. So if you suffer from a physical disability or a mental impairment, you would simply need a medical professional to provide a letter saying you need your bird for your mental health.
Just about any kind of animal can be designated as a support animal in the United States. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any problem having your pet bird designated as one as long as a medical professional has provided proof of your disability.
Considerations When Keeping a Bird In Your Apartment
If your landlord permits you to keep a bird in your apartment, you might still encounter specific circumstances where they ask you to remove it. This includes:
Your Bird is Too Loud
Most bird owners know that their feathered friends can be very talkative. Avians are known to produce a variety of sounds such as chirps, croaks, trills, whistles, and rattles to express their mood.
Such sounds can be pleasing for bird enthusiasts to hear all the time. However, they can disturb your neighbors if your bird is too loud. This problem can be an especially big issue if your apartment has thin walls.
If your neighbors repeatedly file complaints about your bird being too loud, you will need to address the issue as quickly as possible. In some cases, your landlord may be legally obligated to evict your bird for being too loud.
For example, your neighbors can call the police and complain that your bird is disturbing the peace by being loud after 10pm. If you aren’t able to keep your bird’s loudness in check after 10pm, your landlord will ask you to remove it.
You can help your bird stay quiet at night by helping it fall asleep. It is possible to do this in many ways.
For example, you can move your bird’s cage to a dark and quiet room at night. Alternatively, you can place a cover over its cage to block out external light and sounds at night.
Your Bird is Too Messy
Every bird owner knows that these avians can be messy. Your pet bird can leave droppings, food, and feathers all over your apartment if you allow them to fly around.
While your landlord can’t evict you for being messy, they do have the right to evict you if the mess in your apartment poses a potential health hazard. Bird droppings fall under this category because it can cause many diseases, so you should be sure to clean up any mess as soon as possible.
You Own Too Many Birds
Your landlord can’t evict you for having too many birds. However, the problems these birds create may give them reason to evict you.
For example, your apartment is likely to be very noisy and messy if you own six parrots who are allowed to fly around throughout the day. For this reason, it is best to inform your landlord about the number of birds you intend to keep before signing your lease.
This ensures they know what to expect when they allow you to live on their property.
Can Parrots Live Comfortably in an Apartment?
You might be wondering if parrots can live comfortably in an apartment. This might sound like a strange question since household birds spend most of their time inside a cage.
The truth is that your pet bird could be more comfortable living in a full-sized home. However, that doesn’t mean that an apartment can’t be suitable for it.
The biggest challenge you will have to deal with when you keep a pet bird in an apartment is giving it enough space to fly around outside its cage. Apartments tend to have limited space and rooms, so they may not be ideal for this purpose.
The good news is that you can get around this problem by giving your bird plenty of perches and items to play with to keep them occupied. This will help reduce the restlessness they experience from living in a small apartment.
You can also choose to move your bird cage to a separate room in the evening to ensure your pet isn’t disturbed by the other residents in your small apartment.
What Types of Birds are Best For Apartments?
As mentioned earlier, some types of birds are better suited for apartments than others. The main factors that determine which breeds are apartment-friendly are size, loudness, and required out-of-cage time.
Here is a list of birds that are best for apartments:
Canaries make great apartment pets because they are small and don’t need to be handled frequently. This means you won’t need to worry about holding them everyday for socialization purposes.
You should note that canaries can be very vocal. However, their voices aren’t loud and are unlikely to penetrate through your apartment walls.
The only drawback of owning a canary as an apartment pet is that they tend to be messy. This means you may need to clean up their droppings and scattered food pellets frequently if you decide to own one.
Parakeets are another compact breed that are great for apartments. This breed is very affectionate so you will need to spend some time with them each day.
Parakeets are also notorious for chattering all the time. However, like Canaries, their voices are too low to disturb people outside your apartment.
Parakeets do require a lot of out-of-cage time. Therefore, you will need to outfit your apartment with many artificial perches to keep them happy as they go about their out-of-cage activities.
Cockatiels are a slightly larger parrot species compared to Parakeets. However, they can live comfortably in an apartment thanks to their adaptability.
Cockatiels love to chirp and they can be louder than Parakeets and Canaries. So you should be sure to keep them in a room that is far from your apartment’s front door to avoid disturbing your neighbors.
Keeping a Parrot in Your Apartment
As you can see, there are plenty of situations in which you are allowed to keep a bird in your apartment. Just be sure to be considerate to both your landlord and neighbors to ensure you and your bird can continue living on the property.
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