One of the harsh realities of renting is that sometimes it feels like your landlord calls the shots on your day-to-day life.

They name the price of rent and tell you when they’re coming to inspect the place (even if the date doesn’t suit you). They can also prevent you from having pets, which is kind of a big deal for many folks – present company included.

While we definitely don’t encourage breaking the terms of your lease, chances are some of you already have.

So, in the name of saving you from a hefty fine, stern warning and/or eviction, here are a few ways to prevent you getting fined for that pet rabbit you impulsively bought at a shelter last year.

1. Remove all pet paraphernalia

This is an obvious one. If you leave out cages, bowls, toys and kitty litter, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there might be a pet nearby. While you might think that hiding the accessories in the cupboard under the stairs is the best option, you’re totally busted if your landlord decides to go into that same cupboard to check on the walls or general structure of the house – a very real possibility.

The safest bet is taking all pet-related goodies to a mate’s or your fam’s place. If you have a car that isn’t parked inside or directly outside your residence, hiding stuff in the boot might also be a viable alternative.

2. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before

From the carpets and couches to the curtains and cushion – pet hair gets bloody everywhere, so you need to clean the place from top to bottom – leave no stone unturned. If you’re not sure how thorough you need to be, imagine you’re having someone come to stay who’s deadly allergic.

In short, it’s got to feel like a dog/cat/rabbit/bird has never even step foot (paw?) in your place before.

3. Act like you really dislike pets

If you get a chance to drop into coversation just how much you disliekee animals of any kind, that’s an added bonus.

4. Ask your mates to pet-sit during inspections

It’s annoying, and will probably cost you a nice dinner as a ‘thank you’, but your pet (and its accompanying ‘stuff’) will likely have to chill with a trusted pal while your scheduled inspection takes place. This ain’t such a big ask if your mate adores your floof but, if not, you might need to add in some serious grovelling.

5. Dress your pet like a piece of the furniture

If all else fails and your landlord ends up on your doorstep by surprise, you might have to temporarily transform your pet with some convincing camoflauge. Our pick? A squishy teddy bear because it’s cute as heck, but also, because it’s the least suss option without hiding their face.

Exhibit A:

Image: Youtube / [That Goldendoodle]