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Smart Landlord Guidelines for a Pet-Friendly Rental Property

Happy Family Posing on a White Couch with their Dog

Almost everyone has a furry family member these days, making it smart to include pet allowances in your lease. But keep in mind, there are some smart guidelines to abide by should you allow pets. To avoid getting any issues from Fido, landlords can make some smart pet policies. Such policies should include a pet addendum in your rental agreement. Here are some standard policies added in your pet agreement.

Policy 1: Identify the Types of Pets Allowed

Landlords should include the specific type of animals allowed as pets. Standard pet types include dogs, cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and small reptiles. Landlords should also include how many pets they will allow staying with tenants. Additionally, landlords will allow certain weights. For example, dog breed under 20-25 lbs. Don’t forget to specify that you only allow the pets of tenants who have signed a lease. Unauthorized residents are unauthorized regardless of how many legs they have.

Policy 2: Only Allow Pets Approved by the Property Owner

Tenants should always get the approval of their landlords before keeping any pets. In general, landlords will allow the pets after gathering clarifying information such as type, breed, age, weight, vaccinations, training, etc. You should also check your tenant’s history with previous rentals to make sure there haven’t been any problems in the past. As we mentioned before, by placing your pet policy on an addendum to the lease, you can update your policies more easily as needed.

Policy 3: Require Proper Identification, Licenses, and Vaccinations

As briefly mentioned above, landlords should make sure that their tenants are providing their pets with regular vaccinations. All pets should wear identification collars and tags. Be sure to check about your local ordinances related to the cat and dog regular vaccinations. You can even request that your tenants provide a copy of their vet information and vaccinations.

Policy 4: Hold Tenants Responsible for Their Pets

In the pet agreement, be sure to clarify that the tenants are responsible for their pets at all times. Tenants should also be responsible for cleaning inside the home and other common areas where their pets are roaming. Common rules include supervising your pet at all times, keeping them on a leash, etc.

Policy 5: Consider Charging “Pet Rent”

Most landlords include an extra monthly fee (and deposit) for their pets. These fees can vary based on the type of pet and the risk of liability and/or damage to the rental property. Pet deposits are typically refundable if no extra damage as been caused while monthly pet fees or “pet rent” is non-refundable as it’s treated the same as the tenant pays to reside there each month.

In Conclusion

Accepting pets can be highly profitable, but only when done cautiously and correctly. If you’re utilizing a property manager, such as Real Property Management Avitus, be sure to ask about current policies and procedures. If you have any questions, contact us online or call us at 281-570-6357.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.