Guidelines for Pets on a Lease

Landlords who lease to pet owners open up an array of new renters who are ready and willing to pay top dollar for a happy home for their furry friends.

However, many property owners look askance at dogs and cats, deeming them dirty and destructive.

While it's true that some pet owners are negligent and some pets may be destructive, this isn't always the case. It's usually a good idea to rent to pet owners, as long as you take a few necessary precautions.

If you follow the guidelines below, your lease will likely be a success.


1. Know which pets will be living in your home.
If you decide to rent to pet owners, don't just rent to any pet owner.

Ask owners for specifics about their pets—what breed are they? How large are they? How old are they? (Puppies tend to be more destructive than older dogs, so age is important.)

You'll also want to know the total number of pets that will be living in the house.

If the property has a backyard, you might also ask how many pets will be living in the house and how many will be outdoor animals, as outdoor animals tend to be less of a problem for property owners.

When you get the specifics, put them in writing and also state that the renter must inform you of any new pets.


2. Ban some pet types if they make you uneasy.
Many owners allow most pets but prohibit certain types or breeds.

For example, you might only allow small dogs under a certain weight limit, or you may only be comfortable with cats.

There might be certain breeds of dogs that make you uneasy (For example, if chihuahuas make you cringe, don't allow them. After all, you have the final say.)

You can place limits on pets and still attract a wealth of renters.


3. Ask to see veterinarian records.
Responsible pet owners keep their pets vaccinated.

It's not unreasonable for landlords to request these records.

Current immunizations protect the tenant, the pets, the neighbors, and you.

Pet owners who are responsible enough to keep their pets up to date on shots are generally responsible enough to prevent their pets from being destructive as well.


4. Verify your insurance coverage.
Before you advertise your rentals as pet-friendly, make sure your insurance policy is pet-friendly, too.

Most policies have no problem with pets, but some have their own sets of requirements that you'll need to keep in mind as you rent the unit.


5. Add a clause to your lease agreement that explains pet conditions.
Everything you decide and communicate to your tenants should be explained clearly in a pet clause within the lease, including breeds, requirements, etc.

If the tenant breaks any of the rules you discussed, you will have better legal recourse.


6. Charge an extra damage deposit.
In addition to your regular damage deposit fee, you should also charge a pet deposit, preferably one per pet.

The average fee varies greatly from one city to the next, so check with other property managers in your area for a good idea of the going rate.

This deposit should be reasonable enough that pet owners will be willing to pay it, but high enough to cover any damage their pets may cause to your home.

Many cities or states have maximum amounts you can charge by law, so check with your jurisdiction for guidelines.


7. Consider charging higher rent.
Because rentals that allow pets are in high demand, it's possible to charge higher rent for your unit.

Consider raising the price a bit and see how many interested applicants you get.

You can always lower the price if no one bites (pun intended) at your offer.

 

Posted on Jun 02, 2015

Related

The Landlord Tenant Board: What it is and When it is Needed

Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More


How to Review a Rental Application

When it comes to reviewing a rental application, all of it may seem daunting; you will find it overwhelming because there is so much information that you yourself have to go through before the tenant... More


How to Create a Residential Lease Agreement

Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More


The Best Sites for Rental and Lease Agreement Templates

Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More


Landlord Obligations: The Responsibilities of a Landlord

Becoming a landlord is a major deal and no one can simply get up and think, “well, yes I think I should be a landlord and rent out my flat.” If you are thinking that you would like to be a landlord,... More


The Best Landlord Associations for Landlords to Join

If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More


The Best Landlord Forums

Landlords and aspiring landlords, do not become as such, without guidance and advice. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord nowadays; in fact, there is so much to learn that it often confuses... More


The Biggest Landlord Problems and How to Fix Them

Renting out an apartment or a house can become a constant revenue source for landlords, but at the same time, it gives rise to several problems. It is a fact that high standards, a strict lease... More


Landlord Tenant Disputes

If you are currently thinking of becoming a landlord only because it helps you have a constant stream of income, you should think twice. It’s not that you should not consider offering your property... More


Prospective Tenants

In case you’re going to establish a new landlord tenant relationship, it is important that you proceed with extreme care. Though it is a good idea to offer your property for rent and make some money,... More