Tips for landlords on dealing with pets

BY: HOUSERIE 03/15/2016

Pets are a gateway to handling responsibility, a parenting precursor of sorts. There is a long tradition of parents asking their children to raise pets in order to cultivate the habit of assuming responsibility. Many people see pets as their companions so it is only natural for tenants to expect pet friendly environments from their landlords. Like everything in renting, accepting pets comes with its fair share of risks and irks.
Why should you rent to a pet owner?
If you are the sort of landlord who is not fond of pets, your preference for keeping your property pet free should not deter you from accepting that perfect tenant who is fond of cats. Just make sure he/she uses a litter box for that cat. A pro-pet attitude widens your tenant pool. Statistically,
trust able pet owners end up being very responsible long term tenants.

The importance of being thorough
Well begun is half done and you can definitely improve your odds of landing responsible pet owners as tenants by following these tips during your tenant screening process:

• Take into consideration every type of pet a tenant can possibly keep; be decisive on how many in numbers they can keep, their size, threat indicators like sharp nails, teeth, etc. and exclude those which you believe are a strict no-no. Being confused about saying yes or no to a pet during tenant screening only amplifies issues later.

• Check with the potential tenants whether they own pets before you sign the lease and if they do, whether they have the necessary licenses and documents needed to keep them. Please note that several pets such as primates are not recognized as service animals by the Americans with Disabilities Act that was passed in 2010.

• State your pet policies clearly and in detail in your lease and tenant agreement. Make sure to include cautionary pet damage deposits as a part of the lease to be proactive about any potential damage from pets to your building or housing units.

• References are always useful. Make sure you get references from a previous landlord and/or a veterinarian about the pet’s health. This will provide a lot of information about the tenant’s tendencies about pet care.

After renting out to a pet owner
Once you have made the decision to rent to pet owners, things can easily get out of hand if you don’t act swiftly when pet related problems start.

• Make sure that pet owners always clean up after their pets especially in the common areas. Posting signs and providing free disposal bags will be helpful.

• Respond to complaints about barking and other loud pet noises immediately. Talk to the pet owner and ensure that they are trying to resolve the issues right away. Always, keep written warnings documented in case of repeat problems which will help in the eviction process if things don’t improve.

• Make it a priority to house your tenants who are pet-allergic as far away as possible from tenants with pets.

• Always inform potential tenants about the presence of pets in your housing units. They may be allergic to pets and will need this information to make their decision.

There is no middle ground when it comes to pets. As a landlord one can’t claim he/she is neutral about pets. Everyone has a preference– they either love pets or hate them. Irrespective of their choices, making informed decisions, being proactive, and staying on top of things certainly eases the pressure on landlords when it comes to accepting pets.

We hope you enjoyed our blog on pets. Stay tuned for more exciting articles from


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