Rental Agreements on Pets: Best Practices

Some landlords think that one pet is one too many in their rental home. If that is your policy, then that is that. But if you allow pets, then you need to have a strategy around how many to let in.

It would be obvious to say that two dogs and three cats, as an example, are a lot of pets to place on a lease. Not to mention the expense of the pet rent to the tenant. But unfortunately, there is not one simple answer for all scenarios. You have to choose how many pets that you will permit, along with guiding lines for how those pets should behave and interact with the lease agreement. You are in luck--here are six tips that will assist you determine the number of pets to let.

1. Adhere to the Legislation in Your City

If your rental home is in a rural area, there likely are not any laws about the amount of animals people may keep. But suburban and urban living is another issue. Many cities restrict the amount of animals per house. If yours does, you can make your limit the same as city legislation. Your pet coverage may even be more restrictive compared to your city's -- you just cannot allow more critters than the law permits.

2. Follow HOA Rules

All HOA’s will have pre-designated rules around pets per home. Make sure you follow the rules of the HOA otherwise you’ll be hit with fines. These won’t be tenant responsibilities if they’re not clearly outlined in the lease agreement.

3. Dimensions of Your Homes

The smaller the living room, the fewer creatures you should allow on the lease terms. Too many cats or dogs in a small space could be trouble. Consider the sound, and of course the odor. The danger of harm to your house can also be higher the more animals you let in.

Collecting pet rent or increasing your deposit is for the sole purpose of cleaning up the home after the tenant leaves. You’ll likely want to replace carpet in high traffic areas and treat wood/laminate floors. You’d want to do this anyway, but keep in mind there is greater wear and tear with animals in the home.

4. Type of Animal

The sort of pet that you allow may also factor in the number you will allow your tenants to keep. Some landlords, as an instance, allow dogs rather than cats, and a few enable cats but not dogs.

Consider using pet possession statistics as a manual. (This is newest published data.) The typical number of dogs owned by families was 1.6, and also the typical number of cats was 2.1.

5. Decide on the Pet's Size Limitations

Of the landlords that allow puppies, most place size limitations. These landlords, as an instance, let dogs, but only dogs beneath 60 or 40 pounds, for instance. Some may allow just little lap dogs, 20 lbs or less.

If you do not restrict the size of the pet, you may be comfortable allowing just one big dog in place of two smaller dogs.

6. Prohibit Certain Breeds

Not all dogs go to heaven. These aren't inherently bad puppies, however, some breeds not properly trained with their owner, can be harmful, and that's a liability that you don’t want to take. Some breeds are more prone to marking their territory than others. Some breeds are known to be barkers.

Be aware that any dog may pose a threat. Use your very best judgment when deciding which kind of pet to let on your premises.

Reasons to Permit Pets

You may open your leasing properties to a larger marketplace by allowing pets. This often allows you to command higher rents. If your market is tight and you’re having issues finding qualified tenants, consider opening up to pets.

Tenants with pets often remain longer because it is more challenging to discover rentals that allow pets. This can be a huge benefit to you as a landlord or property manager. Tenant retention is the best way to insure that your investment pays off. Regarding damages, you should do your 6-month inspections to insure the pets aren’t catastrophically damaging the property. By and large, the most you’ll have to deal with is replacing carpet. A worthy trade for years of tenant retention.

It is possible to charge extra for the privilege of maintaining a pet on your premises. In the end, pets do often cause greater wear and tear. Additionally, by charging pet lease, you're leveling the playing field between renters together and without pets, helping guarantee pet-less tenants do not always win over tenants with pets.

You're also helping stop pets from being left at or sent to shelters. You should feel good about that.

Support Animals

The FHAct, seeing animals, states that landlords should allow service animals, that can be described as dogs who are"trained to do work or perform tasks for the sake of someone with a handicap." These don’t always have to be physical handicaps.

There's a grey area regarding helper or psychological support animals, which may be cats, dogs, or other kinds of companion animals. Usually cats are exempt from being support animals, but you should check your city laws. Typically, if a possible tenant provides you a signed letter from their physician stating they have a handicap and their pet assists them, then FHAct claims that you will need to generate a "reasonable accommodation" for this creature. Believe it that there are actually seizure-detecting dogs that relieves an individual's anxiety if they could be prone to a seizure - maybe the owner is epileptic or diabetic.


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