A lot of landlords question whether to allow pets or not. It’s probably one of the more debated topics and a hard choice too!
Personally, I love having families with pets in my homes. I’m a pet owner myself and have a cat who is more my child than my pet so I understand the value of pet ownership. That being said, if you keep up with my blog, then you know my stance. I consider being a landlord a business and treat it as such.
Here are some options for you as a landlord to consider if you are debating whether or not to allow pets. This is my pet policy and hopefully a great example of how to write your own.
My Pet Policy:
I started off only offering a pet deposit. I always thought it was silly to have to pay more for my pet to be allowed. That being said, I was asked about this so often that I made rent a part of the offering.
“The Tenant shall pay to the Landlord an additional non-refundable fee in the amount of $50 per month, or one month’s refundable security deposit of ______ immediately on the Landlord’s approval of a pet or pets. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if any Tenant requires the use of a trained guide animal, signal animal, or service animal, no pet deposit will be required. The landlord reserves the right to apply the Pet Deposit in the same manner the security deposit can be applied.”
Tenant chooses (circle/initial)
- No Pets on Premise – No Additional Fee,
- $50 Non-refundable Pet Rent, per month
- $_____ one month’s rent as Pet Deposit- applicable as described above
Initials ___________ __________
I also have a clause that covers what would happen if an unauthorized pet is found in the house.
“If an unauthorized pet is found on the premises a fee of $500 is due immediately for having an non-authorized animal on the premise at the time of occurrence or at landlord’s discretion. Any damage will be assessed separately and billed to the tenant in addition to the $500 fine.”
Initials ___________ __________
To prevent any pet “visitors” to the house and to prevent any misunderstanding, I have a clause that clearly spells that out:
T”he Tenant (including any guests or invitees of the Tenant) is allowed to keep the following as pets:
* List name, age, sex, breed
* of each animal approved
***No other animals are allowed on the premise without the Landlord’s WRITTEN permission.****”
I am a huge believer in having pets, but I have found over the years that making things as clear as possible has made my life and the lives of my tenant’s much easier. This helps make sure there are clear expectations and consequences.
Disclaimer: As always, I am not a lawyer. The above examples are just what I use.
Note: As always, you need to check with your local real estate laws, insurance, and homeowner’s association before determining your pet policy. Many areas have very specific laws and guidelines on what is allowed and not allowed. You will need to confirm what you can allow before you can offer it.
Do you have a pet policy? What types of clauses did you include?35
I was wondering if you change your pet rent fee based on the amount of potential pet deposit or value of your home? For instance, our house is appraised at about 500,000 dollars, and we’re charging about 2500.00 in rent, it’s in ca and if we charged just the pet rent of 50.00 on top of rent, after a year we’d have 600.00 toward any damages, however if we charged the refundable pet deposit of one months rent we wod have 2500.00 towards any pet damages and I was wondering if you adjust your pet rent to equal the pet deposit for the year?
Elizabeth Bennett Colegrove says
Our pet rents are based on the practices of our competition not “equaling” the deposit. Since our homes are currently no higher than $240,000 $50 seems to be “normal” practices in our markets. I have heard that in large cities such as DC, San Diego, etc $100-$150 a month is common. I would evaluate what your market offers and go from there.