Renting with Pets: Information for the Landlord and Pet Owner

Posted May 25th, 2012
by Elizabeth Adams (no comments)

Renting with Pets: Information for the Landlord & Pet Owner

Pets are becoming more popular with many people, and those who own them usually think of their pets as members of their families. They would never consider moving to a home where their pets were not welcome. However, some tenants move pets into their homes without telling the owners because it is often difficult for them to find housing when they admit to owning pets. The majority of pets do not cause problems, but a few troublemakers give bad reputations to the others. You may have heard of dogs that chew woodwork and cats that shred curtains, but those tales are rare. You normally do not hear about well-behaved pets because they are more common and not as interesting to talk about.

Finding a Home to Share with Your Pet

Pet owners often have problems locating nice rental properties that welcome pets, but these tips found at Renting With Pets may help shorten the process.

  • Begin contacting rental agencies and searching newspaper and online ads several months before you plan to move if possible.
  • Contact the animal control agency or humane society in the area where you will be living to ask if they have lists of pet-friendly rental properties.
  • Concentrate on individual homes and condominiums or communities with guidelines that pet owners must follow.
  • Assemble evidence that verifies your responsibility regarding pets. The documents can include references from previous landlords, letters from your veterinarian, proof of vaccinations and sterilization as well as certificates from obedience classes.
  • Invite prospective landlords to visit your current home to meet your pet, observe its behavior and see the condition in which you keep your home. If a visit is not possible, make a small scrapbook and résumé for your pet.
  • Offer to pay an extra deposit to cover any potential damage your pet may cause.
  • Never sneak your pet into a home where pets are not welcome.

After the Move

Some of the following tips concerning the challenges of keeping a pet in rental properties come from Pet-Friendly Housing – How to Rent With Pets.

  • If possible, stay home with your pet for the first few days after your move to help it adjust to the new surroundings.
  • Do not allow your pet to disturb your neighbors with noise, odors, messiness or any other nuisance.
  • Immediately resolve any problems that your pet causes.
  • Make sure your pets get plenty of exercise every day because bored pets are more likely than happy, contented pets to damage property.
  • Keep your pet on a leash at all times when it is outside, and avoid situations where it may become aggressive.
  • Never leave your dog alone more than 12 hours, and do not leave a cat alone over 24 hours at a time.

Advice for Landlords

According to Renting to Pet Owners, people who own pets are often better tenants than are those who do not have pets. Many property owners claim that careless or thoughtless tenants and their children cause more damages and complaints from neighbors than pets cause.

Advantages of renting to pet owners seem to outweigh the disadvantages.

  • You can collect higher rents and deposits from pet owners.
  • Tenants tend to remain in their homes or apartments longer when they have pets because of the difficulty they have in finding appropriate housing.
  • Pet owners usually spend more time at home and contribute to increased security in the area.
  • You will have more potential tenants from which to choose when you have a vacancy if you allow pets.
  • Pets with good manners and grooming usually have responsible owners who care about their surroundings and take good care of their homes.

Create an Effective Policy to Welcome Pets

You will attract more applicants for rental properties if they are aware that you allow them to keep pets. Advertise in your ads and on your signs that pets are welcome at the properties. Contact your local Humane Society to let them know that you will accept pets in your rental properties.

Safety and consideration for others are the major concerns for landlords who rent to tenants with pets. Damage to carpets and infestations of fleas or ticks are worries as well. Lessen the chances of future problems by creating a comprehensive pet agreement to cover all damages or other concerns you may have about allowing pets in your properties.

Attach the pet agreement to your rental contract, and require the tenants to sign and date both documents. The agreement should name the type, breed, weight and name of the pet and require tenants to agree that they will:

  • assume responsibility for their pets’ maintenance and control
  • keep their pets restrained when they are outside
  • obey local animal ordinances
  • refrain from leaving their pets alone for long periods
  • clean up after their pets
  • keep their pet’s food and water inside to avoid attracting other animals
  • control their pet’s noise or aggression
  • resolve any complaints immediately
  • refrain from allowing their pets to reproduce
  • immediately pay for any damages their pets cause
  • pay for extermination expenses if necessary
  • attach a photo of their pet to the agreement
  • sign a new agreement if they get a different pet
  • grant owners the right to cancel the agreement if tenants do not abide by the rules
  • grant owners the right to dispose of any animals not listed on the agreement

You can find additional suggestions for creating pet policies at Realty Times. Some of those ideas include allowing no more than two pets in each unit and requiring cats, dogs and rabbits to be neutered. Cats and dogs must have periodic rabies shots and wear identification collars as well.

Avoid Renting to Irresponsible Pet Owners

  • Ask prospective renters to provide proof of their pets’ vaccinations and sterilizations
  • Contact their previous landlords and inquire about any problems or concerns they may have had with your applicants
  • If possible, visit potential renters and their pets in their current homes
  • Evaluate each situation on an individual basis
Categories: Advice

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