Not many landlords welcome tenants with pets. The ones who do, do so because a pet-friendly policy can be beneficial in a number of ways. To begin, since pet owners are usually desperate for housing, it’s easy for the landlord to find renters quickly. Frequent turnovers become unlikely, too. When pet owners find a place that welcomes their pet, they usually do their best to stay on.
If you would like to make your rental pet friendly, you need to prepare for the additional risks involved. Pet-related injuries and annoyance to other renters are a possibility. To protect your interests, you need to make sure that you put a well-thought-out pet policy in the lease. Here are tips on creating one.
Clearly identify what pets are allowed
It’s important to draw up an all-inclusive list of what pet species you allow. Allowing snakes, tarantulas, monkeys and other dangerous or troublesome creatures is usually not a good idea.
Many landlords ban dog breeds that are known for their violent tendencies. Pit bulls and Rottweilers are usually unwelcome. If you do plan to allow such animals in your rental, you should check with your insurer. Many insurers will drop you if you allow animals with violent tendencies.
When landlords allow pets, they will usually prescribe a weight limit. Dogs over 20 pounds are usually considered risky and a danger to children and other residents. This isn’t a logical requirement, though. Often, it’s the small dogs that cause a nuisance by barking a lot and biting. Larger dogs are often quieter and more suited to apartment dwelling.
An own-pet-only rule is often a part of pet-friendly leases. You’ll need to specify if guests coming with their pets are allowed to bring them inside and how long they are allowed to stay if you do allow them.
Require a pet interview
Before you agree to any pet, you should take a look at it and judge it for friendliness, and ask about whether it’s ever been involved in any property damage or injury to humans. It’s a good idea to reserve veto power over any pet.
You should ask about what arrangements are likely to be made when the tenant leaves on vacation. Sterilization is often a sensible requirement. Pets that are intact are often far more aggressive. Requiring a declawing or debarking, though, isn’t a good idea. While these procedures are legally allowed, they are considered by many animal-rights activists to be cruel.
Mention all pet-related rules
Pet owners who aren’t sensitive to others can easily allow their pets to make a nuisance of themselves, or be neglectful owners. You should have detailed rules in place clearly mentioned in your policy:
- A pet shouldn’t ever be left unattended outside and must always be on a leash when brought outside the home.
- The owner should make sure that he immediately cleans up after his pet.
- A barking policy is required. You need to define exactly how long the dog is allowed to bark, and when.
- Pets should not be left alone at home for more than six hours at a time.
- Pets should always be kept clean
With all these rules in place, you should have a great pet-friendly rental unit that keeps all tenants happy.