Our blog today is all about pets. As a landlord, you'll need to decide how you want to deal with a prospective tenant who has a pet. Whether you decide to accept pets or not, make sure you stick to your decision. It's important to be consistent with all applicants when you have policies in place so you don't violate any fair housing laws.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to pets is this: 50 percent of all prospective renters have at least one pet. That means if you choose not to accept pets, it might take you twice as long to find a tenant and rent the property. You don't want that to happen, so think carefully before you limit the pool of potential rental applicants. We always recommend that you at least consider the possibility of renting to people who have dogs and cats.
When you do make a decision to allow pets, you need to have a written pet policy in place so tenants know what to expect and what their responsibilities are. You also need a written pet agreement that the tenant will sign in addition to the lease. Ask for a picture of the pet and a description. You want to know the age, gender and weight of the animal so you'll be able to recognize the pet when you see it at the property.
If a tenant has a dog such as a Rottweiler, a Pit Bull or a Doberman, you'll have to check with your insurance carrier and see if that's allowed. Some insurers will restrict the types of breeds that are permitted and you don't want your policy to cancel. Find out if you have any limits before you agree to rent to a tenant with one of those breeds.
Always get a pet deposit from the tenant before move in. This can usually be between $200 and $400 per pet. You also need to make allowances for special animals. If 's a prescribed pet, a service animal or a guide dog, there are specific ways that they need to be handled. For example, you cannot charge a deposit. It's best to get professional advice when you have a tenant who needs such an animal.
If you have any questions about pets and pet policies, please contact us at Property Management Experts, and we'd be happy to help you