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Pet Violation

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Feb 27 '07, 02:34 PM


New to being a landlord. My wife and I just purchased three duplexes in the state of Missouri for investments. All units were occupied when purchased with leases.
Upon taking possession, one renter, who had only been there one month under old management, decided that she could not live without her dog. It specifically states 'No Pets' in lease. What are my first steps? What type of documentation should I give these tenants to make life easier down the road? And were online can I get a copy? Someone mentioned that I need to serve them a " Notice to Perform" , is this correct? Thx for helping.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:24


Michael Rossi

Real Estate Investor from Ohio

Feb 28 '07, 01:58 AM


First, you need to decide whether you are going to accept pets or not. I do accept pets, but I charge additional monthly rent and an additional deposit. In my experience, people are MUCH harder on rental properties than animals.

If you decide that you do not want to accept pets and the lease says " no pets" , then you should enforce the lease. You need to KNOW what the law is in Missouri. Here in Ohio, if I wanted to make a tenant comply with the lease, I would give them a 30-day notice. This requires them to either correct the problem (get rid of the tenant) or vacate the premises within a month. If they don't comply and don't move, then you would file the eviction in court. That is Ohio - you need to KNOW how it works in Missouri. Screwing up the paperwork will result in a failed eviction and extra expenses.

Good Luck,


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:24


N/A N/A

Feb 28 '07, 02:15 PM


Well a notice to perform usually comes after you address the problem by talking to the tenant, writing letters, etc. Try getting pet agreement This document not only lists the pet’s information (Name, weight, age, etc.) but also clarifies the rules and regulations for the pet. It is important to explain to the Tenant that each pet must be accounted for to prevent unauthorized pet(s). Allowing pets may make your property more appealing and easier to rent. You may want to consider collecting an additional security deposit or increase the rent when allowing a pet; but it is important to check if there are limits or restrictions in your state. The advantage will be that any damage to the rental unit from a pet is solely the responsibility of the tenant and must be immediately repaired, cleaned and/or replaced at the tenant’s expense. The agreement form you can get on ezlandlordforms.com

Keep in mind that if you are evicting for rent-it's far more black & white as far as the courts are concerned.

If you are evicting for any other reason than rent-it's a lot harder and you have to documentation that you tried to correct the problem outside of court.

This could a tough one because this tenant can go get a note from her doctor saying she needs the animal as a " therapy dog.." and it could get dragged out in courts for months.

Unfortunately-at this time the " therapy" animals are sort of a new thing and there isn't any legislation covering them yet that I've heard of. HOWEVER-if it's an " assistance animal" you can't turn the person down for rental or evict them.

Try reasoning with her verbally first and follow-up with a letter.

Good luck. It might wind up being easier to just collect a pet deposit and go from there.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:24


Minna Reid

Real Estate Broker from Southington, Connecticut

Mar 01 '07, 07:02 AM


First - become very familiar with your state specific landlord tenant laws. Second - Once a month old renter violates your lease and you let it happen, they will be walking all over you for the duration. Plus why should the rest of the tenants follow the no pets clause if jane doesn't have to? Pick your stand on pets and make everyone comply. If she won't, do as your state laws allow you to proceed to get her to comply, and if she won't, evict her. Lay down the law right away, especially as the new LL.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:24


Lynn Z

Mar 24 '07, 06:21 AM


just had a tenant leave the state, no utilities, pet inside. Hot weather. There is a requirement of 14 days to service notice to correct but if animals are in danger it's worth trying to get the notice posted and moving for eviction...even if you lose. This was a situation where one pet was approved and other pet was moved in. If you have a no pets lease, give notice to get rid of the pet and if not corrected, evict. Save yourself the headache of worrying about lack of care...not to mention the mess left from lack of proper
attention. Why oh Why oh Why.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:26


N/A N/A

Mar 25 '07, 04:35 AM


Upon a recent outdoor inspection, requested by my tenant, I discovered that she has a large dog living inside the dwelling. The lease states that she had no pets when she moved in and that a pet agreement must be submitted to me for approval prior to her ever getting one. My question: What would be a fair rent increase per month for her new, not so little, furry friend. Having two dogs myself, I know how much extra wear and tear they have had on my residence. Also, how much of an additional security deposit would you suggest?


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:26


Lynn Z

Mar 25 '07, 06:31 AM


some apartment complexes charge a non refundable pet deposit of $200-300. I rented a new house to some bankers (young) who were responsible with their pet but guess what......forgot to leave the utilities on for a full cleaning. Thank god I'm now involved as I sold the building. Nonrefundable would cover the cleaning they won't do when a pet is a occupant.

Probably in this area most landlord would handle it through the deposit instead of asking more rent but more important 1) who's responsible for taking the dog out 2) how many times a day 3) does the lease now state that the poop is to be picked up by the owner on a regular basis 4) Is it a breed that won't get your homeowner's insurance canceled? Make sure you know the name and number of a backup person in case you have to enter the apartment due to the animal having some type of emergency.

If the tenant withheld information about having a dog...that's a bad sign. Proceed with due caution and amend your lease to include assurances on pet care.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:26


Michael Rossi

Real Estate Investor from Ohio

Mar 25 '07, 07:00 PM


Grovenpal,

I charge $50 extra per month AND $200 extra security deposit for a large pet. I also make them sign a pet addendum to the lease. They must pay for any damage from the pet that I discover immediately.

Mike


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:27


N/A N/A

Mar 31 '07, 03:06 AM


I have never been the landlord, but since I have had pets, I wanted to weigh in.

#1--When we signed our lease, we had to give a picture of the dog and sign a Pet Addendum, stating there was a $300 non-refundable fee for the dog. This was for my roommate's dog, who is a pit bull. I think they knew it was a pit and they even said something about it jokingly. They let it slide even tho that is one of the restricted breeds. I got a puppy during the time we were there, and didn't tell them. My dog was a white German Shepherd, and, long story short, my roommate wanted to get me in trouble so she called the landlord and they came and found my dog. They said they would evict us if the dog wasn't removed. The next day, I took her to my friend's house to live. I ended up moving out and still paying my part of the rent, but, again, long story short, my roommate trashed the place, and they kept our deposit and wanted lots more money for stuff my roommate had done. Included on the letter I got was a $300 fee for the " unapproved animal." I was really pissed off and I ended up never paying a dime (way too long of a story, and its not relevant here).

#2--The next apartment I was in, they didn't care what kind of dog it was, how much it weighed, nothing. My security deposit was only like $200 and the pet fee was $250 I think, it was supposed to be nonrefundable. No additional pet rent was charged. We ended up moving out early and breaking the lease with their approval, and got a " deposit refund" check for $260. Very different than the previous story, huh?

My advice is to have a Pet Addendum, charge a non-refundable pet fee, and charge like $25/mo pet rent. Remember whatever your insurance company's rules are about breeds of pets (no GSDs, Chows, Pits, Rots, etc.). If you find an unauthorized pet, give them (curable) eviction notice, and if they don't comply, start eviction proceedings. If they do comply, keep an eye on them to make sure they stay in compliance. I wonder if there's a way to write in the addendum that they are subject to random inspection if they are found in noncompliance? I'm not sure if that's legal tho.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:27


N/A N/A

May 27 '07, 12:28 AM


pets, depending on the neighborhood, can be a rental agents' nightmare...


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:36


N.A N.A

Property Manager from Honolulu, HI

Jun 13 '07, 01:45 PM


Personally, I do not allow pets. Not dogs, not cats, not iquanas, not snakes...In spite of the fact I have run into numerous pets with bad attitudes or manners, I have NEVER met a pet owner that was aware of those traits.

First off, you MUST check your local landlord and tenant codes. Some jurisdictions do not allow you to charge additional rent and/or deposit for pets. Make a mistake here, and it will cost you dearly.

Second, if the lease says no pets, IMMEDIATELY take the first step required legally by your locale- usually along the lines of the 10 or 14 day Notice of Lease Breach. Then just follow through with the process.

Finally, if you really want to allow pets, the Humane Society usually has a ready to use Pet Addendum, Pet Registration, and Pet Tips available on line ready to print, and covers most of the bases.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 03:39


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