Pet policy - advice please

5 Replies

Hi All,  

Anything that I should be aware of before renting my condo to a tenant with pet?  It is a small dog, and he has all the shots and immunization papers.

The tenant is willing to add another month of security deposit in order to move in.

I always have a NO PET policy but now thinking of being a little flexible this time,  bad idea?

My concerns:

1) My condo has always been treated with pesticides over the years, I am worried his dog maybe allergic to the pesticides used in the apartment. 

2) Accidents do happen and the pet may release herself  on the floor, I have very basic laminate floors and I am worried the whole apartment will smell like pet urine one day.

3) My insurance policy has a pet exclusion clause, so maybe that is another sign to say NO to the tenant with pet?    I don't want the dog to bite others in the building and then there will be 3rd party liability exposure attribute back to the landlord in case there is a lawsuit.

These are my concerns, am I worrying too much?    Other than the fact that he has a pet, the tenant looks EXCELLENT on paper.  Hate to let go of a good tenant. 

Any advice would be appreciated.

Does your condo association allow pets? If so, they should have pet friendly pesticides. But in any case, pets open up your pool of candidates but they can be a hassle. I wouldn't accept a larger deposit for a pet, but would charge more a month. The reason why is where I live, security deposits and returns are really quite scrutinized. I don't want to get into it with a tenant who says "the carpet was stained when I moved in" or whatever they have to say. So I would just charge more a month, $25 let's say, knowing you will get $300 more a year for anything you have to clean up or change after they move out.

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, oh my! There are many BP forum threads about the pros and cons of allowing pets. There are also many suggestions in those threads as to how to write your policy and enforce it. I suggest using the "Search the Site" function and exploring previous BP wisdom. 

Originally posted by @Mary Joe :

Hi All,  

Anything that I should be aware of before renting my condo to a tenant with pet?  It is a small dog, and he has all the shots and immunization papers.

The tenant is willing to add another month of security deposit in order to move in.

I always have a NO PET policy but now thinking of being a little flexible this time,  bad idea?

My concerns:

1) My condo has always been treated with pesticides over the years, I am worried his dog maybe allergic to the pesticides used in the apartment. 

2) Accidents do happen and the pet may release herself  on the floor, I have very basic laminate floors and I am worried the whole apartment will smell like pet urine one day.

3) My insurance policy has a pet exclusion clause, so maybe that is another sign to say NO to the tenant with pet?    I don't want the dog to bite others in the building and then there will be 3rd party liability exposure attribute back to the landlord in case there is a lawsuit.

These are my concerns, am I worrying too much?    Other than the fact that he has a pet, the tenant looks EXCELLENT on paper.  Hate to let go of a good tenant. 

Any advice would be appreciated.

Specific to your situation....

1. Before taking extra security deposit to cover the additional risk, check with the landlord-tenant laws for your jurisdiction as to whether it is legal to do so.

2. If you change your rental criteria to accommodate this applicant for this lease up, you must use the new criteria for other applicants as well.

3. Find out the HOA rules regarding pets and what the type of pesticides they are using.

4. Pet urine on hardwood floors and laminate floors will cause damage if the floors are not protected by an adequate finish. If they are not covered by a impermeable finish product, the urine will get into and between the slats. When this has happened to us in the past it cost us $2000 to de-pet the apartment of smells and stains and scratches.

5. Check with your insurance company about what pets they do and do not allow. Ask them about the worst case scenario of dog bite. If you don't have one already, get an Umbrella Policy in place to give you extra liability coverage... not only for dogs, but for other events that could put you at risk.

6. Find out about how the pet behaved in previous rental units and communities.

7. If you do want to allow pets, establish a written and comprehensive pet policy to protect yourself and your interests. Make sure the tenant is a responsible pet owner.

Thanks all for the feedback.   Very helpful.

The applicant only provides a rabies shot and spayed certificate from the vet, is that all that I need as far as papers are concerned? Are there any other certificates or licenses I need to obtain from the applicant for his pet?  

One more question if I may, can the pet security deposit be used for damages NOT specifically attributable to the pet?  Sometimes it may be very difficult to prove that the damage is specifically caused by the pet and nothing else. 

My place is in FL and I checked state laws, couldn't find anything that specifically addresses this. 

thanks

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