Should I be concerned if my tenants don't lock up their dog?

7 Replies

I just got word that a couple of my tenants had to leave for a family emergency and left their dog running around the unit.  Apparently they won't be back until tomorrow.  Should I be concerned about this?  I didn't really think it was a big deal.  I mean yea it sucks but I have no way of enforcing that they lock up their dog when they leave the house right?  I just assumed that would happen sometimes when accepting dogs and that's why you take a pet fee.  The person that found out was appalled by it...

I wouldn't be so worried about the pet being loose in the apartment, I'd be worried about where that pet is going to go to the bathroom between now and when they come back TOMORROW.  That pet is going to pee and poop on your floors!  Unless they have made other arrangements, of course, like someone coming to take care of the dog at some point which is quite possible.

I would probably text my tenants to ask about their plans for the dog, stating that neighbors made you aware of the situation.  If nothing else, maybe you could go let it out  a couple of times to avoid having it ruin your floors.  

Well that's what I was getting at was the dog being loose in the unit and having nowhere to go to the bathroom.  But that's GOING to happen I would think for any landlord who accepts dogs.  You have no way to enforce that they lock up their dog when they leave...

You are correct that you have no way of forcing people to do anything.  All you can do is set expectations and keep an eye on your tenants.  It is not expected that pets are going to pee and poop on your floors and I would advise that you not just accept that behavior just because you accept pets.   We own three dogs and they don't poop or pee in the house because we are responsible pet owners.  Responsible pet owners do not allow nor accept having their pets pee and poop in the house.

You are setting yourself up for a world of hurt if you are just going to accept that pet owners are going to allow their pets to pee and poop on your floors.  You are going to lose a lot of money replacing floors if this is the kind of behavior you expect from your pet-owning tenants. An occasional accident if a pet is ill is one thing, but purposely leaving a pet behind with no option to go to the bathroom other than on your floors is completely unacceptable behavior.

However, we may be jumping the gun here because maybe they have someone coming over after work or something to take care of the dog.  That's why I would text them and ask.  If they don't answer and it seems like they just left the dog alone overnight I would be making a stop by their place in the very near future for an inspection and possible eviction notice if you discover that they have allowed this to happen.  Having pets does not automatically grant you permission to destroy the property by allowing those pets to pee and poop on the floors.

I was expecting this to be running around outside the apartment not in it.  We do not crate our dogs when we have had them. They run around the house so I don't see a problem with the dog running around the apartment.  Instead of complaining the other tenant might have said what can I do to help during your emergency.  Can I take the dog out for you? Can I call someone to let the dog out?  We have left dogs from evening to morning with no issue. There is a difference if they will be gone 10 hours, or 20 hours for sure you will have problems.   You might say since this is an emergency is there someone you want me to let in to take care of the dog? Is he going to be okay until morning? 

Originally posted by @Colleen F. :

I was expecting this to be running around outside the apartment not in it.  We do not crate our dogs when we have had them. They run around the house so I don't see a problem with the dog running around the apartment.  Instead of complaining the other tenant might have said what can I do to help during your emergency.  Can I take the dog out for you? Can I call someone to let the dog out?  We have left dogs from evening to morning with no issue. There is a difference if they will be gone 10 hours, or 20 hours for sure you will have problems.   You might say since this is an emergency is there someone you want me to let in to take care of the dog? Is he going to be okay until morning? 

 I'm with you. I guess I empathize because when I had to rent with my two dogs who injured themselves when crated, I had no choice but to let them run around when I left.  I did my best to keep my place clean and I lived very well, I just had literally nowhere to lock them up.  Anyways, I offered to go let the dog out and it ended up bolting out the door so now I'm spending my evening trying to find a dog........

so sorry, that is too bad.  He had to go, I guess.  If it helps sometimes they come back in unlikely circumstances we had a dog once who ran away at a rest stop and was there in the morning when we went back to look.

Did the tenants say how long they will be gone and if they have a dog walker or dog sitter?

The dog ran out the door when you went to let him/her out? Have you let the tenants know yet? 

Normally, dogs should be ok for a few hours (people have dogs, but go to work during the day), but will really need to go out at about 10 hours or so. If they are normally well behaved and well trained, then letting them chill around the house should not be a problem. They will usually just nap, eat/drink (if food/water are out) and play a bit. Were the tenants already gone for an extended period of time before you found out?

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