Tenant asks for a temporary dog stay

22 Replies

Hi BP, 

my tenant asks if she can keep her sister's dog while her sister is away. She offers a fee. The dog is a bitbul 3 months old. 

The apartment has 6-month old carpet and freshly painted. The tenant just moved in Aug 1st. She is just as good (so far) as it could be. Perfect credit, history etc. Drives a new beautiful ML-350. 

I'm really willing to cooperate, but i dont want to make a mistake.. 

Considerations:

- written agreement (exact dates in and out) 

- extra deposit? 

- inspections after dog leaves? 

I dont know what else, please advise and share your ideas

Thanks in advance!

Dogs aren't the end of the world. She told you in advance, she's willing to pay the fee, she's being reasonable, I would recommend you do the same. If he tears the place up, you charge them.

How long is the stay? big difference between 1-2 weeks and 7-8 months

It sounds like you have a very reasonable and responsible renter.  If the renter will go along with your asks I would say do it to maintain the good will with a good tenant. 

Keep in mind a puppy's primary job is to ruin things.  You might also ask that the renter keep the dog in a kennel (on the premise) while the renter is at work or away.

I had a recent renter sign a lease agreeing to no pets.  She then lied about having a puppy.  I was able to update the lease for the dog and an additional deposit.  They moved out 9 months later and the new carpets were completely destroyed along with scratches and holes in drywall from the dog.    

it's about a month

my concern is not the physical damage to things, I'm afraid a dog this young is likely to urinate all over the place. I can charge for a new carpet but what about if the smell will be sitting in the subfloor and down to joists?..

and yes, it's a no pet lease

Originally posted by @Aleksey Vinogradov :

it's about a month

my concern is not the physical damage to things, I'm afraid a dog this young is likely to urinate all over the place. I can charge for a new carpet but what about if the smell will be sitting in the subfloor and down to joists?..

 Not something I would be concerned about. I have pulled a lot of urine-stained/soaked carpets and I have never had a situation where the subfloors or joists were odor-damaged. Stained, yes, but no odor. Urine is sterile and highly acidic, and once the ammonia smell and the water evaporates the remainder is mostly salts.

I just don't want to end up with something like this

taken from here 

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/223/topics/133059-cat-litter-house-flip-653-and-it-could-be-the-worst-one-yet-look-at-the-pics-and-you-decide?page=6

Cat urine is much, much stronger and long-lasting than dog urine, and it is another reason why I don't accept cats in my rentals (aside from being allergic). Dogs drink more water than cats and their urine is less concentrated. Some dog urine is so odorless that you don't even notice it's happened until you pull a carpet up and see the telltale burn marks in the wood floor. 

PS: If you check out the rest of the post you'll see the house in question was a disgusting hoarder. There was a lot going on there besides the cats. 

My insurance wont allow a pitbull in my rentals. Check your policy for a dangerous breed clause.

I have 3 dogs and usually 1 foster at any given time.

1. I highly recommend laminate for rentals, regardless of dog ownership (but good for these cases as well).

2. Tell the renter your concerns. you won't have to replace subfloor, but maybe carpet IF she doesn't clean up after the dog quickly and thoroughly. If you have to replace carpet, just make she knows she is the one paying for it (plus any other damage).

A dog isn't a destruction device, jus a PITA. Pit bulls are fantastic dogs and not to hard to house train either. Usually my dogs only have 3-4 accidents in the house before being fully house broken. You're right to be worried, but you're wrong to be worried that much.

Jd, Cory, Alexander - thanks for your input! 

Do I concoct and sign a paper regarding the dog? 

Jd, yes, I red that topic.. the house is as horrible as it could be.. 

Originally posted by @JD Martin :
Originally posted by @Aleksey Vinogradov:

it's about a month

my concern is not the physical damage to things, I'm afraid a dog this young is likely to urinate all over the place. I can charge for a new carpet but what about if the smell will be sitting in the subfloor and down to joists?..

 Not something I would be concerned about. I have pulled a lot of urine-stained/soaked carpets and I have never had a situation where the subfloors or joists were odor-damaged. Stained, yes, but no odor. Urine is sterile and highly acidic, and once the ammonia smell and the water evaporates the remainder is mostly salts.

Well I have.  I have bought both urine damaged raised foundations and one concrete slab that was literally crumbling in a dozen of places under the pad.  The owner had lived there 2 years and carpet and pad was new when she moved in. 

I'd say no to a puppy in a newly rehabbed unit with a new tenant.  Your tenant is brand new.  Just because she presents well doesn't mean she can manage a puppy in your unit.  The puppy is brand new.  3 month old puppies are not fully trained and your tenant isn't the owner.  Will the puppy be in a crate all day when your tenant is working? Will the other tenants have to deal with barking or whining?  There's no such thing a no pet damage with an untrained puppy.  One puppy accident goes through to the pad.  

The time for a tenant to ask for such a concession is not 2 weeks into their tenancy.  Ignore the tenant's income and vehicle and just say no.  

forgot to mention: tenant says she's going to keep the dog at her store during the day

Originally posted by @Aleksey Vinogradov :

forgot to mention: tenant says she's going to keep the dog at her store during the day

I'm not going to lie.....I'm totally suspicious of a tenant needing to babysit a dog for a month after moving in 2 weeks ago.  Would you have approved her if she applied with the dog?  Did your advertising say no dogs.  Does your lease say no dogs.  Who is this sister that has a new puppy but suddenly has to go away for a month.  I dare you to say no.  :)

Originally posted by K.marie P.:
I'm not going to lie.....I'm totally suspicious of a tenant needing to babysit a dog for a month after moving in 2 weeks ago.  Would you have approved her if she applied with the dog?  Did your advertising say no dogs.  Does your lease say no dogs.  Who is this sister that has a new puppy but suddenly has to go away for a month.  I dare you to say no.  :)

 I would have rejected her 100% and i did reject a few people, my ad said no pets, the lease says no pets unless agreed with landlord in writing.. 

My feeling is if I allow it now I will possibly open a can of worms.. it's gonna happen over and over again..

Originally posted by @Aleksey Vinogradov :
Originally posted by @K. marie P.:
I'm not going to lie.....I'm totally suspicious of a tenant needing to babysit a dog for a month after moving in 2 weeks ago.  Would you have approved her if she applied with the dog?  Did your advertising say no dogs.  Does your lease say no dogs.  Who is this sister that has a new puppy but suddenly has to go away for a month.  I dare you to say no.  :)

 I would have rejected he 100% and i did reject a few people, my ad said no pets, the lease says no pets unless agreed with landlord in writing.. 

My feeling is if I allow it now I will possibly open a can of worms.. it's gonna happen over and over again..

Do you have a nice unit in a nice area where no one allows dogs?  Any chance the sister doesn't want the dog anymore and the tenant wants to adopt it.  Any chance the puppy is actually the tenant's?

Stay the course. Or allow the dog 100%.  Don't fall for the dog sitting thing.  :)

Nothing is more permanent  than  something done temporary .   I would say no .

I'm with K. marie P. all the way on this one.  JUST SAY NO.  You are only opening yourself up for problems and expense.  I'm fairly certain your insurance will say "no" to the pitbull.  I suspect if you say yes, the one month will turn into more.  Also, if you don't typically allow pets and this is a multi-family, be prepared for every other tenant to ask the same.  If you don't typically allow pets and you allow this one, don't your other tenants have a right to rely on the "no pets" and now they are living with barking, wimpering, etc.,  Also, pit bulls are a HUGE liability.  From what I see, even with additional pet fee, you will put in a lot of extra effort (writing up addendums, submitting to your insurance, inspections in and inspections out etc., just to put you to where you are right now.)  If she is willing to pay a fee, she can kennel the dog or pay another friend.  Don't let it be in your apartment... 

@Aleksey Vinogradov First off I'm an animal lover.  I typically let my tenants have smaller pets that are house trained.  It gives me a better rental pool because most places dont allow for pets.  I just state that they need to have the place professionally cleaned when they vacate and if any damages happen then I will take it out of their deposit.  Like most said above there are certain restrictions to types of dogs you are covered by insurance.  Personally I would say no as a month is a little long. If it was for a week then I would probably let them.
@Alexander Felice How do you not have warped water logged floors? Did you seal them with something? I got pergo max something something that is very durable, no scratches from the dog or dragging the couches around, but is really sensitive to liquids.  I would think the better choice for rentals with pets are vinyl planks. 

@Royce Talbo

I don't allow pets in my rentals. My personal house is a ZOO but house training dogs is easy and we don't have accidents.

It's something we bought at Sam's club for $1.65/sqft

I said NO

I feel pretty bad about but i still believe i just didn't invite new troubles to come

My philosophy is that whatever you do as a landlord you will end up to be an a..hole in the eyes of your tenants anyway. So just do whatever costs less and takes less effort.  

Originally posted by @Aleksey Vinogradov :

I said NO

I feel pretty bad about but i still believe i just didn't invite new troubles to come

My philosophy is that whatever you do as a landlord you will end up to be an a..hole in the eyes of your tenants anyway. So just do whatever costs less and takes less effort.  

Don't feel bad.  You didn't feel bad when you advertised no pets and when you had your tenant sign a lease that said no pets.  If tenants asking for things other than what they agreed to 2 WEEKS after moving in, you are in a for a feel bad landlord gig.  :)

There's a nice discussion of dog related issue here.. I'm glad I said no
https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/81/topics/226322-carpet-ruined---do-i-have-recourse-should-i-pursue?page=1

Originally posted by @Aleksey Vinogradov :

I said NO

I feel pretty bad about but i still believe i just didn't invite new troubles to come

My philosophy is that whatever you do as a landlord you will end up to be an a..hole in the eyes of your tenants anyway. So just do whatever costs less and takes less effort.  

 Sounds pretty legit haha! Thanks for posting about this topic. I probably wouldve done the same thing.

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