First, I have nothing against pets. I do allow pets in some of my rentals, but I have to say, they DO add to my cost, yet I do not charge a pet fee.
Here is a list of things I have personally experienced a tenant's dog do.
- Dug out sprinkler heads pulled them off the lines.
- Yanked out sprinkler controller wires.
- Chewed off corners of interior doors.
- Scratches on exterior doors that looked like the XMEN Wolverine poster.
- Broke the lower portions of wood blinds.
- Bent or go THROUGH window screens.
- Yanked kitchen cabinet door hinges completely off.
- Removed 80% of paint off cabinet kick plates.
- Chewed off the bottom moulding of a refrigerator.
- Exterior door weather seal shredded to pieces.
- Dog poop all over the back yard when tenants agreed to clean up after each time.
- This is a new one this week - and I am still unsure how this could happen, can a dog's teeth be strong enough to put a dent almost a hole on the aluminum threshold of an exterior door?
A cat is definitely less stressful, but not trouble free.
- Cat food left out overnight invites roaches into the house.
- This I did not experience, but a friend who is a fellow landlord did - a tenant flushed kitty litter down the toilet and caused a blockage in the drain.
- One time I had to replace a central AC system, tenant had the cat in a bedroom, with door closed. I told the crew, leave that door closed, don't let the cat out. One guy accidentally opened the door, the cat shot out the room and disappeared outside. They had the front door wide open as they removed the old air handler and brought in the new. We spent the next two hours calling and looking for the cat.
Huge difference between a pet free rental and a pet occupied rental when you remove an air filter and look at it. I have had buildings where new AC systems are installed at the same time, and without exceptions, the pet occupied units will clog and need acid washing sooner, and will break down sooner.
I no longer allow dogs but still allow cats.
What are things your tenants' pet did that cost you time and money? Yes you can bill for the damages but it's not always straight forward.
Had a pair of young tenants who came with a well trained medium sized dog. Half way into the lease they got a second dog, a puppy. "Angus" (aptly named) appeared to be a cross between a horse and an elephant. His contribution?
1. He ate the porch swing.
2. He chewed the plug off a wall air conditioner (why it didn't electrocute him I'll never know)
3. The nice raised bed planted with tea olive bushes by the front door was completed destroyed because the dirt was oh so comfortable to lie on during those hot summer days.
4. He also ate the tenants outside rocking chair that the husband had given to the wife as a wedding present.
Next lease....no puppies.
Had a young military couple who had one cat. When they moved out we found the bathroom sink clogged. Tried the usual things to unclog it (drain cleaners, removing the trap, attempting to snake it); no luck. Finally decided to crawl under the house and cut the drain line in an attempt to find the clog and replace that section of line. Bill cut it while I held a pan to catch any water. Nothing. Two feet down, a cut...nothing. Cut all the way to the actual sewer connection. Turns out the entire line was completely clogged with what looked like cat litter. They weren't tossing it down the toilet; for some reason, they were tossing it down the bathroom sink.
Originally posted by @Gail K. :
4. He also ate the tenants...
I was going oh no when I read the first part of that sentence LOL.
Yes cat litter is bad news. Sadly many tenants are ignorant and don't treat a rental like their own home. When you have a dog trying to adjust to a new environment and a tenant that doesn't care you have a problem. I simply don't allow a dog anymore.