Pet policy with 3 cats tenant

10 Replies

Good morning Everybody,

I have a tenant interested on one of my property, One Adult with 3 cats. I have a rule that Max allowed pets are 2. How do you go about this. Also, I have a Pet fee (Non refundable fee per pet). Is it a good idea to leave it there or charge more as Pet rental too? I never had a Tenant with pet until this. Any suggestions or guidance would be appreciated.

- Thanks,


@Sivarajasekaran Annamalai our PM company also only allows 2 pets unless we get specific owner approval. Some things to consider are:

  • Contact their current landlord. Find out if they have done periodic inspections and what kind of condition that they have kept the home. "Crazy Cat Ladies" can really allow for a lot of tenant damages.
  • We charge both a initial pet fee and monthly pet rent per pet. It's not much, but in the case of 3 cats, it would be an increase of $1,200 the first year and $900/year after that.
  • Have a good pet addendum for your lease. Ensure that they tenant is responsible for properly caring for the pet and not allowing damages to take place. We have only had to evict a tenant once for a pet (although we have gotten rid of quite a few) and having good contracts in place will help the process. Also, have a different addendum for each pet including name, age, breed, etc. This will help you ensure that they do not have more pets that you are aware.
  • Do periodic inspections! We do them every 3 months and our inspectors are great at identifying problem areas. Look for pet damages. Things to look for will be rooms that they lock the pets in. Damage to doors and trims. Yard damage. Damaged window sills, blinds, and screens. Damaged entry doors. Excessive wearing in carpets. Smells and odors, especially urine. If there unacceptable pet damages, address it immediately with the tenants. Their choices are:
    • Don't allow the pets to continue to do these things.
    • Get rid of the pets.
    • Get out of the house.

Personally, I am not a fan of pets in my homes, but approx 60% of americans have pets and only 40% of rentals are pet friendly. At the end of the day it comes down to risk tolerance, being proactive, and keeping an eye on your tenants.

@Sivarajasekaran Annamalai

Personally, I would accept dogs, but not cats. Here's why

Rentals why no cats?

It really depends on your market if you should charge a pet fee and/or pet rental. I charge a refundable deposit and wanted to charge a pet rent as well, but the demand wasn't high enough so I had to drop the pet rent. 

If your rental market is HOT, you can dictate the terms that fits your needs. 

@Ross Denman - Thanks for the details. I'm afraid of the damages and other headaches to go through.

@Chris T. - Thanks, our market has some demand, so thinking being little bit more strict on Pet policy.

Overall I'm good with pets, but not sure about some off limit requirements like this.

I personally do not allow pets, if I did I would charge a monthly fee since if there is damage it is unlikely a deposit will cover it.

As for three cats, unfortunately cats are the absolute worst pets in a rental, I would not have a policy if I did not intend to inforce it. Either deny this applicant or remove your pet restriction policy. If you accept this applicant your policy would be voided for any future applicants anyway.

Funny, I have not had any problems in the units that have had cats. I don't allow dogs. I love dogs, but they can destroy the quality of life in apartment house with barking.  I've had neighbors whose dogs bark all day. Literally all day. At least cats don't do that. But i would not allow more than 2 either.

We've stopped allowing cats after having allergy issues with tenants that have moved into a house where the previous tenant had cats.   It's very difficult to remove all the cat hair and dander even with multiple shampooings and vacuuming.


In that situation, I would charge a much larger pet deposit and additional pet rent. If you are already planning to allow two cats, I couldn't imagine how much more additional damage a third would do.. Just make sure you are charging plenty enough to cover those potential damages. Also, with it being a one individual with three pets, I am sure she will be much more willing to pay the additional fee and rent rather than choosing a cat to take to the shelter.  I would also be very strict on making three the limit and put in the lease she is not allowed to adopt any additional pets. 

Those are just my thoughts on it and what I would do in that situation! 

Good luck! 

Thanks for the response.

@Jenifer Kynor , I haven't had a tenant with pets sos far in the units. So I'm not sure, what to do. But looks like there are few concerns about having cat. As lot of other mentioned, a big chunk of tenants are having at least one pet.

Like any animal, any damages or trouble they cause are more than likely the owner's fault. One suggestion I would have is to be pet friendly on a "case by case basis." You could require pet interviews before allowing any pets in the home. That would give you a little extra time and opportunity to meet the pets before deciding whether or not you're willing to rent to this individual. 

I personally have had cats and dogs that have never been destructive, but I have seen many cases where other people pets are. So if you're unsure I would suggest to do it based off of a pet interview. Just stick to what you are comfortable with!



If you rent to the prospective tenant in question, you no longer have a max 2 pet policy.  You now have a max 3 pet policy.  Once you allow it for one, you must allow for all, or accept the backlash that may (most likely, will) commence.

You can't change things as you go.  Open yourself up to all kinds of problems.

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