New Tenants have unauthorized Pets

20 Replies

I just recently renter my apartment to a lady (25) and fiancee (21) less than 2 weeks ago. In her signed rental application form she stated she didn't own a pet. on the rental application form states that your lease can be terminated if one falsifies any information.

Below is a section of my lease agreement regarding pet:

9. PETS:

There shall be no pets allowed on the rented premises. If it is discovered that pets are habited in the premises without informing the Landlord a $35.00 fee for dogs, $25.00 fee for cats and $25.00 fee for other pets per month will be assessed retroactive to the date commencing the Rental Agreement.

10. RIGHT OF TERMINATION AND RE-ENTRY:

In the event of any breach of payment of rent or any other allowed charge, or other breach to this lease, Landlord shall have full right to terminate this Lease in accordance with state law and re-enter and re-claim possession of the leased premises, in addition to such other remedies available to Landlord arising from said breach.

I already reached out to her and told her she needs to get the pets out of the property of which she replied that it was for a friend who was out of town for the weekend and the pet will be gone today.

What can i do if i find out there are still pets in the property.   

Thank You

@Enyi Ajoku ,

Pretty simple.. either kick the pet out, and demand it be removed, or authorize it and have them start paying the fees.    You're leasing to the people, people have rights, pets not on the lease don't!

@Enyi Ajoku Based on your lease, it seems like you have three options:

1. Tell her to remove the pet from the property

2. Evict her for breaching the lease

3. Accept the pet and charge the monthly fee

You will have to decide for yourself what works best. If she is a good tenant and you want to keep her then try and work with her.

If she is a bad tenant and you were looking to have her removed soon anyways, then this could be your opportunity.

If there are no pets allowed l, why do you then charge a monthly fee for unauthorized pets? The rule sort of says that you don't allow pets, but you do, with a fee. Is having a pet a violation of clause 9 if they pay the required monthly fees?
(267) 520-0454
For this I would nicely tell her excluded pets includes any visiting pets. I have said to people any pet that enters the unit is considered visiting. I wont ding you if your friends stops by with the dog in the car. Otherwise you need to work on a move out agreement either for the pet or the tenant and the pets.

Your tenant is in violation of their lease. They knew they were in violation and did not care. Why would you be asking for advice in light of the fact that the lease seems clear.

There is no point in bothering to have a lease if you have no intention of enforcing it.

Your lease clearly state that if a dog is found on the property you will impose a $35/month fee retroactive to the start of the lease. They owe you $35 for every month they have been in the unit.

Either inforce your lease or give your tenants written notice that the pet clause is void.

A lease is a legal contract. The contract clauses do not state that the rules "may be enforced" therefor your lease is invalid if it is not enforced as written.

Your tenants are disrespectful in intentionally violating their contract. Charge the fee to the beginning of the lease and serve a eviction notice if another animal appears at the property (guest or tenants) in the future.

Thanks Everyone !!!

@Linda D. i like how you said pretty simple lol. But you know its as simple as it sounds. I want to use the best cordial means of resolving this but like you said the pet is not on the lease.

@Jason DiClemente there are NO pets allowed on the property. We do a notified inspection 3 times a year and if we have any reason to believe with proof that there are or was pets. Then that fee comes in to play. 

@Thomas S. i dont think i would want to be your tenant lol. But thank you for your straight to the point response

@Enyi Ajoku

"i dont think i would want to be your tenant lol"

You absolutely would not want to be my tenant if your intent is to ignore and violate your lease. After our initial interview we would happily go our separate ways.

I have a zero tolerance for lease violators and make that crystal clear to all applicants up front. Unlike most landlords I keep to my word and expect no less of my tenants. I respect my lease and expect every tenant to do the same otherwise I would not bother wasting my time having a lease.

If it is not your intent to inforce your lease as written you should rewrite your lease.

I consider this to be a professional approach to our business.

@Enyi Ajoku why is your pet fee for cats less than dogs? Cats can cause way more damage.

I think it would be better if your #9 pets clause said unauthorized pets need to be removed, rather than just saying you will charge for them. This implies they can keep the pet if they pay the $35. Clause #10 doesn't specifically address pets. I guess "other breach to this lease" is what you are claiming, but it would be better if you were more clear in #9.

I think that @Linda D. laid it out pretty clearly. It is that simple. Do you consider it cordial to sign a contract then proceed to violate it immediately? That is what your tenants did. They intentionally deceived you, so why is your primary concern their feelings? 

@Enyi Ajoku Send any correspondence in writing. And quote the lease. Usually, this method gets tenant to comply. Good luck! 

Ah yes pets... we love our pets, we just hate our tenant's pets!  We manage thousands of homes and this is an issue that comes up a ton!  In the worst case, I had a family move in with 5 dogs even though they agreed to have none (this was in the country).  Phew... that was a tough one!   

Just thought I would toss out a couple best practices we have picked up from managing thousands of homes; 

1)  There is always a dollar amount that makes a pet ok.  (Like... if they gave you a million dollars, you would let fido stay).  Make sure the fee in the lease is enough to repair all the carpets.  That could be $1K non-refundable fee PLUS $30/mo.

2)  Use the lease as leverage, but likely don't evict.  Telling someone "'technically' I can evict you, but what I'm willing to offer is... "(insert how much they must pay you to make it ok).

3)  "My friend's dog ate my homework" - it might actually be her dog.  If possible, it's better to get this out in the open.  If she really does have a dog, she isn't going to kill it to stay in your home.  She will start looking for a new place or concocting things to get out of the lease and right now she has Sparky lodged over at her best friend's but in 3 days she has to do something.  Again, offering some dollar amount to make it ok, might get you some cash in hand and head off an issue.

I wish you big profits!  

Regards,

Mike Kalis

We leverage our service people to keep an extra eye out. My lawn service, contractors and pest control guys tell me if pets or other shady activities are happening at the property. Tenants have their guards down when the property is being serviced in most cases

I think your lease needs to be a little tighter and you MUST plan to enforce it.  Tenants may read $35 and think - "that's not too bad, we can chance it for a little $35 fee"  You must charge them $35 every single time you see a pet there. 

We charge a fee of $500 to drive it home that we mean it!  We had one tenant who had "her mom's dog" for a weekend to dog sit and we settled on charging her a reduced Fee ($100) plus $30/mo to even have the right to have her mom's dog there occasionally (which turned out to be 1-2 days/month)  We also had her sign an additional pet addendum which is very strong about what can and can't be done (and when we can enter the apartment or call animal control)

Portion of our lease:

If an unauthorized pet is found on the premises a fee of $500 is due immediately for having an non-authorized animal on the premise at the time of occurrence or at landlords discretion. Any damage will be assessed separately and billed to the tenant in addition to the $500 fine.

If a pet has been on or allowed on the Property, even temporarily (with or without the Landlord's permission) Tenant may be charged for cleaning, de-fleaing, deodorizing, shampooing, or replacing any portion of the Property. 

The unauthorized pet fee seems way too easy on the tenant. Most rentals charge tenant a fee for authorized pets $300-500 upfront,  plus $20-$50 a month for pet rent. 

If there is an unauthorized pet in the future, your fees should be a lot more severe. For example, if there is an unauthorized pet, charge $100 upfront and $20 a day until the pet is removed. This will give the tenant incentive to quickly get the animal out of the house. 

What's next, really depends on you. I agree with what others are saying. You have a few options of what to do next. If you have a tenant that pays you on time and that you don't want to see go, I'm sure you could work something out with her. 

Originally posted by @Ceril S. :

I think your lease needs to be a little tighter and you MUST plan to enforce it.  Tenants may read $35 and think - "that's not too bad, we can chance it for a little $35 fee"  You must charge them $35 every single time you see a pet there. 

We charge a fee of $500 to drive it home that we mean it!  We had one tenant who had "her mom's dog" for a weekend to dog sit and we settled on charging her a reduced Fee ($100) plus $30/mo to even have the right to have her mom's dog there occasionally (which turned out to be 1-2 days/month)  We also had her sign an additional pet addendum which is very strong about what can and can't be done (and when we can enter the apartment or call animal control)

Portion of our lease:

If an unauthorized pet is found on the premises a fee of $500 is due immediately for having an non-authorized animal on the premise at the time of occurrence or at landlords discretion. Any damage will be assessed separately and billed to the tenant in addition to the $500 fine.

If a pet has been on or allowed on the Property, even temporarily (with or without the Landlord's permission) Tenant may be charged for cleaning, de-fleaing, deodorizing, shampooing, or replacing any portion of the Property. 

 Thanks for sharing the pet portion of your lease. I will definitely take every feedback here into consideration

All this talk of pets has me twitching and heading into a full blown seizure, flopping on the floor.

Thousands of units and still using the word pet?

All you're tenant has to say is that it isn't a pet silly, it's an emotional support/comfort/therapy animal.  Poof.  All pet policies in the world won't matter.

Do yourselves a favor and adopt an animal policy. With a penalty for violating it that gets their attention. Mine's 500 buckaroos and it doesn't care if your 'watching it for a friend'.  

@Steve Vaughan This is one of the reasons why I love BP so much.  Our next version of leases will have an "animal policy".  Thanks!

Originally posted by @Jenifer Kynor :

If there is an unauthorized pet in the future, your fees should be a lot more severe. For example, if there is an unauthorized pet, charge $100 upfront and $20 a day until the pet is removed. This will give the tenant incentive to quickly get the animal out of the house. 

Thank you for your feedback, on the other hand how do i track or confirm that the pet has left the property if i include a $20 a day fee for the duration of time the pet is in the property? I can't go into the property unannounced and if i give a notice which is 24hrs they would have enough time to take out any trace of a pet in the property.

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