Should I allow Pets ( 1Dog & 1 Cat) in my Rental Property

11 Replies


 I am screening for new tenants,  Most of the enquires are with Pets.

  should I allow Pets ( 1Dog & 1 Cat) in my Rental Property?

(potential tenant live across the street, with one small dog and one Cat).

I am fine with small dog, Any one have experience with cats in the property? please share.

I am not against pets, but want to keep the unit clean as much as for feature tenants turn over.

Although I do not have much experience, I have heard of landlords putting a weight/size limit on the tenant's dog. Cats tend to use litter boxes and if they cause damage, it is typically to the tenant's furniture (ie. leather couches) rather than the actual property. You can ask for a pet fee (or pent rent) each month if that eases your mind. 

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@Trin Nagireddy I’ve only had two tenants but I’ve allowed them to have pets and I’ve had no problems. Truthfully the tenants caused more damages than the pets did.

Yes, you should allow them. My reasons:

1. Depending on your market 50% - 70% of applicants will have a pet. If you reject pets outright, you cut down the number of potential renters.

2. Most pet owners are willing to pay a higher rate to find a pet-friendly property.

3. Because pet-friendly rentals are harder to find, tenants tend to stay longer once they find a good one.

Cat urine is very difficult to get rid of. Sometimes the carpet will look brand new but the odor is overwhelming and you'll have to replace the carpet, the pad, and possibly even seal the subfloor. One cat, poorly raised, can destroy a house. Fortunately, my screening has limited my exposure to that.

Some breeds of dogs are dangerous. Some dig. Some scratch doors or bark incessantly. You have to screen them, determine the risk, and then find a way to mitigate the risk.

No dogs under one year old. No kittens. No breeding.

Have policies in place for violations (barking, not poop scooping, etc.) and address them quickly. 

Charge an increase to the rent. $50 a month is $600 a year and non-refundable whereas a deposit increase has to go back to them if there is no damage. I charge $50 per month per animal and some tenants have multiple animals that don't cause any damage. It's a good income stream.

@Trin Nagireddy

I would allow them, it easy additional income. I charge $35/mo per pet plus an additional non refundable pet deposit of $250-500 depending on the number of pets. As long as you do a comprehensive move in and move out inspection you’ll be fine.

@Trin Nagireddy you could deal with it as the cost of doing business as most renters do. Take a small deposit(for damages which they will likely do) and a pet fee(for the extra work they will require when they move out)

Or you could make a nice steady profit off it. It’s up to you.

People will pay for their pets!

Seems like you got some pretty good answers but it’s definitely something you want to get use to and learn about. It really is a big part of rentals (Do you need to ask for shot records? Do you need to restrict breeds?)

Unless the owner is a terrible pet owner, most pets won’t do the damage you’ll probably hear about in the horror stories so it’s definitely worth it

@Trin Nagireddy I have allowed pets but on the condition that they submit proof that all pets are spayed or neutered. Cats and dogs mark with urine if they are not spayed or neutered. I also require renters insurance to cover the dog as extra liability protection. I only accept tenants with good landlord references and credit as well. I have not had any issues with accepting pets but I have also read horror stories on this site. It is important to visit the property for routine maintenance and to look around to make sure that your property is not being damaged by pets before the lease ends.

Thank you Some Much All. @Amy Beth, @Nathan G., @Luke Sass, @Jonathan W., @Erin Malone, @Jared Siegel 

-- Apart from landlord references and credit check.

 -- I will go head and ask for proof that all pets are spayed or neutered.

--  I will ask to provide  renters insurance to cover the dog/cats as extra liability protection.

--  I  Will propose pet rent & Pet deposit.

This is very helpful.



@Trin Nagireddy Pet policies are always of interest to potential tenants! Whatever your pet policy is, you need to make sure you stick with it throughout all your rentals for consistency and honesty - obviously, a non-refundable security deposit for a pet or a monthly pet rent will mean more $ for you - however, you also risk pets being badly behaved and trashing the apartment which you would have to pay to repair. While most pets are generally fine, there are some risks. Cats are actually very low-key and probably cleaner and easier than dogs - just make sure they are litter box trained!

Quite a few people are allergic to cats.  The dander stays in the house for some time.  Also the potential for lasting odor is much worse for cats.  I permit small dogs with breed restrictions, proof of vaccinations, a photo and insurance, with a pet fee.  I prefer tenants with no pets and will select someone without a pet every time.  Note: if a deposit is not refundable it is a fee, not a deposit, and should be stated as a fee in your lease.