Want to rent rooms to friends but they have German Shepherds

13 Replies

I am going to buy a house with the coming months and would like to rent out two of the rooms while living in the third. The only problem is that both of my friends have German Shepherds. I know a lot of insurances don’t cover these dogs. What would the best, cheapest, and safest way to insure myself and them so we don’t get in trouble or a law suit? Both of these dogs are very friendly. I am just not sure because I’ve heard of landlords not renting to others because they have German Shepherds. 

This completely depends on the insurance company. Call around and ask about their dangerous breeds policies. When you have your friends sign leases, have a pet/animal addendum that clarifies your expectations for their pets.

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Amanda has the right idea! A lot of insurers have some restrictions based on breed and definitely outline those expectations in your lease. It is best to have them agree to this early on during lease signing rather than them take the route so many tenants are taking by claiming it as an ESA (emotional support animal, which is considered a service animal -- no additional fees can be charged for ESAs). So, good to clarify with the insurers first and then make sure to have everything outlined in your lease.

@Rob B. Thanks for the response Rob! Just to clarify, I would purchase homeowners insurance, since i will be living in the house and then have my friends agree to pay for the extra charge of insurance for having German Shepherds?

@Alec Denlinger , you are welcome. Thinking about it further, you may want to require your friends to have renter's insurance that covers their pets' possible damage. It tends to be pretty cheap, so not a terrible burden for them.

When you determine who will be insuring the house for you, see if they will also do Renters Insurance. I would suggest that you require the two tenants to purchase Renters Insurance so they have Liability coverage in the event of a dog bite.

I did a quick check of our Homeowners Markets. Out of 30+, a dozen either write the German Shepards or will consider them based on a questionnaire. I would definitely shop around.

Be sure to check on the eligility of renting out the rooms. Some carriers have restrictions on the number of separate renters.

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Originally posted by @Scott Mac :

And if those German Shepards secretly move in their German Sheep--wow do they ever mess up the carpet.

They will eat your thick pile stuff down to office carpet 😕