Would you allow dogs? How about large dogs?

24 Replies

Houseshare/roommate setting.

Had one person want to bring their 60 pound dog. Said it was house-trained, not kennel-trained. Young tenant, probably 20 or 21 years old. Friendly breed of dog. Would you rent to that size of dog? Would you require it to always be in it's kennel when the owner was away if you were their roommate?

Had another person have a smaller dog, saying it's a service dog. Can/how can I verify that it's really a service dog, not an emotional therapy dog or someone bluffing wanting me to allow dogs and allow dogs with no deposit?

Maybe I should just add a pet deposit and let dogs roam free, then bill them for damages,... instead of trying so hard to prevent damages? I've got HUGE windows in the house that a dog could easily scratch, and white/light carpet.

I don't allow any dogs over 10lbs. My liability insurance does not cover dogs at all, but I will allow a small breed if they are good tenants and are willing to pay a pet deposit.

Everyone is going to have a different policy on pets. Some allow them, some allow them with conditions, some don't allow them at all.

My policy is that I do not allow them at all. This policy was set as a result of personal experience. I made an exception once to allow a tenant to have a dog (medium sized Husky), and it did SO much damage that I will never let another tenant have a dog. It's just not worth it to me.

This dog dug holes all over the yard, chewed sprinkler heads completely off, chewed ALL of the wires off the sprinkler valves/solenoids so that they all had to be completely replaced, scratched/chewed up an exterior door and door casing, and literally chewed through a brand new fence/gate I had recently built. Not to mention the fact that the tenants left about 3-4 five gallon buckets full of dog poop in the backyard when they left.

Yep, never again.

I'm a property manager, not a home owner so I generally let the homeowner make the decision but, my strong recommendation is always no dog over 20 pounds or under 3 years old. My application states no pets allowed and my lease has a strong "no pets" clause in it. If the prospective tenant asks, I ask some questions about the animal, seek the landlords input and let the tenant know yes or no.

As for service animals, I have yet to run across that issue. According to the article that Steve put up, it looks like I'd need to confirm that the animal is indeed a service animal and is required by the prospective tenant.

I allow them. I was a renter not long ago and had a 90lb lab. I currently have a 100lb Chesapeake Bay Retriever and I cant even imagine how hard it would be to rent if I had him at the time.

I have never had issues with renting to a big dog, just make sure you get a fat deposit for damage. I could be that I have a soft spot for mans best friend, but I'm going to keep renting to big dogs.

I also should mention in Denver everyone has a big dog, you won't rent for as much or as quickly if you don't rent to dogs.

I agree with @Grant P. Out here in Albuquerque, most people have dogs. I require a Pet Rent and a Pet Deposit. The Pet Rent is $25.00 per dog and I set the deposit based on the size of the dog. I've read that dog owners stay longer so I figure I am saving all that time and money it takes to turn a place over to a new tenant over and over.

We are looking for our first rental now (have been doing strictly rehabs so far) and I do not plan on allowing dogs. Sure, it might expand your pool of possible renters but it my market there are plenty of renters out there, so that should not be a problem. I figure I can still find suitable tenants and will not have to worry about damage from dogs or other possible issues.

If I find out I cannot find rentals and conclude allowing dogs will help resolve the problem I will consider it, but I think that is highly unlikely.

I allow dogs in my rentals, almost everyone in the neighborhood has a dog. Have had issues with property damage and I am thinking about a rent surcharge for each dog.
Having said that I see that you are considering this for a roommate setting and that is a different You are going to be living with a stranger and his or her dog. You have to make sure you can live with the particular stranger and the particular dog. If you are not a dog lover i would not consider doing this. If you are a dog lover than make sure you and the dog can at least tolerate each other. My sister has a friendly dog but I can not visit her for long periods of time because the dog is a nuisance and if she did not live with my mother I would probably not visit at all and I do like dogs.

i read recently where 50% of famillies/singles have dogs. 1 tenant had a big dog. it was fine; the tenant not so much.

the potential damage is a real possibilty but the length of stay (since no one else will take pets) will definitely help the bottom line.

Be sure that you follow the same policy with everyone that says they have a service animal. You should have a procedure for that, and you cant deny them simply based on that. I have them put it in writing and require a letter from an MD that it is a medical necessity. Some places even require it an MD, and don't allow it to be from a social worker.
Since its a roommate/house share, you may be able to say no. But be cautious. Be sure to check out ADA requirements.

Guys, is a pet deposit something that is over the regular deposit? Most states have rules regarding the amount of a deposit you can charge. Is the "pet deposit" unlimited by law?

Dredging up this old thread as a tenant has inquired about getting a dog. Steve Might, in Michigan you're limited to 1.5 months rent as refundable deposit. It can be any combination of security deposit, pet deposit or whatever but no more than 1.5 months. Since one month is fairly common for security deposit that leaves 1/2 month for a pet deposit if that's how you want to structure it.

Every tenant who has a dog swears that their dog is well behaved and doesn't do damage. And they can promise all day that he'll be crated during the day or whatever, but it's almost always BS. Do not allow a dog because the tenant said its a good dog and isn't destructive.

Originally posted by @Chris DeTreville :
Every tenant who has a dog swears that their dog is well behaved and doesn't do damage. And they can promise all day that he'll be crated during the day or whatever, but it's almost always BS. Do not allow a dog because the tenant said its a good dog and isn't destructive.

I am faced with this dilemma right now.

A couple applicant looking at my SFH rental has a dog - a large one, a 75 pound boxer. I have never allowed a dog over 20# and they said the dog is old and does nothing more than lay in the sun for hours outside and go inside, very low activity, very well behaved. I don't know if that's true or not, not saying they are lying but I can see how a dog owner can be very biased on their opinions towards their dog.

I am worried about it as my property is not dog proof. I have sprinkler heads sticking out, I have delicate plants and shrubberies, sprinkler valves, wires, low voltage ground lights outside, lawn furntiure etc...plus I think a 75# dog drops a large pile of heat right? Not sure my lawn guy would appreciate stepping on heat every few steps. May be they need a pooper scooper too if they don't do it themselves? Or will the dog this big litter in a designated area of the yard?

50/50 on this.

I've never seen a well behaved boxer personally. They usually aren't mean, but are very active and get into everything in my experience. I say no animals at all. Too hard to get the pee smell out of the house later. It turns your house nasty and makes it harder to rent later if you can't get the smell out.

@Sam Leon the in-home visits can help to verify whether the dog's behavior has been described in a truthful manner. You can drive by and observe, plus you can stop and ask the neighbors about the dog (although there is no guarantee that any neighbor will be honest about that).

For those who allow dogs, do you have any clauses in your lease that address situations that would result in a lease termination due to dog behavior? Such as neighbor complaints, biting the mailman, overly destructive on the property, not leashing the dog when outside...etc?

@Sam Leon - of course before terminating tenancy, a notice to quit the offending behavior would be required.

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

--------------------->% cut here %<---------------------

Tenant desires to keep the following described pet in the dwelling they occupy under the Rental Agreement referred to above.

Type of Animal: ________ Breed: ________

Age: ________Gender: ________

Name: ________Weight: ________

Color / Markings: ________

Tenant has completed a Pet Application and has been granted permission by Landlord to keep the pet specified and Tenant agrees to the following terms and conditions.

1) Tenant agrees that Tenant is solely responsible for the maintenance of the above described pet, and agrees to keep the pet under control at all times.

2) Tenant agrees to keep Tenant’s pet restrained when it is outside Tenant’s dwelling.

3) Tenant agrees to adhere to local ordinances, including leash and licensing requirements.

4) Tenant agrees not to leave Tenant’s pet unattended for unreasonable periods.

5) Tenant agrees to clean up after Tenant’s pet and to dispose of the pet's waste properly and quickly.

6) Tenant agrees not to leave food or water for Tenant’s pet or any other animal outside Tenant’s dwelling where it may attract other animals.

7) Tenant agrees to keep Tenant’s pet from being unnecessarily noisy or aggressive and causing any annoyance or discomfort to others, and agrees to immediately remedy any complaints made through the Landlord / Manager / Owner upon Tenant being informed of these complaints.

8) Tenant agrees to provide Tenant’s pet with an identification tag that the pet will wear at all times while on the premises, except when medical well-being of the pet indicates that it is necessary to leave it off of the pet.

9) Tenant agrees not to breed or allow the pet to reproduce, but if this should occur, the pet’s offspring will be placed within twelve weeks of birth.

10) Tenant agrees to immediately pay for any damage, loss, or expense caused by their pet, and in addition, they will add $ 0 (zero) to their security/cleaning deposit, which may be used for cleaning, repairs or delinquent rent when tenant vacate. This added deposit, or what remains of it when pet damages have been assessed, will be returned to Tenants within 30 (thirty) days after they have proved that they no longer keep this pet.

11) Tenant agrees to pay for pest infestation services resulting from Tenant’s pets being allowed in the property after termination of occupancy

12) Tenant agrees that this Pet Addendum applies only to the specific pet described above and that no other pet may be substituted. Tenant agrees to furnish the Owner with a picture of their pet prior to occupancy.

13) Tenant agrees that the Owner reserves the right to revoke permission to keep the pet should the Tenant break this agreement. Tenant will be given 3 days to correct the problem or to remove the pet from the premises.

14) Owner also has the right to enter the premises if there is reason to believe the Pet poses a threat to the health and safety of others or if a violation of the Lease Agreement or Addendum is suspected. Owner will not enter the premises without first making a reasonable attempt to request entry from the Tenant, except in the case of an emergency or Tenant’s failure to respond within a reasonable amount of time. If the safety of the Pet or others is threatened for any reason, Owner has the right to remove the Pet at any time and place it in the custody of Animal Control. Any fees incurred for the Pet’s removal or boarding are the responsibility of the Tenant.

15) Tenant agrees to carry Renter’s Insurance and to have Tenant’s pet named on the policy. Tenant agrees that Landlord is to be either an additional insured or an interested party or a certificate holder on the policy.

--------------------->% cut here %<---------------------

PETS ALLOWED _________ LANDLORD INITIALS __________________ TENANT INITIALS

a)Tenant will pay the cost of repairing damage caused by the pet and will pay the cost as additional rent.

b)Landlord reserves the right to end this pet agreement if the Tenant does not maintain the pet properly or the pet becomes a nuisance to others.

c)Tenant agrees to walk pet on a leash no longer than 6 feet and to pick up after the pet.

d)Tenant agrees not to leave pet unattended for more than ______ consecutive hours and will remove all offspring of the pet within ____ weeks of birth.

e) The cost of repairing any damage caused by the animal is a charge Tenant agrees to pay as additional rent. This includes cleaning and deodorizing carpet.

f) Number of Pets _____ Breed of Each ___________________________ Charge per Pet $________

This Addendum states the responsibilities involved with being both a Tenant and a pet owner. Only the pet(s) listed on this Pet Addendum are allowed. No pet sitting allowed.

Name of pet _______________________ Age _______________________

Breed _________________________________ Size (weight) _______________________

Name of pet _______________________ Age _______________________

Breed _________________________________ Size (weight) _______________________

1. The pet will not be a nuisance to the neighbors. The pet and Tenant will comply with all Rules, Laws and Regulations of the Owners’ Association (if any) and legal jurisdiction including licensing. Dogs will not be allowed out of the property without a leash. Repeated noise violations by the pet are considered a violation of this lease addendum.

2. Pests (Rodents and insects) are attracted by pet feces and food. Tenant is responsible for keeping property free of feces. Tenant is responsible for extermination of all pests.

Initial here ________ / _________

3. Pets will be fed indoors only. Food will not be left outdoors.

4. Pet will not cause any damage to the property. Tenant is financially responsible for any and all damage caused by his/her pet. Security deposit will be returned to the Tenant after an inspection has determined that there are no damages caused by the pet and all other terms of the release of deposit have been met. If the deposit is not sufficient to repair pet damages, Tenant agrees to promptly pay Landlord for the remaining expenses.

5. Landlord reserves the right to revoke permission to keep the pet and to terminate the Lease Agreement for violation of this addendum. Tenant will be responsible for the remaining unexpired term of the lease until property is rented to a new tenant.

6. Tenant will remove or secure any pet(s) on the premises when property is on the market or when repairs are scheduled.

7. At termination of occupancy, Tenant will have premises professionally treated for fleas and ticks by a professional exterminator. Tenant will have carpet professionally cleaned and deodorized. Paid receipts are required from both contractors before Security Deposit can be returned.

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Some large dogs make the best inside animals. Greyhounds good, Jack Russell Terriorists, not so good generally. Talk you your local vet/shelter and they can probably provide a list of responsible animal breeds. I do do pets and don't discriminate based on size.

personally when I finally start renting properties out I will allow dog - all breeds but no cats. I have an American Pitbull terrier so I know how hard it is to find somewhere to live with my dog. And getting rid of him will never be an option so I'm much more understanding when it comes to pets. Yes there will be a rent surcharge, damage penalties and other insurance requirements and what not but will still be allowed. 

just to thicken the plot:

I made a decision to turn away a very qualified couple today who were requesting to move into our SFH 2/2 with 2 beautiful puppies.

They are cute and lovable now but owners stated that dogs were of unknown parenting.  Chewing puppies, housebreaking puppies, curious puppies.  And then they grow up into????

I just could not risk not knowing what these dogs were.  I hope I made the correct call.  The couple seemed like good people.