I’m a new landlord. My tenant is a few months into his lease and wants to have his girlfriend move in. I don’t have a problem with the girlfriend moving in (pending background check), but she has a dog. My tenant already has a dog and a cat. His lease agreement states there’s a maximum of two pets in the property.
I do understand his situation, so I am leaning toward allowing the third dog. I initially charged my tenant $150 non refundable pet fee and $200 per pet security fee. I have spoken to some people and was advised to charge $250-500 pet fee and a $25-30 pet rent. Would it be reasonable to charge a $250 pet fee for this additional pet and a $30 monthly pet rent? Should I still include a deposit? I did turn down an applicant before because she had 3 dogs even though she was willing to pay a little bit more than the advertised rate since she had more pets than I was accepting at the time ($2100 since she had 3 dogs and one was bigger than I was okay with vs $1950 advertised price). What would you suggest?
Also, if I allow this change in lease agreement now, how can I make it so I don’t sound like a pushover landlord and not be taken advantage of in the remaining months of his lease?
First, check your state law. Many states do not allow the rent to be increased for a pet. I recommend the following:
Complete and execute a Pet Addendum to change the number of allowable pets, the security deposit, and non-refundable pet fee. I would skip charging the monthly increase to the rent as that effectively changes the lease altogether and could be seen as a demand for a rent increase.
Require and obtain all pets vaccination records and licenses as well as the name and phone number of the vet.
Require Renter's Insurance with Landlord as Additionally Insured coverage - that covers pets so that if anyone is bitten or damage is sustained, you are held harmless and the tenant's policy kicks in for those damages.
As long as you change nothing more than the conditions regarding the pets, it's pretty basic.
But if you're going to charge more for a two-person occupancy, you would be better off having a new lease prepared, having both parties sign it, and changing the rent as well as the pet portion of the lease.
Hope this helps...