PM allows Pet without approval from Owner

4 Replies

Tenant came with the house.  Here is pet addendum in the lease agreement that I received before closing:

Here is a pet addendum that was just recently uploaded to my owner portal:

Any advice on how to proceed?

@Frank Jiang

I think that a little bit more information from this would be helpful. I'm making some assumptions here:

Are you saying that you inherited these tenants when you purchased this property? 

At that time, you were presented with a pet addendum, signed by the tenants that says that they do not have a pet?

Then, recently, you were presented with a second pet addendum, this time saying that the tenants DO have a pet, with the same date, and the same signatures?

If I'm reading that correctly, it seems to me that one possible explanation is that they signed the lease with no pet, and then signed an addendum a few hours later that day, saying that they DO in fact want to have a dog with them. 

It's possible that your property manager simply didn't upload that document until today (an error on his/her part, to be sure!). I'd have them sort it out for you, and if I'm wrong and he/she did something more fishy, then it might be time to find a new manager. While the lack of clarity with pet addendum is perhaps not a massive problem, it could be just an indicator of far more serious mistakes made by the property manager. I'd search through the lease and other items associated with the property to try to uncover more about how this manager runs the entire operation.

I think you'll also want to do a little more digging specifically into the pet situation:

a) Did you or the previous owners receive a pet deposit?

b) Are you charging and receiving additional rent or pet fees because of the animal's presence?

Hopefully, this situation is just a communication error, and I'd hope it isn't a cashflow or deal killer on your investment either way. While dogs can cause problems, I'd bet that the worst case is that you have some carpet replacement and painting to redo when the lease comes to an end and they move out.

To me it looks like @Frank Jiang was shown their filled out form while they were perspective tenants and then he approved them seeing that they had no pets. then when they moved in and he got the official copy of their lease they did, in fact, have a pet.

1. if you do not allow pets let your property manager know immediately and try to stop this before they move in.

2. if they have moved in and taken possession of the property then you might be stuck with them

3. either your PM made a huge mistake or he hosed you and maybe he knows these people.

no matter the situation though I would definitely call your property manager ASAP and try and straighten this out.

*not a lawyer

@Scott Trench

Thanks for your reply.

House was bought from a TK company 2015-06.  One of the conditions to be fulfilled before closing was placement of tenant.  Tenant signed lease 2015-06-04 with addendum stating that they did not have pets.

I just spoke with the property manager.  The tenant contacted the PM 2015-08-01 asking to allow a pet.  PM granted approval without first receiving approval from me, signed a new pet addendum (backdated 2015-06), and collected a $200 non-refundable pet fee.  Tenants (and dog) are already moved in.  No additional pet rent is being collected.  Dog is a Yorkie Poodle.

The PM was apologetic about not seeking prior approval and stated it is part of their normal process to get approval from owner, but that this instance slipped through the cracks.  At the end of the day, nothing terrible has happened, but the way that the PM handled this situation is still concerning.  I would have approved a pet with those details but being kept in the dark isn't acceptable.

My questions are:

- Who gets the pet fee?  Nothing about pet fee stated in PM Agreement.

- Is there any sort of liability or other issues that this can create?

- How would you handle situation with PM?

Be clear with the PM that any pet is approved in writing by you.  I had this happen to me even though the lease said no pets the PM office staff said of course you can bring your cat ,  never consulted me.  I walked in the door for a repair and saw the cat and said who is this.  They produced the PM's approval even though the lease clearly stated in capital bold no pets.... and it was a student rental. Had it been a dog I would have sent them packing since I don't think the students have the ability to manage a dog most of the time.  I would have collected an additional deposit but it is not allowed in our state.

I insist on renters insurance for dogs for liability. if you have a pet fee it is your property you should be getting the fee.