As a landlord, if you're considering renting to tenants with pets, it's important to develop a clear pet policy that outlines the rules and expectations for pet owners. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Decide what types of pets you will allow. You may choose to allow only certain types of pets (e.g. cats and dogs), limit the number of pets, or prohibit pets altogether.
2. Consider charging a pet deposit or pet fee. A pet deposit is a refundable amount of money paid by the tenant upfront, which can be used to cover any damages caused by the pet. A pet fee is a non-refundable fee paid by the tenant to cover the cost of cleaning the rental unit after the tenant moves out.
3. Include a pet addendum in the lease agreement. This addendum should outline the specific rules and expectations for pet owners, including cleaning up after their pets, keeping their pets under control, and adhering to local animal control ordinances.
4. Consider requesting references from previous landlords for the tenant's pets to help ensure responsible pet ownership.
You have the right to discriminate against tenants with pets. With that said, the statistics indicate that more than 50% of tenants have pets and this percentage is growing each year. Excluding tenants because of a pet will cause your vacancy rate to be higher and may cause your rent to be lower. For this reason, we like to encourage owners to accept tenants with pets by providing free animal protection coverage.