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Setting Expectations with Pet Owners

Star Tenant Holding Her CatAs a Person County rental property owner, it is advisable to conduct clear expectations with your tenants from the start. One of the critical concerns to consider is your pet policy. You can only decide whether to allow pets in your rental home or not. Both options have pros and cons, making it difficult to make a firm decision. If you decide to allow pets, you’ll need to have your pet policy clearly outlined and ready to go over with your tenant when they sign the lease. You should also set clear standards with your tenant pet owners that include what type and how many pets are allowed, pet deposits and monthly charges, how you’ll handle complaints, and the consequences for violating your pet policy. In what follows, we will explain each one of these in more detail.

Type and Number of Pets

By far, the most typical household pets that Americans preferr are dogs and cats. Your pet policy must indicate details about any breed or size restrictions, as well as the required quantity of pets allowed. Always review and comply with local regulations required. Smaller pets, like birds, fish, and hamsters, are also popular, so it is important to include these kinds of pets in your lease documents.

Pet Deposit and Monthly Rent

One of the drawbacks of allowing pets in the house is that pets often inflict damage that goes beyond regular wear and tear. Because of that, multiple rental property owners will charge a pet deposit in addition to the usual security deposit. Some may also increase the rent every month to assist with paying the additional property maintenance and repair costs. While the amount you charge is dependent on you, it’s an excellent idea to perform some research and see what other landlords in your area charge for pets and then follow that trend.

Handling Complaints

While your tenant may love their pets, the neighbors might not be so thrilled. Pet complaints can be challenging to deal with because the typical complaints, like excessive barking or pets roaming unleashed, are not entirely under the control of the rental property owner. You can set clear expectations with your tenant about correctly securing and leashing their pet and finding a strategy to prevent their pet from making too much noise. Then, make a plan to handle repeated complaints, such as a system to issue warnings before going straight to breach of contract. This strategy may help motivate your tenant to be a more responsible pet owner.

Consequences for Violations

Despite the fact that setting explicit expectations might help reduce the possibility for tenants to abuse your pet policy, they may still eventually violate it anyway. One of the usual strategies utilized by tenants is to sneak additional pets onto the property, so they don’t have to pay the additional fees. Unauthorized pets are always a problem for landlords, whether you allow pets or not. If you detect that your tenant has too many pets, unauthorized species, or otherwise violated your pet policy, it is advisable to document the situation carefully and notify the tenant of the violation. If your state laws accept it, you could even include a fine for pet policy violations in your lease, which may give an even stronger incentive for your tenant to abide by the terms of their lease. It is advisable to take the necessary action based on the number and severity of the violation.


Allowing pets in your rental property can assist you with boosting your profits and tenant relations. Yet, you should have a clear and detailed pet policy that will help you establish and manage your tenant’s expectations right from the beginning. If you need expert guidance and advice on the issue of allowing pets, why not give Real Property Management Impact a call? We can help you outline your rental policies in high-quality rental documents,  check your property regularly for hidden pets or other lease violations, and more! Contact us online or reach us at 919-439-8989.

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