How to Write a Pet Policy

How to Write a Pet Policy

A lot of landlords question whether to allow pets or not. It’s probably one of the more debated topics and a hard choice too!

You may love having families with pets in your homes. You may be a pet owner yourself or understand the value of pet ownership. That being said, you should consider being a landlord a business and treat it as such.

Here are some options for you as a landlord to consider if you are debating whether or not to allow pets. This is a great example of how to write your own pet policy.

My Pet Policy:

You may only currently offer a pet deposit, but wonder about pet rent and want to make it part of your lease offering.

Pet Fee:

“The Tenant shall pay to the Landlord an additional non-refundable fee in the amount of $50 per month, or one month’s refundable security deposit of ______ immediately on the Landlord’s approval of a pet or pets. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if any Tenant requires the use of a trained guide animal, signal animal, or service animal, no pet deposit will be required. The landlord reserves the right to apply the Pet Deposit in the same manner the security deposit can be applied.

Tenant chooses (circle/initial)

  1. No Pets on Premise – No Additional Fee,
  2. $50 Non-refundable Pet Rent, per month
  3. $_____ one month’s rent as Pet Deposit- applicable as described above

Initials ___________ __________

Pet Clause:

You also want to include a clause that covers what would happen if an unauthorized pet is found in the house.

“If an unauthorized pet is found on the premises a fee of $500 is due immediately for having an non-authorized animal on the premise at the time of occurrence or at landlord’s discretion. Any damage will be assessed separately and billed to the tenant in addition to the $500 fine.”

Initials ___________ __________

To prevent any pet “visitors” to the house and to prevent any misunderstanding, include a clause that clearly spells that out:

The Tenant (including any guests or invitees of the Tenant) is allowed to keep the following as pets:

List name, age, sex, breed

of each animal approved

***No other animals are allowed on the premise without the Landlord’s WRITTEN permission.****”

Making expectations as clear as possible makes both the landlord and tenant’s lives much easier. This helps make sure there are clear expectations and consequences.

Disclaimer: As always, we are not a legal firm. The above examples are not legal advice.

Note: As always, you need to check with your local real estate laws, insurance, and homeowner’s association before determining your pet policy. Many areas have very specific laws and guidelines on what is allowed and not allowed. You will need to confirm what you can allow before you can offer it.

Do you have a pet policy? What types of clauses did you include?

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