How Many Pets Should You Allow in Your Rental Property?

By Brittany Loeffler on May 12, 2019

As a landlord, your first instinct is to probably ban pets from living in your rental property. They destroy floors, carpets, and walls and can leave hair everywhere that is difficult to clean up. It’s just a hassle to deal with when the tenants and their pets move out. However, if you do decide to allow pets in your rental property, how many should you allow? Here are some factors to consider and ways to protect yourself when allowing pets in your rental property.

pets

via Pixabay

Why Allow Pets?

As mentioned above, why would you even want to allow pets in your rental property? They are messy and can leave behind damage, fur, and stubborn smells. The first reason is that allowing pets opens up your target market. A lot of tenants own pets and aren’t willing to give them up just to move into your property. Second, you can make more money from tenants that own pets by asking for a separate deposit. Lastly, you won’t be known as the stingy landlord who makes their tenants get rid of the pets they love so dearly.

Check With the HOA

If your rental property is located in a condominium or you have to answer to a homeowner’s association (HOA) you should always check with their guidelines about pets. Some of these associations do not allow pets at all, which helps you make your decision. Others will put a limit on the number of pets allowed in a property at once. If these guidelines clearly state what is allowed and what is prohibited, then you’ve made your decision.

However, if you decide to decrease that limit for your property, you may. Always remember to add this rule to the lease so it is binding.

Consider Property Size

When considering how many pets you should allow in your rental property, take a look at the size of the property. Is it a studio apartment or a two-story house with a yard? This will play a major factor in the number of pets you will allow in the property. If it’s a studio apartment, maybe just one cat is the limit. Meanwhile, if you’re renting out an entire house with a yard, two or three dogs may be able to live there happily.

Think about what would be fair to the animal. You don’t want your tenants cramping their pets into a small space thinking their pets have enough room when they actually do not.

Protect Yourself and Your Property

After making the decision to allow pets in your rental property, enforce a separate pet deposit upon your tenants. This separate deposit can be a reasonable amount of your choosing and will cover any damage that the pet may cause in the property. You can also choose if this deposit is refundable or nonrefundable.

You should also look into liability insurance just in case the animal injures someone inside of your rental property. You don’t want to take the fall just because your tenants’ pet is out of control.

Set Restrictions

When allowing pets in your rental property, you should set restrictions for the pets. You can restrict the type of animals you allow in the property and the kind of breed of those animals. It all depends on what you think is best for your property, tenants, and the animals that will live there. You don’t want your property to be subject to any violations when it comes to animals and safe living quarters.

Service Animals

You may be wondering what the rules are about service animals in your rental property. Well, according to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) landlords must allow service animals in their rental properties, even if they do not allow pets. These animals aren’t in the property as a lovable pet, but as a helping hand for someone with a disability. Landlords must provide necessary accommodations for the service animal if needed in the property.

Keep in mind that this guideline doesn’t apply to buildings with less than five units where the landlord lives in at least one unit and properties that are not leased through a real estate broker.

Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

If you choose to allow pets in your rental property, there are a few things that you should consider. The first is how many pets you should allow. Consider the size of the property and any rules already set by your homeowner’s association. Next, think about any restrictions you would like to set concerning the type of animal, breed, and how many pets can be in the property. Lastly, ask for a separate pet deposit to protect yourself and your property if there is any damage caused by the animal.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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