Nowadays most people own a pet, whether it is a cat, a dog, or any other sort of animal. According to the 2019-2020, National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) 85 million families of U.S households own a pet. Allowing pets will help you remain competitive in the market and give you the chance to have more applicants interested in your property. You might be worried that your house might get destroyed but with the correct pet policies, your house won’t be at risk. There are a couple of things you need to know if you do decide to accept pets. You need to know the difference between pet fees, pet deposits, and pet rent.
If you are going to allow pets it is important to have a detailed pet policy in place. This policy should outline the rules for both residents and their pets and should be included in your lease. The first thing you need to decide is what type of animals will you allow? Some common pets are dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish, hamsters, reptiles, and gerbils. The next step is to determine the number of pets you will allow. An example is the resident may have a maximum of 2 dogs or a maximum of 2 hamsters. An important thing to also include is what type of dog breeds will you allow. If you don’t wish to put the type of breeds, you could put a weight limit. A key point to add is that you must add a clause that says the residents are not allowed to have any other pets on the property other than those designated, including any pets that are just visiting. Many insurance companies have specific breeds that they do not cover, so be sure to check with them when drafting a pet policy.
The pet agreement is usually added to an existing lease agreement through an addendum or amendment and becomes a part of the original lease agreement. The pet addendum should include a list of the pets, including their names, age, and a picture. This will help prevent from the residents changing the pet you approve, for example from having a poodle to a pit bull. You want to keep all these on a record.
Key points you should include in the pet addendum
- The resident must agree that the pet(s) are and will be properly licensed and vaccinated following the applicable laws. Don’t forget to ask for proof of licensing and vaccination. They should also agree that they are responsible for compliance with all local laws and regulations relating to pets.
- The resident must agree that the pet(s) are housebroken and that they don’t have vicious tendencies or a history of threatening or causing harm to persons.
- The resident must agree to clean up after their pet(s) and properly dispose of all waste.
- The resident must agree to keep the property free from pet odor and stain.
- The resident must agree to be responsible for and will be charged for any damage caused to the property caused by their pet(s). Damages include, but are not limited to, damages to floors, carpets, drapes, screens, landscaping, fencing, including odors due to the presence of pets.
Pet fees, pet deposits and pet rent
Another thing you should consider when allowing pets are pet fees, pet deposits, or pet rent. A pet fee is a one-time admission fee for allowing the pets in the property. Pet fees are not refundable. It doesn’t cover any damages, it is just an admission fee. Pet deposits work like regular deposits, they are refundable and need to be returned if there is no pet damage done to the property when the resident moves out. Pet rent is recurring monthly pet rent. Some landlords calculate pet rent as 1% or 2% of unit rent.