You need to have a good policy on pets as a landlord. How on earth can you deny tenants with pets on your rental property when every family seems to own a pet these days? You are only reducing the number of your potential customers when you adopt a ‘no pets’ policy. Instead, what you can do is to restrict certain breeds of pets who you believe can cause harm to your property and other tenants.
What kind of pets should you disallow?
Dog breeds known for their violent behavior
There are many breeds of large dogs like Doberman and Pitbull that are known for their violent behavior against human beings. You can disallow these and other dog breeds that are famous for their aggressive behavior and ferocious nature. Some large dogs can be docile but there is no use taking chances with large dog breeds.
Big animals other than dogs
It is not just dogs that people are fond of as pets. If you are afraid that some tenants might bring in large animals that can potentially harm others, it is a good policy to deny entry to animals having a weight of more than 20 pounds. Large animals can be scary for many tenants and they also have the potential to cause damage to your property.
Restrict number of pets per household to 1 or 2
You may not be a dog or cat lover but there are some families who love to be surrounded by their pets. If you do not want some of your tenants complaining about the bad smell emanating from the house of a tenant, make a policy of not allowing more than 1 or 2 pets per household.
Pets that are creepy or scary
You may think of only small furry creatures like cats and dogs as pets. But your worst nightmare comes true when you see some applicants mentioning crocodiles, monkeys, and even rodents as their pets. Make sure you tell applicants that you do not allow any pet who is scary or creepy such as insects, snakes, rodents and other mammals. You can politely tell applicants that these pets are lovely, but they are not allowed inside your property.
Don’t allow any dogs in a multifamily apartment building
In an apartment building with many units, neighbors like close to each other and sounds of barking dogs can make lives of many tenants’ hell. You can’t stop a dog from barking as this is what he knows. If you don’t want to listen to complaints of your tenants in nights, make sure you do not allow any dogs in your multifamily building.
How to make sure your rules are obeyed
You can always make rules regarding pets, but tenants are known to sneak in pets and flout these rules. If your rule says only 2 cats, they will say they have only 2 cats but, they have more. They will try to sneak in a Doberman saying it is a mixed breed when you can see it is a pure breed. The only way to make sure your pets’ rules are followed is to make a surprise inspection early after your tenant has moved in. Also, insist upon meeting the pet when inspecting as this way your tenants cannot hide behind one or the other excuse.
There can be no doubt that pets are the pride of many families and you make your property popular by allowing pets inside it. But you need to have a strict policy on pets and also need to enforce your pet rules.
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