Good pet clause for allowing pets... - Posted by lisa

Posted by Anne_ND on July 10, 2003 at 19:25:28:


As my insurance agent’s letterhead says: “you don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one”.

If someone’s kid gets bitten in the face by your tenant’s bichon frisee, sure, they’ll sue the dog owner, but they’re also going to sue the rich landlord on whose property it took place (landlord’s are always rich).

You can be completely innocent, but if you’re sued by a parent whose kid is hideously deformed, you will have to pay an attorney to defend you. Let’s say you’re found innocent. You still could have legal bills, and from the point of view of your insurance company, you make bad choices in tenants. They will drop you like a hot potato, not just the house where the incident occurred, but all of your other houses and your home too.

The thing about insurance policies is that you don’t want to have to use them. The other thing is that you don’t want your policies to be connected in any way. Because you don’t want a plaintiff’s attorney to be able to find your other properties (I’m assuming your properties are not in your name).

Yes, it’s more expensive to insure houses in different entities. It’s more expensive to have a liability policy on each house that is independent and a separate liability policy for the company that manages the houses, and then a personal unbrella policy on top of that. From my point of view it’s just a cost of doing business, and the extra money from renting to pet owners pays to cover those costs.

All of this is ameliorated by the fact that your dog-owning tenant has a dog-bite policy that covers you as well (‘also insured’), that way your own insurance need not be involved.

good luck,


Good pet clause for allowing pets… - Posted by lisa

Posted by lisa on July 09, 2003 at 17:45:31:

I have a good pet clause for not allowing pets but I would like one that I can insert for those I will allow to have pets. I remember someone having a very good one here but I couldn’t find it in the archives. Can someone help? I may be remembering a good screening checklist and not an actual pet clause I just remember someone having some very good ideas for covering all bases when it comes to pets. Thanks for the help! We usually don’t allow pets but I’m tiling a house this weekend and we’re going to offer it to pet owners because there is a real market for houses that allow pets and we can’t afford to keep this one vacant.

You need Anne_ND… - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 09, 2003 at 20:46:47:

Anne specializing in renting to pet owners, and she can provide you what you need…

Oops, correction. - Posted by randyOH

Posted by randyOH on July 09, 2003 at 18:44:17:

Sorry, Lisa, that’s the one for NOT allowing pets.

Here you go - Posted by randyOH

Posted by randyOH on July 09, 2003 at 18:24:44:

Re: You need Anne_ND… - Posted by Lisa

Posted by Lisa on July 09, 2003 at 20:53:37:

I thought about asking Anne…she’s set me straight before. Anne…Anne…was it you who had a good pet agreement form as part of your lease?

Re: Oops, correction. - Posted by Lisa

Posted by Lisa on July 09, 2003 at 20:37:25:

Thank you for sharing that one! I knew I had read a good one about NOT allowing pets. The one you posted is better than mine and now I have the link. This time I will be renting to pets (or maybe) and I think someone had a good pet screening form and also a good pet clause…that’s the one I’m having trouble locating and am in need of now. Your post was very helpful and one I will save too…now if I can find the other…

Re: You need Anne_ND… - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on July 10, 2003 at 08:28:16:

Hi Lisa,

My Pet Application is somewhere in the archives. Someone recently posted a version of it that added another question about whether the dog is crate-trained which is an excellent idea. Here’s the new version:

Pet Application:

Please fill out a separate application for each pet in the household.

Pet?s Name: ____________________________________________ Pet?s Age: _______

Type of Pet and Breed: ____________________________________________

Male or Female (circle one)

Has the pet been spayed or neutered? ________

Is the pet up-to-date on all vaccinations? __________

If the pet is a cat or a dog, please attach a copy of an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate.

If the pet is a dog, has it been crate-trained? _________

If the pet is a dog, has the dog ever bitten anyone (broken the skin)? ________

If yes, explain: ________________________________________________________________________

Please provide the name and phone number of your pet?s current veterinarian:

For dog owners: as part of the lease, we will ask you to provide evidence that you have renter?s insurance that includes dog-bite liability. We reserve the right at any time to request proof that the insurance policy remains in effect, and failure to maintain that policy will be grounds for eviction.

Return this application with your personal rental application to:

Make sure the tenant lists you or your company as both ‘loss payee’ as well as ‘additional insured’ on their renter’s insurance. If they cancel the policy you’ll be notified. If they get sued for a dog-bite you’ll be covered on their policy and your liability policy won’t have to kick in right away (or not at all).

Good luck,


Re: You need Anne_ND… - Posted by Lisa

Posted by Lisa on July 10, 2003 at 13:43:13:

I checked with an insurance person regarding renter’s insurance so I could steer a potential renter somewhere to obtain it…he is an Allstate agent and informed me that all of the new renter’s policies are no longer including “dogs” or “dog bit liability” as part of their covered items. So now what? I guess I either decide against pets or take the risk…I am pretty sure it’s covered under my policy.

What animals should I never rent to because of their bite history (types of breeds etc…) ???

Do you know?


dog bite policy - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on July 10, 2003 at 14:23:05:


Check with other insurance agents. None of my tenants have had problems with getting a dog bite rider on their tenant’s policies.

I don’t recommend taking the risk of tenants without their own dog bit coverage unless you have a good liability policy for your company in addition to insurance for each property. Do you have each property in a different entity? If not, then renting to dog owners without their own dog bite coverage is a bad policy. It’s one thing to lose one house due to a lawsuit, but it would be worse to loose everything.

These are the dogs our insurer told us we could not rent to: rottweilers, german shepheds, pit bulls. [DISCLAIMER: I am a dog lover, I know it’s the owner not the breed that’s the problem, but we run our business like a business so we don’t rent to these breeds.]

One final point: getting the policy is the tenants’ problem, not yours. Make it a condition of rental, and they’ll find an insurance company that wants their business.

good luck,

Re: dog bite policy - Posted by Lisa

Posted by Lisa on July 10, 2003 at 17:48:14:

I do have a million dollar umbrella policy. My houses each have their own fire policy but are an extension of my own homeowner’s policy for liability purposes. If my liability was maxed out on the homeowner’s policy that’s when my umbrella policy would kick in. It amazes me that my insurance would have to pay for someone else’s dog just because I am renting them the property. It’s like can I be sued if their kid damages the neighbor’s property too?