Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House... ? - Posted by Kenny

Posted by Anne_ND on May 15, 2006 at 22:13:11:

…have made me a lot of money.

Rock on.


Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by Kenny

Posted by Kenny on May 15, 2006 at 14:05:59:

I have had a great tenant for sec.8 for 2 yrs.

She called and said they are “holding” a puppy dog (chow) for a friend of hers until they can sell it.

However, she wanted to know, if they decide to keep the dog, how much will it cost them to keep the Pet?

She said she mostly keeps the dog outside of the house (ya right!)

I told her the monthly rent would go up due to her having a PET in the house.

So, question is, how much extra should I charge for the pet? should I charge one-time fee or monthly charge?


current rent: 1,000/mo.
current deposit she put down at move in: $1,000

Keep in mind My plan is to increase rent in August to 1,050 (have not raised rent for 2 yrs)

Re: Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by John Corey

Posted by John Corey on May 16, 2006 at 05:37:42:

  1. A Chow is a guard dog. They are not always the best pets when it comes to visiting strangers. Guard dogs are many times breed to live outside so that might be true in this case. Can the yard handle a dog outside all the time? A well trained Chow can be a perfect guard dog (not bothering anyone but able to keep the nasty folks at bay).

  2. If you allow dogs you need a clear pet policy that addresses all sorts of things like noise, complaints from neighbors, etc.

  3. You said this lady is on a housing program. Check with them as to your right to raise the rent, etc. You might have restrictions when it comes to what the tenant can pay. Does the program have pet guidelines?

  4. Some landlords rent to owners with pets because they move less often. If a large number of landlords will not accept pets the tenant has few options. Hence they will tend to stay.

  5. The pet generally causes extra wear and tear so the rent has to reflect this. Wear and tear you can not deduct from the security deposit. Damage is also more likely. Hence you should have a pet damage deposit. A pet will likely trigger more serious cleaning when there is a change over. Hence a cleaning fee that is in no way refundable or otherwise contingent is advised.

  6. Size matters. Some landlords who allow pets only allow smaller pets. Others will ban cats but allow dogs (cat pee). Others will want to personally meet and approve a pet. Just be careful about the liability if you are seen as approving a breed that is considered hostile or if a specific pet is hostile and you approved that specific animal.

John Corey

thanks for the replies - one last question - Posted by kenny

Posted by kenny on May 16, 2006 at 24:38:01:

The tenant already has the puppy chow at the house.

She claims she already put an ad out in the paper to sell the dog.

I told her she needs to remove the dog from property as soon as possible.

I am going to setup a property inspection to see the house Friday.

Should I give her a deadline whereby she has to have the pet removed from the property?

I don’t want to come off as a jerk, she has been a very nice tenant so far.

Re: Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by Sailor

Posted by Sailor on May 15, 2006 at 19:38:15:

Dealmake is right about differentiating between deposit & last month’s rrent. That’s why I charge an extra $5 on the deposit, just to emphasize it is not rent.

I no longer allow pets, though understand why some landlords cater to them (thanks for explaining, Anne!). When I did allow pets there was a non-refundable pet fee + the tenant had to have professional flea treatment after vacating. A chow is a large dog, & could do considerable damage (if it hasn’t happened already). I think you have to figure out your costs for replacing carpets @ the very least. It bothers me that your tenant took in an animal w/out permission, as this puts you in a potentially horrific liability situation. FYI, here is the pet section from my mhp rules:

? Unless animal was in residence on or before 19 August 2005, NO PETS, including dogs, birds, cats, reptiles, rodents, arachnids or insects will be allowed on the premises, except properly trained assistance dogs needed by blind, deaf, or disabled persons. Note: NO PETS means that the tenant will not keep any pet on the premise nor babysit anyone else’s pet, nor have pets “come to visit.” Animals brought in without permission will not be allowed to remain, & the presence of an unauthorized pet is cause for immediate eviction.
? Noisy or unruly pets, or those about which justifiable complaints are received will not be allowed to remain. Each resident must control his or her pet so that it is not a nuisance, & each pet resides on the premises by the grace of its neighbors.
? Unless dog is in and appropriate dog run or kennel, it must be leashed at all times. Tenants observing any unleashed dog on the premises are advised to promptly report the animal to Pamlico County Animal Control at 745-3101.
? Tenants shall not encourage stray animals by feeding or petting; this is for the health & safety of all of our residents, especially the children.
? Dogs may not be maintained at any time on a chain, nor may they be left unattended longer than the normal workday. Fresh water must be available at all times, & food at least once a day. This community maintains Zero Tolerance for animal abuse, which includes abandonment during emergencies. Note: Most hurricane shelters do not accept animals, so prior to evacuation or seeking shelter, owners must arrange for the removal & safekeeping of their pets. Animals are not allowed within the mobile homes under any circumstances.
? Bathing pets in bathtubs or sinks is prohibited since the loose hair can contribute to the clogging of septic tanks.
? Dog owners must provide annual proof of current vaccinations, plus proof of obedience training for any dog older than nine (9) months.
? Dog owners must provide annual proof of liability insurance, with a dog-bite rider.
? Dog owners must maintain their grounds free of pet waste on a daily basis, & sealed plastic bags must be used for waste disposal.

My guess is that if you have a large non-refundable pet fee + enforce the obedience training/vaccination/bite rider requirements, that this dog might find another home. Don’t forget to make the tenant get flea treatment after the dog is gone (no, bug bombs won’t work, & they are actually more expensive). Good Luck!


Re: Tenant wants to have Pet - Posted by dealmaker

Posted by dealmaker on May 15, 2006 at 17:59:10:

I agree with Dons, Anne and Max, but I’d add one thing not covered in your question.

You should change your SECURITY DEPOSIT amount. When it’s equal to a month’s rent tenants tend to think of it as the “last month’s rent”. Otherwise you might get a note or call from your tenant on July 1st saying they’re vacating on July 31st, and you can just keep their deposit to cover July’s rent. You’ve just lost any leverage over your tenant.


Re: Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by Max-Va

Posted by Max-Va on May 15, 2006 at 17:42:58:

I charge a $300 non refundable pet fee plus extra rent of $30 -$50 per month

Re: Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on May 15, 2006 at 16:27:46:


Do a search in the archives for many previous posts on this topic.

In the meantime, find out what list of breeds your insurer will not allow. Chows might be on the list.

good luck,

Re: Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by Dons

Posted by Dons on May 15, 2006 at 16:21:25:

About 40% of renters either have or would like to have a pet and so I am “pet friendly” on my properties.

But, they do make a mess soooo…you can charge more per month as additional rent and increase the security deposit. Another $300 to the security deposit and $40 a month wouldn’t be out of line.


Re: thanks for the replies - one last question - Posted by Pat - Austin

Posted by Pat - Austin on May 16, 2006 at 15:10:17:

If she’s a nice tenant, then try to work with her on this. Ask for a copy of the ad; meet the dog. Level set expectations around how long she has to find the dog a new home. An unregistered dog, regardless of breed, may be difficult to sell. Does she have a plan to take to local shelter (while it’s still a puppy and “adoptable”)if she can’t sell/find it another home?

Re: Tenant wants to have Pet in Rental House… ? - Posted by ski

Posted by ski on May 15, 2006 at 19:26:22:

My insurance will not cover ANY dog, no matter what the breed. Also, keep in mind that this goes (not the insurance) for any pet. Cats are really nasty and the male will pee anywhere. What about the leaky fish tank, or the bird that spreads it’s sh… all over the place. Bottom line NO PETS.