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Pets in Rental Properties

Pets in Rental Properties

Will the owner allow a cat or dog at this property? This is a question we get asked multiple times over a day as some tenants have pets at a current rental and then their situation changes, and for various reasons, they are seeking a new tenancy but require a home that allows pets. This makes it very difficult as not many landlords allow pets in properties.


Landlords and property managers need to be cautious when approving a tenant with a pet for a property. While some properties may be suitable for a pet, it is important to take into consideration the animals welfare when qualifying the tenant ie. microchipping, local registration and vaccination (particularly parvo as this disease lives in the soil for many years and is highly contagious and most cases deadly). Occasionally tenants seem great, but they have a pet because they are cute when little, but then do not look after them as they are older. A landlord would not want to allow a tenant who does not look after their pet to have one at their property.


Sometimes excellent tenants may have pets and if you say no, this eliminates people who would be a good fit for your property. If a property is suitable for pets we sometimes recommend advertising pets by negotiation. The tenant then needs to provide a picture of their pet, a reference and sometimes we request to meet the pet as well. At the end of the day its more about how the owner has trained and looks after the pet than the pet itself.


If you do allow a tenant to have a pet in your rental you must ensure that you clearly state the pet’s name, age and breed. This ensures that the tenant does not get a new puppy when an older dog passes away or that a cat has kittens and then you end up with 10 cats at the property. The tenancy agreement should include what should be done at the end of a tenancy. The agreement should include carpet cleaning, repair of any damage, including lawns and gardens. As with all aspects of renting your property, it is important to have an agreement that sets out each party’s rights and responsibilities.


One bonus to having a tenant rent your property with a pet can mean that they stay longer than other tenants as it is so hard to find a property that will allow them to have their pet. 


Real Landlord Insurance offers a pet cover in their Landlord cover. This can be a great option to take up if you find the perfect tenant and they have a pet. 


If your tenant is already in place and then request to be allowed to have a pet and you approve it, please ensure that you get your tenant to sign a variation to the tenancy agreement stating the pet’s name, age and breed that has been approved to live at the property.


If your tenant requests a pet and you say no when you are conducting your routine inspections, ensure that you check for evidence of a pet as sometimes tenants get a pet anyway and then hide it from the landlord or property manager. 


At the end of the day, it is important to choose your tenants wisely especially if they have pets as sometimes animals do cause damage to property.


If you are thinking of renting your property out and you are unsure what to do with the pet situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are more than happy to help.