PetFriendlyHousing2 (1)If you're a landlord wondering about the benefits of renting to pet owners, the following are some general guidelines for property owners to consider when setting up a pet policy. These are not hard and fast rules, and policies for individual properties should be designed to best meet your specific needs.

Benefits of Renting to Tenants with Pets:
from The Humane Society at Lollypop Farm Pets Are Welcome Program

  • lowering vacancy rates;
  • reducing tenant turnover rates;
  • broadening the pool of prospective tenants; and
  • promoting a sense of tenant safety and security


Start with screening
Careful screening of prospective tenants is the first step to a successful pet policy. By asking a few simple questions, property owners can screen out irresponsible pet owners and find the responsible ones who will make good tenants.

Put it in writing
A written agreement protects the interests of both property owner and tenant, and pet rules and procedures help avoid misunderstandings.

Charge reasonable pet deposits
What is reasonable may vary, depending on the nature of each rental. While many landlords don't charge any additional pet deposit, one recent survey showed that the most common pet deposit was $150.

Establish limits
Limit permissible animals to common pets like dogs, cats, rodents, fish, and birds. A policy on how many pets each tenant may own can also help keep the building's pet population at manageable levels.

Set parameters
Should certain types of pets be confined to tenants' apartments? Should other pets be permitted in all or only parts of the common areas? Should dogs be leashed when in hallways and other communal areas? Establish pet regulations in advance, before any conflicts arise.

Ensure cleanliness
A responsible pet owner will agree to immediately pick up and dispose of dog feces, bag kitty litter before placing it in garbage containers, and take other necessary sanitation measures 

Require spaying and neutering
Spayed and neutered animals are generally healthier, better behaved, and more suited to apartment living than their unaltered counterparts.

Determine emergency arrangements
Property owners may want to keep a file with the names and addresses of each pet's veterinarian and substitute caretakers designated by the tenant. 

Put disciplinary procedures in writing and enforce them fairly
These procedures might include a provision for warning(s) before any punitive measures are taken. Whatever the policy, fair and consistent enforcement will reduce disputes and make for better relations between management and tenants.