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Rental Properties and Pets

10 Important Pointers on Pet-Friendly Policy for Rental Properties  

We all love pets and every home usually has pets of one kind or the another. In our country, the two most popular kinds of pets are dogs and cats. If you have your own home, keeping a pet will never be an issue. However, if you’re living as a tenant on a rental property, you will have to consider the law of the house. As a rental property owner, you may or may not want your tenants to bring in pets. It all depends on your preference, type of property, size of property, neighborhood, neighbors and much more. Being a leading service for property management in Weymouth, Taunton, Middleborough and other areas in Massachusetts, we will give you a few guidelines on how to chart out a pet-friendly policy for your rental property.

Here’s a list of the ten most important points that a major number of pet-friendly rental properties use:


Refundable Deposit/Monthly Fee

If you’re willing to let your tenants bring in their pets, you can always put in a refundable pet deposit or charge them a monthly pet fee. There are both benefits to this as well as disadvantages. For the deposit, choose a figure which is both high enough to keep the tenant incentivized in being responsible for their pet as well as affordable enough so as to not scare away potential good tenants. For the monthly fee, it may backfire as most tenants may not be as careful of their pets since they’ve already paid a damage fee. Choose whichever works for your property and tenants.


Responsibility of Pet 

No matter which policy you use, you will have to ensure that your tenant guarantees being responsible of and for their pet. More than often if the pet owner is irresponsible, the pet as well as the property suffers the consequences. Make sure that you take in tenants who know how to take care of their pets and be responsible for the actions of their pets.


Tags, Licenses, Vaccines

As a rental property owner, our Cape Cod property management service suggests that you take in pet owners who can successfully provide information on relevant tags, licenses and vaccines of their pets. It is imperative for the safety of the tenant, pet, and other tenants if all this is provided. Ensure that you designate rules and area of ease where the pet is allowed within the tenant’s space and without. Insist that the pet remain on a leash or supervised when taken out of the home.


Allowing Specific Pets

For making your pet-friendly policy more specific, you can mark which pets you will allow on your rental property. The usual pets are dogs, cats, reptiles, hamsters, mice, birds, fish etc. Harmless pets such as goldfish are often included in the policy. Before the lease is signed, make sure the tenant agrees to your terms. Allow them to bring in pets you approve of.


Total Number of Pets

Our Braintree rental management company recommends that you limit the number of pets a tenant can bring within the property. For the popular pets such as dogs and cats, the number of allowed pets is usually one to two, depending mostly on their size. However, for other pets such as reptiles, hamsters, birds, etc., the number can be two or more. There is usually no limit to the number of fish in a tank, although, piranhas will surely be an exception!


Type of the Pet  

There are three main types of pets (specifically dogs) which are brought in by tenants; service pets, therapy pets, and emotional support pets. All three have their distinct function. Service pets/dogs assist their disable owners with a wide variety of tasks. These are allowed in publics spaces and even in a home that has a no-pet policy. Therapy pets provide emotional support and comfort to all people regardless of their ownership. Emotional support pets support their owners through companionship. Keep in mind all three and know the legal rights of these pet owners.


Tenant’s Pets Only

It is imperative for you to make it clear that only the tenant’s pet(s) will be allowed within your rental property. Many tenants sometimes pet sit for a friend or loved one which may not be the ideal case for your property. Professional pet sitters may also violate the terms of the pet-friendly policy agreement by bringing in an unhealthy number of pets on your property. Always state that only the tenant’s pet(s) are allowed.


Dog Breeds/Weight Limit  

Specifically, for dogs, there is a list of ‘dangerous dog breeds’ that are usually not allowed on rental properties. You can enlist these in the policy just to be clear beforehand. Another method of keeping the pets in check is to define their height and weight. If you set a maximum bar, it will automatically remove dangerous animals and dog breeds.


Margin for Amendments

Always leave room for future amendments. You never know how a certain tenant or pet may affect your property. In the policy, keep a margin for all possible future amendments. This will help you in overcoming any unforeseen mishaps on your property while maintaining a good relationship with your tenants.


Grandfather Clause  

Most homeowners include a grandfather clause when introducing new pet policies. This clause keeps all previous tenants/pet owners from the effect of any and all new amendments. For example, after a certain period of time you may not want to let new tenants bring in reptile pets. Including the grandfather clause will ensure that all existing reptile pet owners on your property will remain unaffected and will not have to let go of their dear pets because of this new amendment. It will help you in retaining a good relationship with your long-term tenants.


If you have any queries regarding pet-friendly policies at your rental property, as an owner or as a tenant, get in touch with Real Property Management Associates. Give us a call at (508) 509-4485.

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