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"Pets in Apartments: Not Worth the Risk for Landlords"


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You'll want to avoid allowing pets in apartments, especially dogs. Tell your tenants about your no pet policy early and often.

No, I'm not an animal hater and in fact I have 2 dogs of my own. But when it comes to managing rental properties, there are some compelling reasons why you should draw a hard line on this one.


REASON #1: DOGS CAUSE DAMAGE


You will find that at least 80% of the time, pet = dog.

Dogs require the care of responsible adults, and it's probably safe to say that your tenants are not always going to act responsibly.

Plus, let's face it, the tenant is not going to be as aggressive in disciplining the dog knowing that, heck, it's not his house!

So in many cases the dog is loosely cared for, which fosters repeated bad behavior by the dog. Peeing on the rugs, digging up the yard, chewing on parts of the house, scratching up doors or walls, whatever. At best, this will increase property expenses. At worst, it could negatively impact the quality of the property.


REASON #2: INCREASED LEGAL LIABILITY


If your tenant's dog bites someone on your property, you could get sued. You are liable because you own the property. The last thing you want to do is increase your risk of getting sued.


REASON #3: HIGHER INSURANCE COST


If your insurance carrier gets wind that you allow pets, your liability policy premium will most likely go up. Why? See reason #2 above.


REASON #4: DOGS DISTURB NEIGHBORS


Not really a huge deal since you're not living there, but common courtesy dictates providing "quiet enjoyment" for the other tenants, especially in this case since we're talking about multifamily properties.



REASON #5: IT MAKES THE PROPERTY HARDER TO SELL


Savvy real estate investors do not allow pets in rental properties, so their presence when you are trying to sell will be viewed negatively.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Again, never allow pets in rental properties. This is a huge pet peeve for me (pun intended), because a few years ago I found out that one of my tenants was raising pit bull puppies in the basement, for the purposes of dog fighting. The puppies were kept in complete darkness, and were living in their own filth. One of the puppies actually died.

The tenant snuck the dogs in behind my back. I've had others try this as well, so keep your eye out. If you find that one of your tenants does this, act swiftly by sending a letter demanding that the dog be removed within 7 days to avoid eviction. Be forceful and do not back down.

The bottom line is that allowing pets in apartments is not worth it. Your risk, expense, aggravation, and profit will all be negatively impacted. So please, don’t do it.



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6 Responses to Pets in Apartments: Not Worth the Risk for Landlords

  1. Taylor says:

    Fair is fair for Dogs, but what about the other 20% that own cats, snakes, hamsters, etc. Having such a rigid rule, and not even accepting references from previous landlords, is a bit extreme, isn’t it?

    • alank856 says:

      Hello,

      The decision to accept pets or not is a personal one that every landlord must make. I do not allow pets of any kind, because this could lead to a slippery slope. In other words, if you let your tenant have a bird, then it could open the door to them bringing other pets or animals in. I’d rather cut it off in totality so there is no ambiguity in terms of the policy. So no, I do not think it is extreme at all. But of course, you are more than welcome to come up with your own policies!

      Alan

  2. olga R says:

    I totally agree with this! Allowing pets in your properties is not worth the risk. In fact, about 5 years ago I actually got sued by one of my tenants because the neighboring tenant had a dog that bit the suing tenant. The case ultimately got thrown out, but it created a ton of stress and uncertainty for me so after that I stopped allowing pets of any kind. Being a landlord is risky enough without that crap.

  3. fork says:

    The only pets I allow in my properties are fish and gerbals. I feel that anything else is not worth the risk of extra damage. Pets in apartments = not worth it!

  4. Jim says:

    Many tenants are slobs, trash.thrash the place, and are not clean period. No animals/pets. NONE. As large as legally possible security deposit too. We are dealing with americans–many do not keep things tidy or treat premises with care/respect. Sad, but very true.

  5. Anna says:

    I feel that if you pay rent…You should be allowed to have a pet. How would you feel if the morgage people said..NO PETS, until your house is completely paid for?

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