Real estate pet policy laws: 3 things property owners and landlords should know

Landlords and property owners need to understand their pet policy for each unit. As it stands, the trend is that millennials are less likely to get married. Consequently, they are more likely to keep pets. However, pets can leave odors on fabrics that can be difficult to get out. Pets might also disturb other tenants.

Landlords and Property Owners Need to be Clear

Landlords and property owners need to be clear on their pet rules. If you are a landlord, you must outline this in the pet policy section of the rental agreement; additionally, have the tenant request your approval for the pet. In this way, you can review every potential pet. Otherwise, the tenant might assume that pets are allowed by default. Additionally, you cannot simply charge a tenant $5,000 for breaching a pet policy. There are restrictions on what the penalties can be. This will depend on your state.

A Pet Policy Does Not Include Service Animals

Landlords and property owners need to understand that companions and service animals are not pets. For example, a blind person might need a guide dog. The difference between a companion and service animal is that a companion does not need to have special training. Landlords cannot limit animals by their species, and they cannot inquire about training. Dangerous animals may be limited. However, local law might come into play with this.

You Have Choices

Property owners and landlords can adopt a pet policy or a no pet policy. They can also place restrictions on the types and sizes of pets. However, these restrictions can often cause issues with tenants. It can also discourage new tenants from applying. Unless you have a real reason to keep pets from a unit, there is little reason to outlaw them. Possible reasons might include that the pet might disturb the neighbors or that you have expensive fabrics in the unit.

Generally, a flexible pet policy works best. Allow some space for tenants to bring in pets with your approval, and you will have no problems.