A Guide to Setting Pet Policies for Rental Properties

As a property owner or manager, it’s essential to establish clear pet policies for your rental properties. This guide will help you navigate the process, from understanding the benefits of allowing pets to crafting a comprehensive pet policy. We’ll also discuss how to handle potential issues and provide examples of successful pet policies. Let’s dive in!

Why Allow Pets in Your Rental Property?

Before diving into pet policies, it’s important to understand the benefits of allowing pets in your rental properties. Here are some key advantages:

  • Increased demand: According to a 2019 survey by the American Pet Products Association, 67% of U.S. households own a pet. By allowing pets, you’ll appeal to a larger pool of potential tenants.
  • Higher rent: Pet-friendly properties can often command higher rent, as tenants are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of living with their pets.
  • Longer tenancy: Pet owners may be more likely to stay in a rental property long-term, as finding pet-friendly housing can be challenging.
  • Responsible tenants: Pet owners are often responsible and caring individuals, which can translate to responsible and respectful tenants.

Creating a Comprehensive Pet Policy

Now that you understand the benefits of allowing pets, it’s time to create a pet policy for your rental property. Here are some key components to consider:

1. Type of Pets Allowed

Specify which types of pets are allowed in your rental property. Common categories include:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Small mammals (e.g., hamsters, guinea pigs)
  • Reptiles and amphibians

Consider any restrictions on breeds, sizes, or weights for certain types of pets, such as dogs. For example, some landlords may not allow large dog breeds or breeds perceived as aggressive.

2. Number of Pets Allowed

Establish a limit on the number of pets allowed per unit. This can help prevent overcrowding and potential damage to the property.

3. Pet Fees and Deposits

Consider charging a one-time, non-refundable pet fee or a refundable pet deposit to cover potential damages caused by pets. Additionally, you may choose to charge a monthly pet rent to account for the increased wear and tear on the property.

4. Pet Rules and Regulations

Outline specific rules and regulations for pet owners, such as:

  • Requiring pets to be spayed or neutered
  • Requiring pets to be up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Requiring pets to be licensed and registered with the city or county
  • Requiring pet owners to clean up after their pets and properly dispose of waste
  • Establishing designated pet areas on the property
  • Requiring pets to be leashed or contained when outside the rental unit

5. Liability and Insurance

Include a clause in your pet policy that holds tenants responsible for any damages or injuries caused by their pets. Additionally, consider requiring tenants with pets to carry renters insurance with pet liability coverage.

Handling Potential Issues

Even with a comprehensive pet policy in place, issues may arise. Here are some tips for addressing common concerns:

1. Noise Complaints

Address noise complaints promptly and professionally. Communicate with the pet owner to find a solution, such as using a bark collar or enrolling the dog in obedience training.

2. Property Damage

Regularly inspect your rental property for signs of pet-related damage. Address any issues immediately and hold tenants responsible for repairs or replacements, as outlined in your pet policy.

3. Allergies and Health Concerns

Be mindful of potential allergies and health concerns among your tenants. Consider implementing a pet-free zone or floor within your rental property to accommodate those with allergies.

Examples of Successful Pet Policies

Here are two examples of successful pet policies:

Example 1:

  • Pets allowed: Dogs (under 50 lbs) and cats
  • Number of pets allowed: 2 per unit
  • Pet fees: $300 non-refundable pet fee per pet, $25 monthly pet rent per pet
  • Rules and regulations: Pets must be spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, and registered with the city. Pet owners must clean up after their pets and use designated pet areas.
  • Liability and insurance: Tenants are responsible for damages caused by their pets and must carry renters insurance with pet liability coverage.

Example 2:

  • Pets allowed: Dogs (no breed restrictions), cats, birds, fish, and small mammals
  • Number of pets allowed: 3 per unit
  • Pet fees: $500 refundable pet deposit per pet
  • Rules and regulations: Pets must be leashed or contained when outside the rental unit. Pet owners must properly dispose of pet waste.
  • Liability and insurance: Tenants are responsible for any injuries or damages caused by their pets.


Setting pet policies for your rental properties is an important aspect of property management. By allowing pets, you can attract a larger pool of potential tenants and potentially increase your rental income. Crafting a comprehensive pet policy that outlines the types of pets allowed, pet fees, and rules and regulations will help ensure a harmonious living environment for all tenants. Be prepared to handle potential issues, such as noise complaints and property damage, and consider implementing pet-free zones for those with allergies. With a well-thought-out pet policy in place, you can enjoy the benefits of being a pet-friendly landlord while minimizing potential risks.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *