It is a known fact that pets – regardless of type – pose risks to rental properties. They are capable of causing structural damage and also damage to furniture and landscaping. If aggressive, they may pose a danger to others, such as neighbors. If you are a landlord that will allow your tenants to have pets, it is essential that you learn how to prepare your rental property to be pet-friendly, while protecting yourself, your tenants, and the neighbors that live in close proximity to your rental property. In this guide, we will cover all of that and more.

dog peeking

Put a Pet Policy into Place

According to statistics, over 70% of renters own pets. Ideally, you may want to put a no-pets policy into place with your rental property; however, pets are commonly owned by tenants and you could lose a lot of business by not allowing pets, so, it may be best to go ahead and allow pets, but if you do, be certain to put a pet policy into place. There are pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental property. Banning pets will negatively impact your occupancy rate, but it is possible for pets to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. This is why a pet policy is a must. When creating a pet policy, consider the following:

  • Integrate a pet lease Agreement – This will educate your tenant on the pet policy that you have in place in writing but it will also require your tenant to sign stating that they will agree to follow any rules you have in place for pets and if they do not follow those rules, they agree to certain restrictions, fees, and violation penalties.
  • Apply Pet Restrictions – This is where you can integrate certain restrictions, such as dogs and cats having to wear ID TAG, Staying up on vaccinations, licenses, and similar events, etc.
  • Meet Pets to Approve – You may ask tenants to meet their pets. This will let you figure out if the pet is friendly or aggressive and ask questions about the pet such as where they got the pet, how long they have owned the pet, and who takes care of the pet when they are unable to
  • Outline a Pet Deposit – To prepare your rental property from pets, you should charge a refundable pet deposit. This way, if any damages occur, you have the money to make the necessary repairs.
  • Define Responsibilities – When outlining the pet agreement, you must ensure that you put in the responsibilities that your tenants must uphold or fulfill. An example is cleaning up after their pet. Certain pets – such as snakes and lizards – should be confined in cages. You may also require that your tenant obtain pet liability insurance.

How to Prepare for Service Animals

It is important to understand that even though an animal may be a service animal, restrictions may still – legally – apply to them. You should do the following:

  • Ask for proof or supporting documentation that outlines that the animal is a service animal.
  • Determine if the animal is on a state registry.
  • Do not ask or medical documents as the tenant’s health is not something you can legally access.
  • Ensure that they know that they are still responsible for their animal and they must clean up their messes.
  • If damages occur, you should still require the tenant to cover the cost of repairs that were necessary because of their service animal.
Service Dog

What is Pet Liability Insurance?

Even the best-behaved of pets may get into a little trouble now and then. It could be that your pet damages the furniture provided by a landlord or scratches on your bedroom door – in a rental where you live – to wake you up daily and damages that door or maybe the dog gets out, runs into the road, and causes an accident – all of these types of situations may be covered by pet liability insurance. If you allow your tenants to have pets, you should ensure that they sign up for pet liability insurance and provide you with proof of coverage.

Pet liability insurance is a type of third-party insurance coverage that will cover damages to a person, or property that is caused by your pet. Animals are unpredictable and liability insurance protects you and covers any damages inflicted by your pet. Consider the following statistics:

  • 85% of all landlords have experienced pet damage.
  • There are about 4.5 million dog bites each year in the United States
  • Minor injuries associated with dog attacks cost an average of $30,000 to $50,000 per event.

Pet liability insurance offers financial-based safety when these types of situations occur. This insurance covers:

  1. Injuries sustained from a pet
  2. Injuries to someone else’s pet
  3. Damages to someone else’s property
  4. Legal fees

As a landlord, you must make obtaining pet liability insurance a part of the rental agreement. This will help protect renters against the claims made by their landlord against damage that is done by animals that the tenant owns.

What Advantages Are There to for Tenants Getting Pet Liability Insurance?

There are numerous advantages for tenants who get pet liability insurance. These include but are not at all limited to the following:

  1. Landlords are more willing to allow tenants to have pets
  2. Coverage up to a certain limit for property damage including that property owned by a landlord
  3. Coverage of a certain limit for property damage, personal injury, and bite claims
  4. Coverages typically include medical expenses, vet bills, legal fees, and costs to cover damages

Require Working Dog Insurance for SERVICE Dogs

If your tenant has a service dog, you should require working dog insurance. Even though these dogs are typically trained, accidents, injuries, and damage may still occur.


If you desire, you may elect to charge pet rent on your rental property in addition to a pet deposit. In short, you just add a small fee to the rent that you charge each month to cover the cost of the pet residing on your property. This fee is to cover any damage caused to the rental unit.

Know the Risks

If you allow pets in your rental property, it is important that you know the risks. These include the following:

  1. Property Damage
  2. Noise
  3. Vacancy
  4. Bad odors
  5. Possibility of Physical injuries
  6. Attacks
  7. Lawsuits

Pet-Proofing Rental Property

The following outlines how you can pet-proof your rental property:

  1. Pet-Friendly Floors – Install flooring that is more suitable for pets and easier and cheaper to replace if damaged by pets. Examples include hardwood floors, porcelain tiles, and high–performance carpets.
  2. Pet-FRIENDLY Finishings – You should avoid black finish paint as it is very hard to clean. It is best to use semigloss paint, you should choose paint that is easy to clean like eggshell or satin.
  3. Include Pet-Related Clauses in Your Pet Policy – You should include clauses in your pet policy such AND put pets on leashes while outdoors, keep ID tags on pets, carry pet liability insurance, and dispose of pet waste properly.
  4. Charge Pet Deposit and Rent – You should charge a set deposit for pets and pet rent. That way, if any damage occurs, you have the money to cover it.
  5. Conduct Pet Interviews – You should conduct pet interviews so you can see the size of the pet and how it acts.
  6. Screen Tenants – to be sure that pet damage and problems are kept to a minimum, you should screen tenants. This will help you reduce problems before they occur. Make sure the tenant is able to pass a background check, they sign a lease agreement and sign a detailed lease agreement.

Hire Us

If you want to ensure the optimal protection for your rental property, allow us here at Pioneer Property Management to assist you. We offer a multitude of services that will ensure that only the most responsible tenants are placed on your properties. If you choose to allow pets, we can handle the legal aspects, the conditions of your pet policy, and more. Our services include tenant screening, lease preparations, and signing, inspections, deposit and rent collections, 24/7 emergency services, maintenance coordination’s and supervision, online portal access, monthly reporting, tax services, we also offer a large assortment of guarantees such as:

  • Customer Service Guarantee
  • Results 1st Guarantee
  • Pet Damage Protection Guarantee
  • Zero Evictions Guarantee
  • Maintenance Done Right Guarantee
  • Tenant Retention Guarantee

We also handle showings, marketing, promotional platforms, contract preparations, consultations, tenant relations, inspections, accounting, and more! If you would like to learn more about that which we offer, we encourage you to contact us today by calling the following number: 720-839-7482 It is possible to allow pets in your rental without compromising the property or the rental property business – just let us help you! If you are a tenant, we can help you find pet-friendly units for your family. Just give us a call today and let us know what you are looking for in a rental and we will find it.

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