Should You Have a Pet Policy in Your Rental Agreement? Tips for Property Management in Indianapolis

Jun 7, 2016 | By David Treat
Cute corgi dogs with pet bed on color background

We always recommend that you allow pets into your rental property. Research has shown that people with pets live longer and happier lives. There are also a greater number of people who have pets. So, allowing pets will let you pull highly qualified tenants from a larger pool of people. Allowing pets is a good idea, but you need to be aware of a few important things.

Pet Fees and Deposits

You’ll need to decide whether you want to charge a pet fee, or collect a pet deposit. At ES Property Management, we don’t ask for a pet deposit. If a tenant wants to move in with a pet, we ask for an additional security deposit. That way, if there is any damage to the property, it comes out of the security deposit and not out of a separate pet deposit.

Breeds and Restrictions

Pay attention to the breeds that you’re allowing inside your property. Your insurance company might have restrictions on what you can accept. You might also want to limit the number of pets you will allow a tenant to bring. These are details you can determine as you’re drafting your pet policy.

Service and Assistance Animals

A service animal or an assistance animal is not considered a pet, and if a person with a disability needs the animal, you cannot deny it. However, you need to determine whether it’s legitimately a service animal. Sometimes tenants will decide they don’t want to pay the pet fee or the extra deposit, and they’ll download a certificate from the Internet saying they are required to have this service animal. We ask for a third party person with direct knowledge of the tenant and the animal to verify that it’s a service animal that is required to help the tenant with Activities of Daily Living Should You Have a Pet Policy in Your Rental Agreement? Tips for Property Management in Indianapolis(ADL). We ask that the tenant get some kind of documentation signed and returned to us. This makes it simple and helps you cut through the challenge of proving that the animal is indeed a necessity and not a pet. You can require documentation from a licensed third party person who might be a doctor or a psychologist.

If you have any questions about pets or service animals, please feel free to contact us at ES Property Management.

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