Pets & Your Rental Property Applicant: Advice On What To Do

What To Do When Your Rental Property Applicant Has Pets


Pets are definitely man’s best friend, but they may not be a real estate investor’s. As an investor, it’s in your best interest to protect the value of your property, and unfortunately, this message doesn’t translate clearly to the Fidos and Spots of the world.

Depending on the type and size of the pet, common home destructions made by dogs and/or cats are:

  1. Wall and baseboard chewing or scratching
  2. Urinating and/or defecating inside
  3. Digging in the backyard
  4. Hair and pet dander in every crevice

To repair these messes, it may cost you and could affect your overall returns. That’s why it’s important to create a procedure for applicants who have pets from the very start. This way you hold the tenant responsible and establish a code of conduct for pets in your rental that both parties agree upon.

“For our investors, we have a very detailed process in place for applicants who have pets. We want to protect their investment as best as we can, as well as hold the renter accountable for any damage their pet may cause,” Karla Rivas, Senior Manager Asset Management of HomeUnion®, explains. “We recommend all landlords have a pet policy in place, as we’ve seen positive outcomes because of it.”

To help you develop a comprehensive Pet Policy for your own rental, here is a look at how we handle pets for our investors’ rental properties:

Limit the Number of Pets

We have a strict two pet maximum rule and applicants must get written approval beforehand.


All applicants must submit:

  • Non-refundable deposit (per animal) before move-in or obtaining the pet
  • A monthly fee (per animal) is added to the standard rental amount

By collecting a deposit, you are safeguarding your investment from pet damages and creating a budget, in the event, that you may need to make pet-related repairs.


All pet-owning applicants are provided with the following guidelines:

  • Approval can be revoked at anytime, if the pet ever becomes aggressive towards another animal or human being, or becomes a nuisance
  • Two warnings will be given for nuisance behavior; however, if behavior cannot be corrected, the animal will no longer be approved and will need to be removed from the property within 2 days
  • If the animal is not removed within the two-day period, a legal notice will be served and further legal action will be taken in accordance to state law

Guidelines are essential for setting a standard with the applicant on your expectations of their pets.


We are fans of all animals, but unfortunately, there are some breeds of dogs that can severely damage the inside of a rental property, due to their large stature. The following breeds, or any dog with these breeds in their lineage, are restricted and are not authorized in the home. If any of these breeds are found to be in the home, the resident will be notified that they are in violation of their lease agreement and are required to remove the animal permanently within 2 days or legal action will be taken:

  • German Shepherddogoutline
  • Akita
  • Cane Corso
  • Boerbel
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Husky
  • Pitbull
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Bulldogs
  • Mastiff
  • Doberman
  • Wolf Hybrids
  • Boxer
  • Rottweiler
  • Presa Canario
  • Chow Chow
  • Kyi Apso
  • English Bull Terrier
  • Dalmatian

Leaving Behind Positive Pawprints

Hopefully, you find this guide helpful in developing a conducive Pet Policy for your investments. If you need more assistance, our Asset Management team is available and can answer your questions. Please email to get started.

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