Author Topic: Cost of dogs in rentals  (Read 1227 times)

Archipelago

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Cost of dogs in rentals
« on: September 17, 2020, 07:59:21 AM »
Good morning,

Recently had a tenant renew her lease after having lived in the unit for 1 year. After the renewal was signed, a month later she approached me asking if I would consider allowing her to bring a dog. The building has a strict no dog policy. I explained why and offered to let her bring a cat, but kindly and reasonably held my ground. I also offered to help her find an alternative living situation if having a dog was an absolute deal breaker.

A few weeks later, I was outside late at night treating a wasp nest and happened to see the tenant making several trips in and out of the building (which was quite out of the ordinary at 10:30 PM). I thought I saw her carrying a dog outside, but it was dark so I wasn't 100% sure. The next day I texted her, confronting her about the situation. She admitted to having a dog in the house, and I re-iterated my policy about dogs. She was very apologetic, probably a bit embarrassed, and I hope she got the point.

A week later, she texted me asking if she could bring in a dog for the weekend due to a family emergency. I obliged, it's a reasonable request and other than this situation, she's been a model tenant.

Nothing has happened since, but I do fear that she will circumvent pet policy by registering the dog as an emotional support animal. If that happens, I can't do much. So I've been thinking about approaching the tenant and having her consider a significant rent increase in exchange for bringing the dog. How much? I don't know, but it would need to be significant. The apartment has carpeting and will definitely take excessive wear and tear.

Any insight?

SunnyDays

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2020, 10:36:28 AM »
I love dogs, but I wouldn't allow her to get away with this by increasing her rent.  She knew the policy and waited until the renewal to break it, thinking she would get away with it because it's a fresh contract and you wouldn't want to break it.  Short-term emergency situation, no problem, but a permanent or even semi-permanent dog?  No.  You would end up with the other tenants then requesting to have pets.  If you're okay with that, then make it a pet-friendly place so everyone knows the rules.  Because guaranteed, there will be other issues besides the carpeting, like barking and allergies.  Also, you may be restricted n how much you can raise her rent due to a dog, so it may not cover damages.  Look into that first.

regenaeb

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 11:46:52 AM »
We allow dogs in our single family home rental. We require a $500 refundable pet deposit and a maximum of one dog allowed. At the end of the lease when they move out I take out any damages from the pet deposit first and then any remaining from the security deposit. I also require them to carry a pet rider on their tenant insurance with a minimum of $150k of coverage. This covers in case their is a dog bite situation. My homeowners insurance will not cover pets so I had to have some kind of coverage or no pets at all. My current tenants had no problem with this and added it to their renters insurance policy before they moved in. I am also listed as an "interested" party on their renters insurance so if they cancel or amend the coverage I am notified by the insurance carrier. It would take a lot damage to hit the $500 deposit plus the $2300 security deposit we have so I feel comfortable with allowing them.

I do agree if you have other tenants in this building and have set a no dog policy you cannot make an exception just for this one tenant, you would need to do it for all.

Fishindude

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 01:45:26 PM »
I would shut it off now and tell her to comply or find someplace else to live.
Short term is what kennels and boarding places are for.

Our house dog has been dead and gone for 5+ years and I still occasionally find some hairs.
Won't have another house dog, they are a pain in the rear and hard on things.  Barking, poop, etc. can also be a real turn off for neighbors.

Archipelago

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 07:13:39 PM »
Very helpful advice posted so far. Both of you, I appreciate it.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 08:19:58 PM »
My current rental apartment charges a $500 per deposit and believe it or not $40 a month in dog rent per dog.

Malcat

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2020, 04:38:03 AM »
I'm sorry, just to be clear, do you own the building or a condo within a building?

If you own the building, then if you make an exception for her, you have to make it a building-wide policy. If you own a condo within a no-dog building, then you don't have the power to make an exception.

rockstache

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2020, 07:01:28 AM »
Also if you make an exception, you should prepare to allow some of your tenants to break their leases without penalty. If I rented from a pet free apartment building and then that was changed part way through my lease, I would want the option to leave. Some people need pet free places because of allergies and whatnot.

Papa bear

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2020, 08:21:45 AM »
I would 100 times over have dogs than cats.  But I do allow both.  Dogs can damage some floors, doors, and trim. Cat pee can cause full gut jobs. 

I charge a one time 300 refundable per deposit and a 25/month non refundable pet fee.


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Sibley

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2020, 09:55:25 AM »
I would 100 times over have dogs than cats.  But I do allow both.  Dogs can damage some floors, doors, and trim. Cat pee can cause full gut jobs. 

I charge a one time 300 refundable per deposit and a 25/month non refundable pet fee.


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The real damage happens when the owners don't address the health or behavioral issues so it keeps occurring, and they don't clean up appropriately. Yes, cat pee can cause huge issues. But I've also seen dogs cause huge issues. Neither has a monopoly. I had to rip out all my carpet because of dog urine from the prior owner's dog.

sammybiker

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2020, 12:27:52 PM »
For a model tenant and a hefty deposit, go for the dog.

Restriction of pets, especially for A/B class tenants has made a niche market in itself, take advantage of that.

former player

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2020, 12:42:17 PM »
There are good points made above about the building policy against dogs: if you are not in charge of the policy you need to comply with it and ensure your tenant complies with it, and if you are in charge of it and want to change it you need to change it for everyone and give anyone who is unhappy an expense-free way out of their lease.

I agree with sammybiker that allowing dogs can get you a very good class of tenant.  But it depends on the individual dog: I would specify that only one named dog is allowed and if there was any question about the dog being noisy, destructive or incontinent it would be a hard no: given that this is an apartment rather than a SFH a report from an animal behaviourist might be a good prior request, plus a condition in the lease that if any complaint is received from a tenant of any of the other apartments the lease is terminated asap.

Sugaree

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2020, 12:47:41 PM »
If you decide to allow any animals, I would definitely make that contingent on the owner providing proof of monthly flea preventative.




----says the person who is mitigating the second flea infestation in four years at her father-in-law's rental

srad

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2020, 01:36:51 PM »
8 grand.  That was the cost for me to replace two bedroom floors, a hallway, living and dining room. 

I bought a rental with an existing tenant.  Its a 1920's house that had carpet in those rooms, before buying it, i pulled the corner up in one of the bedrooms to expose the beautifully preserved oak floors.  When that tenant left i put a tenant in with a dog and cat, carpet was already trashed, i knew i was going to go with the wood floors soon so i might as well get another pet in there, what can go wrong?  They move out a year or so later.  I pull up the carpet and in all of those room is literally dozens of piss stains,  shoot in the corner by the fireplace the wood was starting to rot.  it was disgusting.  I will never, ever allow pets in my places again. 

Also, on all the units i've purchased since and had to fixed up, you want to guess what the common denominator is on the ones that cost me the most to fix???  yep, you guessed it, animals.  Get a hefty deposit if this is the angle you want to play.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2020, 10:21:29 PM »
I allow dogs in single family homes with yards. I would not allow dogs in an apartment without a yard. Just my 2 cents.

lexde

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Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2020, 06:20:29 AM »
My boyfriend has a reasonably sized portfolio. No dogs unless agreed upon at the time of the lease (pet info included in lease) depending on the property. He includes a $500 fee in the lease if a dog is found on premises. Heís enforced it, too.

If she tries to go the ESA route, see what the rules are for your type of building. If itís an owner occupied 4 plex thatís residential and not commercial and the federal housing rules may not strictly apply. Worth talking to an attorney.

In any event, her asking for a dog, then bringing a dog anyway, shows that the ESA would just be an attempt to exploit a loophole. If she needed an ESA, that is the first thing that she would have said. Not ďcan I have a dog,Ē then proceed to bring one anyway and then register it on the back end.

New leases should have a pet violation fee. Steep one. Enforce it. You usually only need to do so once. Donít let her get away with this again ó itís setting you up to be taken for a ride.

You got this. Stick to your guns. :-)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 06:23:53 AM by lexde »

norajean

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2020, 03:02:48 AM »
Unless it makes financial sense to allow pets, don't do it.  In the case of dogs, it sometimes does make financial sense but it can be good to double the deposit and specify various animal-related issues which will be addressed via the damage deposit including some which may be non-refundable.

If she goes ESA, there is really nothing you can do except present her a lease renewal with outrageous terms.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2020, 06:10:33 AM »
Whenever I think of pets in rentals I'm reminded of one of my best friends who's roommate got a small dog. I couldn't stand to be in their apartment for more than a few minutes after that. It pooped all over the carpet and she rarely cleaned it up, I'm sure it peed all over too. My friend was rarely there and I guess it didn't bother him enough. I felt sorry for that apartment owner because there's no way they didn't have to replace all the carpets after that.

My in-laws have a couple of border collies and they've done a fair amount of damage to wood floors, walls, doors, etc. One time a dog was accidentally locked in the bathroom when they left for a couple hours and it tore up that door and the surrounding wall.


I used to appraise apartments and pet rent of $30-100/month was fairly common, along with $500ish pet deposits. Just keep in mind that $500 and a month's rent of normal security deposit can evaporate quickly if someone's pet is destroying all the flooring. For a large apartment complex with staff and extra carpet on hand it's relatively easy to deal with and makes financial sense. For a small landlord - not worth the risk.

Also, I'm somewhat bitter that the previous tenants in our house left dog crap all over the backyard (and let it all grow to weeds). My kids play out there and I spent several hours picking up all the dried dog crap that was mixed in with the gravel.

Sun Hat

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2020, 06:48:34 AM »
It's not just neglected dogs that cause damage. I keep my dog's nails trimmed, he never eliminates indoors, I pick up his poop outdoors immediately, I groom him and vacuum daily, but there's still hair everywhere and the wood floors are getting scratched to hell from the dirt that he tracks in and his nails grazing the floors when he runs. I love my dog, but the financial cost of wear and tear on the house is substantial. There's no way that I'd allow them in a rental.

Dicey

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Re: Cost of dogs in rentals
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2020, 07:03:33 AM »
Our rentals all have tile floors in the main living areas. The bedrooms are carpet over concrete. Our tenants tend to be long term, the ones with pets, even more so. We always say "No Pets" and negotiate from there. If the circumstances are agreeable, we charge a $500 deposit per pet.