Not too long ago, I received a call from one of my clients who is a Phoenix absentee homeowner and she wanted to do a tenant lease agreement with a potential tenant and her rental policy did not allow pets (she has quite a few rentals around Metro Phoenix and this is her standard policy) but she really liked this family that wanted to rent from her but she wasn’t sure if she should so I gave her some really good advice to make the pet friendly policy a truly enjoyable experience for both the Phoenix absentee homeowner and the tenant with their beloved pet hence how this article came to fruition as this was not the first time I’ve been asked this question but I got to thinking that I should share the advice with my clients and put it on the blog so let’s get started.
By having a pet agreement in place you as the Phoenix absentee homeowner can dramatically reduce the risk of being a landlord by providing a pet friendly building so see below for helpful details just like I promised since I am a huge pet lover myself so it makes me feel great to share this information.
- It’s wise to include a “Smart Pet Agreement” in your Lease
But how should I structure the lease George? Glad you asked and you should start by referring to a separate “pet lease agreement” so there are no misunderstandings whatsoever as this will provide the framework of rules and or notice to potential tenants that their continued tenancy will absolutely depend on following the pet lease agreement exactly how it is stated in the lease which will then create a win-win lease tenant agreement and most importantly, an incredibly happy pet.
- Identifying the Exact Breed of Pets Allowed in Your Building
Okay folks, this is as important as it gets because the alarms for potential legal issues to include the safety of your tenants and their beloved pets are now going off in my brain. You need to first identify the number of pets allowed per rental agreement and what types of pets. Whatever you do, do not allow “dangerous dog breeds” such as pit bulls and Rottweilers to name a few but why you ask? These breeds have a propensity towards violence so why take the risk although a good friend of mine had the biggest Rottweiler I have ever seen and he was just a big teddy bear who would not hurt a soul but nevertheless, these breeds lean towards that controversial word known as “potential violence” so why take that risk.
Is this legal you are probably asking about now? Yes it is because Fair Housing Law applies to humans but not pets although I truly believe that the Fair Housing Law needs to rethink their policies because I personally believe that pets have rights but I digress and don’t want to take away from the importance of this article so I apologize for that.
- Weight Limits is also a great idea for your Smart Pet Agreement
You have to consider that you really don’t want dogs that weigh the size of a pony because they are out there and will damage your property so consider weight and its potential repercussions to your property but I would say the little fellas that don’t weigh more than 20 pounds sounds about right to me but since it is your property you decide but the smaller the better for both the landlord and the tenant.
- Allow only Tenants Pets and that is it
You don’t want your property to become a homeless shelter for pets as this is not good business so you must state this in the Smart Pet Agreement with your tenant. The idea is to have a happy tenant with their beloved pet living with them under the right circumstances per the Pet agreement in place and there is nothing wrong with stating so in the agreement as it makes absolutely perfect sense.
- You must require that licenses, proper identifications and vaccinations for the tenants pets
But why do I have to this George? Well for starters, by having identification for the pets, you will know if they belong in your Phoenix rental property. Also, all pets need to have current vaccinations in place as this will create a healthy environment for the pets and the tenants as anything can happen like getting bit by accident so let’s not go there and have this as an absolute must. Last but not least, make sure you see proof of vaccinations etcetera from a reputable and licensed veterinarian.
- Make sure to charge a Pet Fee
Consider a pet fee to include in the normal security deposit as part of the Pet Agreement as pets do cause normal wear and tear to your property. Make sure the fee is reasonable and not outrageous as you want to create a harmonious environment for your tenant and their beloved pet but whatever you do, make sure not to impose a fee or deposit of any kind for folks who need a service or companion animal as that is not advisable as these are not considered pets but animals required to accommodate a disability so you have been advised as I do know some clients that have tried this and it seriously backfired and I prefer not to go into details so we will leave it at that.
I will have to write another article as this is just the start for Smart Pet Friendly agreements as the idea is to keep your tenants happy with their beloved pet. Furthermore, I have so much more to add but the idea was to offer something of use for now that should get you thinking about potential pet agreements but will continue at some point in the near future on what other pet policies you should also consider. Once again, I hope you enjoyed this article as sharing information and helping our clients at Cash Now Homes is what we do best. Please let us know if you need our immediate assistance as we are here to help you in your time of need.
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