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Pet Ownership: Rental Risks

by | Jun 16, 2023 | Blog, Homeowners, News, Property Management, Real Estate News, Renters | 0 comments

Pet Ownership: Rental Risks

When you come home, your pet is always thrilled to see you, and they make the best company for TV binging or taking a stroll. But things can get a bit tricky when you’re renting and want to be a pet parent.

If your lease doesn’t allow pets, you might think about sneaking in a furry buddy, especially if your landlord rarely shows up. It seems tempting, right?

But here’s the deal: keeping a pet without your landlord’s approval can land you in serious trouble. If your little friend ends up damaging the rental property, you’ll be the one footing the bill for repairs. And if your pet causes any trouble for other tenants or even random folks, you might be stuck with the costs and legal fees. So, better play it safe and get the go-ahead from your landlord.


So, here’s the deal: sneaking in a pet without your landlord’s approval can sometimes land you in hot water. They might hit you with some fines, and guess what? These fines usually apply to each and every furry friend you bring in. Now, some landlords might have a fixed fine amount, but there are others who can try to charge you for every single day your pet lives in the rental.

But here’s the catch: if you want your landlord to charge you fines, they gotta include all the nitty-gritty details in the lease. If they demand an amount that isn’t clearly mentioned in that fancy document, you could potentially file a case in civil court and try to get your costs back. Just keep in mind, though, that the court won’t be able to grant you the green light to keep your pet legally. So, tread carefully!

Pet removal

If your lease explicitly states a no-pet policy and you decide to bring a furry companion into the picture, your landlord has every legal right to request the removal of the animal from the property. If you’re determined to keep your pet, it means you’ll have to consider moving out.

However, moving out during an active lease can be a bit tricky. You’ll likely have to break the lease, which could result in hefty penalties, find someone to sublet your rental, or negotiate an agreement with your landlord to terminate the lease agreement ahead of schedule. It’s a tough situation, but exploring these options might be necessary if you want to hold onto your pet.


The good news is that many landlords are open to working things out with their tenants, even if the lease is broken due to a pet situation. However, it’s important to note that not all landlords will be as understanding. If you’re caught sneaking in a pet, your landlord might exercise their right to evict you.

Facing eviction can have some serious consequences. Your landlord may take legal action to sue you for the remaining lease payments. Recovering from an eviction can be challenging. It can tarnish your rental history, making it harder to find future landlords who are willing to rent to you. So, it’s crucial to consider the potential long-term impact before taking any risks with your pet and your lease agreement.

Adding a pet the right way

I get it, sneaking in a pet may seem like an easy way out, but let me tell you, there’s a more straightforward and better solution: just ask your landlord. Believe it or not, many landlords are actually open to the idea of having pets, especially if you’ve been a responsible and reliable tenant.

If your landlord gives the green light, it’s essential to get everything in writing. Request your landlord to include a pet clause in your lease agreement, specifying important details like the breed, weight, and any deposits or pet-related payments required to cover potential damages.

Honesty is always the best policy, so it’s better to have an upfront conversation with your landlord about your current or future furry friends.

Now, if you want to avoid any hassle altogether, you can actively search for rental properties that explicitly allow pets. It saves you time and ensures a pet-friendly living environment right from the start.

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