While pet policies are often standard in every leasing agreement, they are often not as thorough as they should be when presented to a tenant. Many pet policies can be vague or confusing with their terms, and it is best to be concise to prevent any misunderstandings with your tenant in the future. By following these four easy tips for perfecting your pet policy, you are ensuring a clear set of guidelines with your tenant so that both parties can maintain an understanding throughout the year.
Ask the Right Questions
When you meet with a prospective tenant before signing a lease, it is also a good idea to meet their pet. This is an opportunity to observe how the pet both interacts with your tenant and with individuals that they are less familiar with. As you are interviewing your prospective tenant, consider asking a few of these questions:
- Does the pet have a history of being aggressive towards any other humans or animals?
- Has the pet ever caused damage to property?
- Who will be primarily responsible for caring for the pet?
- Do you have plans for caring for the pet when you are not home?
These questions will allow you to understand the history of the pet and the risks that they could potentially pose to other tenants in your building.
Charge a Refundable Deposit
Although they vary by state, the option to charge a refundable pet deposit in your policy could serve as an additional incentive to prevent property damage. If your state allows for this type of deposit, be sure to specify in your policy that the deposit is refundable if the pet remains well-behaved without incident. The amount that you choose to charge should be reasonable but significant enough to maintain good behavior and provide a fair incentive.
Specify Permitted Pets and Breeds
As you write your pet policy, it is especially important to specify the type of pets and breeds that are permitted or prohibited from your building. Consider including the following specifications:
- Type of pets allowed
- Number of pets allowed based on weight, type, or breed
- Permitted and recorded pets only
- No-pets policy
By writing out these specifications into your pet policy, you are not only preparing for a variety of circumstances that may arise, but also accurately managing the expectations of your tenants.
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If you’re looking for the perfect realtor for your property or to assist during your purchase of any home, you can rely on Clagett Enterprises. Clagett Enterprises is a full-service real estate company with almost 30 years of experience in the Frederick and Western Maryland area. For assistant selling your home and getting the best possible price, contact us online or give us a call at 301-665-6009. To meet our team and see some of our beautiful homes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.