Deposit money and pets... please read.

I have a situation on a rental property with pets.

I use a property manager on my property, but I was looking at selling this property and was showing it a few days ago.

When I went in to the property I quickly discovered that the tenat had pets. Dog, cat, hamster, etc.

Now they have always paid and been good, but I was upset about the pets because they did not pay an additional deposit for the pets or additional monthly rent.

I know that they this tenat is living pretty tightly on income, but like I said they always pay on time with no problems. Further, they are more than likely to be very long term guests!

I was reviewing my options, but would like your input also.

  1. Demand they pay additional monthly rent and additional deposit. Most likely would cause them to leave immediately. Then I would have to immediately redo house to prep for next person coming into house. Costing me 1000 to 1500 plus an empty house for 45-60 days.

2)Let it be but be able to use the card for if there was a problem with pay. Clause allows me to evict immediately if no notified of pets.

  1. Demand my property manager follow up on this. Causing tension between us.


Have the pets done any damage? If they are doing damage, serve a written notice that the tenants must get rid of their unauthorized pets. The tenants will probably move out, but you can’t have them in there destroying your property on a daily basis.

If they are not doing damage, and it is a SFH, in this slow market, you might pretend you didn’t see the pets. (Seriously. October? How long will it take to replace them with equally good tenants?)

If it is an apartment building, I would give notice to remove the pets, otherwise you will soon discover that ALL your tenants have acquired pets (It’s OK for apartment B to have a dog, so it’s OK for me to get a puppy).

I’ve got news for you: 90% of tenants own pets. They just lie and sneak them in. That’s one of the reasons I allow pets. I get to see what they’ve got, interview dogs for temperament, see how well the dog is cared for, and get a pet deposit.

What does your lease state regarding pets? Were they supposed to notify you first? Otherwise I agree with tatertot on EVERYTHING else they said. If the pets aren’t causing any damage (and dependent upon the type of property this is) and these are otherwise solid tenants, then let it go. Isn’t that what security deposits are for in the first place? I’m sure I’m gonna get arguments like “no, security deposits are for people, not pets” but you’d really only have to worry if the pets would do more damage than the value of their security deposit, and if these tenants have been good to date, what are the odds that they’re going to let their pets destroy your property?

First of all, how badly do you want to sell the place? Does it smell like animals? If so, that’s a real turn-off for a potential buyer, so you’d be better off making them leave, bite the bullet and spend the $$ to get the place looking good enough that someone will want to buy it.
If you’re content holding on to the place for a while, I’d try to squeeze a little more cash out of your tenants.
After all, they know they’re violating your lease and you could force them out or make them pay a big deposit AND higher rent, too! I’d give them the option of paying more $$ per month (if you want to keep them, forget the deposit) or getting rid of the pets.
Good luck! although I’m an animal lover, I don’t allow pets because some of my tenants can barely take care of themselves, let alone a pet! :-/

I have one other thought:

Your manager is avoiding confrontation with the tenants. He’d rather have a confrontation with you, his boss, than to have a confrontation with a tenant.

Because your manager is reluctant to have a confrontation, the tenants will be walking all over him. That’s why you have those pets in the first place, the tenants have a sixth sense that told them the manager would be afraid to confront them about it.

I might keep the pets, but I would be seriously thinking about finding a better manager.

First, I would chew out your Property Manager rather completely.
:argue :argue

Maybe they ARE paying the increased rent and you don’t know about it?

Furthermore, if you allow pets and these tenants are not paying that additional rent… call them on it. If there is no damage, I would NOT challenge a security deposit given the fact these are long term tenants, and the pets aren’t being a problem there. But hey…

You signed this: :deal

and we charge this pet rent.

They ARE good tenants, and you don’t want to lose them… but as to the property manager who allowed this without even telling you of it? Grounds for Termination.

I would do everything I can to hang on to a good tenant in this down market. If he’s taking good care of the pets, I would tell him, “You probably didn’t remember that we need an additional deposit for the pets. I will waive the additional pet rent, but I do need the pet deposit. Please pay $10.00 extra each month until we collect all the pet deposit.”

“By the way, thanks for letting me show your home, and you have nice pets. But I gotta have a deposit on all pets.” Then I would make darn sure that the $10 comes in, anyone can afford that and it will build up.

Remember, if he has pets, he’s liable to stay longer because it’s difficult to move with pets. Learn to love pets. Pets help pay the rent.


Thanks for the input.

My decision is to wait a few more months until the 1st of the year.

Based on:
I want some additional improvement in the market.
How much more “damage” can a pet actually do in 2 months?
I would have to replace carpet regardless. Luckily, I just a new source on cheap carpet.

I can use this on the property manager at my timing not theirs. If I truly have problems then I can leverage it then.

Thanks for the advice.