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PETS: RISK AND BENEFITS: rebrand.ly/pets

Landlords are allowed to prohibit new tenants from having a pet, except that ASSISTIVE ANIMALS for tenants with disabilities cannot be excluded.


SDCPM allows automatically some small pets (excluding dogs/cats) as per this link unless you tell us not to.


The benefit of allowing pets is that it will attract and retain potential renters who other landlords will exclude thus help get your vacancy filled more quickly. According to a 2012 SURVEY, in the USA, 47% of households have dogs and 46% cats and of these owners 70% have one dog, 20% two and 10% three or more, and 46% have one cat, 31% have two cats and 24% have three or more cats.


44% of landlords allow some pets 47% allow no pets and 9% allow all pets

57% of landlord allow cats, 37% all dogs, (26% medium and small size dogs only and 11% large size too)


  • Increase Income: Pet-friendly rentals often generate more rental income per month due to fees and pet rents. An analysis done by HotPads found that pet-friendly units in San Francisco cost an average of 12% more than those that don’t allow pets. This did not including pet deposits or additional pet rent, which may be required on top of normal rent.

  • Reduce Turnover: Landlords who allow pets at their rental properties experience reduced turnover according to a study done by
  •  FIREPAW, Inc. The study found--according to landlord surveys--tenants who had pets were more like to stay longer by an average of 23 compared to 15 months. The study found that the difference was even more significant in tenant surveys; tenant reported staying an average of 46 months in pet-friendly vs 18 months for tenants in rentals that disallowed pets.


The risks are the damages that cats and dog can cause and possible liability if a dog/cat bites someone


Firepaw Inc. looked deeper into the true costs of permitting pets within rentals. In the study, they found that 85% of landlords permitting pets reported having some amount of pet-related damage at one-point-or-another.  In most cases, the cost of damage was covered by the required pet deposit, meaning the owner experienced no real loss. This data suggests that there is little difference in damage between tenants with or without pets. The results found that the biggest differences in damage from tenants with pets and those without, was under $40, with an average for $323 in damage for tenants without pets and average of $362 for tenants with pets


Cats can damage/destroy carpets, and in serious cases, the pad and floor under the carpet need to be repaired/replaced. They can also scratch fixtures and damage blinds.


Dogs can tear up yards/plants, damage carpets. If they bite someone and you knew the dog was dangerous before you might be held liable.In addition, you might be held liable for any damages incurred due to tenants dog barking in excess.


KTS (San Diego Legal firm) wrote the following:


"On October 16, 2006, a California appellate court in Chee v. Amanda Gold Property

Management ruled that the landlord and the landlord's property management company were not liable for injuries caused by the tenant's Jack Russell Terrier to a neighbor as the landlord had no actual knowledge of any danger posed by the dog. The plaintiff alleged that the landlord should have been liable for allowing a dangerous condition to exist on his property because the landlord knew or should have known that the Jack Russell Terrier breed was dangerous, especially if not restrained on a leash. The court did not agree with this theory. Be advised that it is wise to provide further protection by having an addendum to the lease in which the resident certifies that they warrant that the particular animal in question is not dangerous"


To reduce the risk, but still allow a pet SDCPM recommended putting limits on the number of cats and dogs allowed and for properties where there is an HOA, the HOA rules/restrictions must be adhered to. (We get tenants to sign any HOA  rules as part of their rental agreement). We ask prospective renters if their dog has bitten someone before and if it has we will not rent to them. See also PET LIMITS BY CITY


You can also put weight limitations, and SDCPM has 4 limits for dogs (max 25 lbs, max 50 lbs and max 75 lbs and no weight limits) These limits refer to the weight when the dog is an adult. You can also put an age limit, eg to restrict to "Senior" dogs only, as defined by SENIOR DOG AGES BY BREED

We require $500 per dog as an additional security deposit and $300 per cat unless you do not want us to ask for this. This is added to the security deposit so that even if the pet causes no damage it can be used to offset damages caused by the tenant for other reasons or unpaid rent so as to give you more protection. It is not legal to ask for a non-refundable pet fee, see this LINK.


If a pet causes more damage than the security deposit paid, the tenant would be asked to pay the excess and could be pursued in Small Claims/Superior court depending on the amount of the loss.


You can also request us to ask the tenants to get renters insurance and add you as additionally insured to their policy so that if you are sued you can ask the tenant's insurance company to defend you.


Most property owners insurance policies do not include certain breeds of dog, so for your protection, we exclude the following breeds PROHIBITED DOG BREEDS" FYI: LIST OF ALL BREED TYPES however, if you are required to allow a prohibited breed because the dog is an ASSISTIVE ANIMAL then your insurance company should be told to make an exception as they must due to Fair Housing rules.

The following insurance agencies claim they do cover all breeds

  Lester Kalmanson Agency (407) 645-5000 info@lkalmanson.com who may require the following application to be completed LINK

   XInsurance (801)304-5581 and tysonl@primeis.com



SDCPM does not recommend allowing dogs in multi-unit properties or any property where the dog cannot be fenced in as they can escape and then cause damage which you might be held responsible or bite someone as noted above.


DECLAWING AND DE VOCALIZING


Effective Jan 1st, 2013  the law prohibits a residential landlord from advertising or establishing rental policies in a manner that requires a tenant or a potential tenant with an animal to have that animal declawed or devocalized as a condition of occupancy.The legislation applies to any mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian and imposes severe penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. See CODE DETAIL.


SDCPM is not licensed to provide legal/insurance advice and recommends owners take their own guidance from an attorney and insurance professional in addition to the notes in this document.


NEUTERING


We can, upon request, require that a cat or dog are neutered.


HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY WHEN YOU HAVE PETS



HORSES


In order to allow a tenant to have a horse on your property, first, the property must be zoned to allow one (we can check this if you wish).


Secondly, there are additional risks to the landlord for example:

* Someone falls off the horse and is injured because of an alleged hidden defect in the property;

*The horse escapes because of the alleged negligence of the landlord in keeping up the fence and injures someone or is damaged;

*The neighbors complain that the horse is not being well kept and, therefore, attracts flies, etc.


KTS LEGAL FIRM stated that from a legal perspective the landlord prohibits horses on the property, but for a fee, normally below $300 they can assist in coming up with indemnification language to help protect the landlord.