If a pet is going to cause damage to a rental property, it will most likely be when it’s home alone.
While owners enjoy a little holiday rest and relaxation, their animals don’t like the sudden change in routine. It seems each pet has its own way distinct way ofshowing its disapproval.
Whether it’s a cat who causes a flood by tipping over the tenant’s houseplant watering system, or a nervous dog who spends the night serenading the neighbors, pets thrown off their daily schedule quickly begin to act out of character.
Left alone, dogs will bark at everything that moves, best animal friendships will deteriorate into bitter fights over territory and food, and exercise-starved animals steep in anxiety, until they finally snap.
Make sure your tenants are responsible pet owners, who don’t make their unattended pets someone else’s problem.
When screening rental applicants with pets, explore how much experience the owner has in general, and with the current pet. Find out what they plan to do during weekend get-aways. Hopefully you will hear specifics. A blank, I-hadn’t-thought-about-that stare is a bad sign.
Let your lease do some of the work. A tenant with a pet should have 2 simple options when they plan to be away:
Board the animal somewhere else, or
Hire a dedicated pet-sitter who will fill the void with care — and companionship.
Also, demand that the tenant provide you with a cellphone number that they will answer in case of emergency.
It’s also a good idea for the lease to provide the right to kick out problem pets — along with their owners, if need be.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.