If you allow tenants with pets then you should outline the conditions of this in the tenancy agreement. Why? The main reason is responsibility and knowing where it lies. If a pet causes damage to your home it is good to understand who exactly is responsible for covering the costs. And although you might shake hands with your tenant about who that might be, it isn’t enforceable if it isn’t in writing.
The basics of a pet agreement
Tenancy Services recommends putting three things in your tenancy agreement that cover pet presence. Before you get into agreeing on responsibilities, you should always cover these basics which include:
- “the number of pets allowed.”
- “the type of pets allowed.”
- “what happens if the tenant wants a new or replacement pet.”
While these might seem unnecessary if a potential tenant has one dog that you’ve met, you never know if there are other animals they might eventually bring in. In other words, if your tenant’s cat got pregnant with eight kittens and they decided to keep them on the basis of the pets allowed policy, they will be completely entitled under your agreement.
Who is responsible for damages caused by pets?
This is probably the most important thing to cover in your agreement. As previous cases show carpet and other damages can occur with pets, it is wise to agree with your tenant about who is responsible for covering the costs in these situations.
While the Tenancy Services website says: “A tenant is responsible for any damage, other than fair wear and tear, they cause either intentionally or carelessly. This includes any damage done by their pets.” It is still important to outline who is responsible for damages by pets in the agreement.
This will ensure that if any damage does occur due to the pet then you will be able to revisit the agreement should the tenant say they are not liable.
Can I charge extra bond for pets?
Landlords are only allowed to charge a maximum bond of four weeks rent. This cannot be increased if landlords allow tenants to have pets.
If you still haven’t decided whether your tenants can have pets in your home, this article might help you make your decision.