3 Pet Policies Apartment Management Should Have in Place

People wanting to lease an apartment have certain criteria that their property needs to meet. Space, design, and amenities all enter into their decision to rent from you. For some potential tenants, the ability to keep pets is a priority. If your apartment complex allows pets, you should have at least three firm policies in place. Otherwise, you risk offending non-pet owners and exposing your company to liability claims.

1- Pets Must Be Licensed and Registered

Any pets you allow into the complex need to be licensed by the city or county. This measure ensures that the animals have had their vaccinations and are owned by your tenants. You will be responsible if an unvaccinated animal becomes ill and infects other pets or humans with a preventable disease. Rabies is rare, but it still exists, after all. Parvovirus is highly contagious and can spread quickly through unvaccinated animals, killing many.

The animals must be registered with your management team as well. You cannot keep things safe and organized unless you know exactly who has a pet and what that pet is. Too often tenants try to bring banned breeds into their apartment or even take in strays. These violations can be serious. To emphasize this point, you could fine those who violate this policy. You may need to have some of the animals removed to a non-kill shelter if the tenants will not. In some instances, you may need to evict those tenants who insist on violating the policy. In the end, the illegal pets pay the price.

2- Limits on Pet Breeds and Species

Experts will argue about safe dog breeds, but to protect yourself from lawsuits, it’s best to ban dogs that insurance companies will not cover. Although many pet owners will swear to their favorite breed’s gentle nature, you cannot allow dogs that are rejected by the insurance industry. Yes, many pit bulls are gentle and loving, and German Shepherds can be incredibly sweet. Sadly, they are statistically more dangerous as a breed than golden retrievers. The financial risk is too great to allow them into your complex.

Other pet species are also too dangerous to have in an apartment. Deadly snakes, large lizards, and other choices might put your tenants at risk. An escaped boa constrictor is a terror for most. Domestic cats are usually not a problem, but obviously, wild cats are a no-go. Even wolves are adorable as cubs.

You should consider putting a size limit in place. Some complexes draw the line at dogs over 45 lbs. Even friendly large dogs can harm people simply because they are so big. A St. Bernard can smash a small person by accident. Plus, larger pets will cause damage to the property simply living there. Some pets cannot exist well in small or medium apartments.

3- Leash and Waste Regulations

All pets must be on a leash when they are outside of the apartment. Not everyone is a pet lover, and some are frightened of even the smallest dog. Others are allergic to cat hair and do not want a cat rubbing up against them. Animals need to be controlled at all times or you risk tenant disputes and complaints. Surprisingly, pet owners will sometimes balk at this rule.

Tenants should know enough to pick up their pet’s waste since that is the standard in most places. Sometimes laziness or simple selfishness drives people to leave it where it lies. To stop this behavior, you need to make pick-up a requirement. Establish penalties for non-compliance. Perhaps provide waste bags in convenient locations. Nothing is more revolting than walking through the grounds and stepping in a pile of dog poo. It’s nasty and unhealthy to have pet waste everywhere.

Cat owners should follow best practices regarding litter boxes as well. An overflowing litter box is smelly and unhealthy. A poorly managed litter box is also a magnet for bugs, which can be a huge headache for apartment management. Tenants must keep it clean or face fines and potential eviction.

Apartment Pets

Many apartment complexes limit the number of pets a tenant can have. They also charge a higher security deposit rate since pets tend to leave some damage behind. Cats will scratch, and dogs will chew. True pet lovers understand this fact and are willing to pay more to keep their beloved animals with them.

Some of these policies may seem harsh, but pets do take a toll on apartments. Without regulation, a pet-friendly place becomes a pet-run establishment, something those without pets will not tolerate. You can attract pet owners and non-pet owners to the same property as long as you establish clear rules and enforce them with fines and other punishments. The right policies will keep all of your tenants happy.