How To Draft a Pet Agreement

Standardized Legal Documents How To Draft a Pet Agreement

Safeguard Your Property and Keep Your Tenants on a Leash With a Pet Agreement

Pets can be a mixed blessing in your rental property. Allowing pets in your rental broadens your tenant base, and tenants with pets tend to stay longer as they have limited options to move.

Pets bring risks, though. They can be noisy, cause damage, or even injure someone if they are not well-handled, leaving you with a potentially expensive mess to sort out.

The answer to such issues is to control which pets are allowed with a pet agreement or a pet clause in your lease agreement.

DoNotPay is the expert at preparing legal documents for you, helping you learn how to write contracts, and giving you ready-made, customized contract templates.

Use DoNotPay to help you set up a pet agreement that looks after your interests and avoids pet trouble in your property.

Do You Need a Pet Agreement?

The situation is a common occurrence. You have found the perfect tenants, you’re happy with the fact that they are bringing their two small dogs with them, and they move in. After two days, the complaints start trickling in from other tenants. The trickle turns into a stream, then a flood. You are left wondering what to do, as no damage has been caused, and the tenant is otherwise fine. The problem is yours and yours alone.

All this is avoidable with a pet agreement, which sets out in writing what your expectations and requirements are if a tenant brings pets to live in your property.

How Should I Include a Pet Agreement in the Lease?

Smart landlords know that tenants are masters at dodging or bending the rules, so the sensible course of action is to introduce pet policies to your property and, additionally, add a pet agreement for any new tenants as part of their lease agreement.

The house rules should serve to make it clear to existing tenants that their staying in your property is dependent on their compliance. This is more important than it sounds—you will probably have experienced cases where a formerly placid dog or cat has become aggressive as soon as another animal moves in next door.

All your tenants need to sign a pet agreement, even those who do not own a pet. Things change, and previous non-owners may suddenly decide they need four-legged companionship, so it is best to be prepared.

What Needs To Be in a Pet Agreement?

A pet agreement does not have to be complicated, but it must cover all the bases and give you the power to act if a tenant’s pet becomes unmanageable.

The key points to include are:

  1. What kinds of pets are allowed?
  2. Must pets be pre-approved?
  3. What identification and health certifications are required?
  4. What are the pet owner's responsibilities?
  5. Is there a fee for pets on the property?

What Kinds of Pets Are Allowed?

Your pet agreement should set out clearly what types of pets are permissible. You can happily include common domesticated animals, but you may want to draw the line at exotic pets. Some further considerations in this regard could be:

  • Setting a limit on the number of animals per household
  • Stipulating a pet weight limit
  • Banning certain “dangerous” dog breeds
  • Forbidding commercial breeding activities

Must Pets Be Pre-Approved?

A smart move as a landlord is to insist that your tenants seek written permission to get a pet before doing so. This allows you to exercise some control over pet numbers and types and to check that the pet is from a reputable source with no history of bad behavior.

Your written pre-approval should also make it clear that the tenant must continue to comply with the pet agreement and that you can take action for repeated infringements of any of the rules.

What Identification and Health Certifications Are Required?

Every pet on your property should be identifiable and healthy. It is valid for you as the lessor to insist on an animal being chipped or wearing some form of ID and for its vaccinations and health certificates to be up to date.

What Are the Pet Owner’s Responsibilities?

A pet agreement should make it clear that owners are responsible for their pets at all times and liable for any damage they may cause. You can also stipulate that owners clean up after their pets and do not leave them either outside or unattended inside for any length of time.

Is There a Fee for Pets in the Property?

If you feel that pets will either reduce the value of your property over time (by causing mess or damage inside an apartment) or create extra expense (for cleaning or gardening services), you may charge a pet fee to offset these.

You should be careful with pet fees, though. Some states limit the amount you can charge as a deposit, so an additional pet fee may not be legal. Whatever you decide, the pet fee should be reasonable and should not include any service animals kept by tenants with disabilities.

DoNotPay Can Help You With the Legal Documents You Need!

A pet agreement shouldn’t be a complicated document, but it is a contract between owner and tenant and part of your legal lease agreement.

DoNotPay is an expert at these kinds of legal documents, ranging from estoppel certificates to independent contractor agreements.

To check out what legal documents we can help you with, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Search for the document you need
  3. Provide us with some basic details
  4. Let DoNotPay create your document

Remember that all the interested parties must sign the document for it to be binding. You should also consider having it notarized to be safe.

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DoNotPay is developing legal documents and templates in all areas, and the list is growing all the time. Here are just a few:

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