Managing Pets and Properties

Many renters and families include more than just people, as often a four-legged friend, whether a dog or a cat, is a part of their home life. This presents a question that each property owner who rents their home or apartments must decide: whether or not to allow tenants to keep pets.

There are many different approaches that an owner can take when it comes to tenants with pets. In Indianapolis, there are no restrictions about how a lease must handle pets, which means that the owner can make their own determination on what the most appropriate option is for their property. One common choice is for tenants to put down a separate security deposit that is intended to cover any damages that occur from keeping a pet. This can be used to repair scratches or tears in floors or carpets or to clean pet wastes from lawns at the end of a rental period.

Family With DogAnother option – and one that is sometimes used in tandem with a pet deposit – is requiring an additional amount of rent for the pet. Some owners choose this route in lieu of a pet deposit, with the thought being that the extra rental money taken during the period of the lease equals the pet deposit. This fee is up to the owner, and can be per pet or for any and all pets in the home.

Some owners also choose to require a nonrefundable pet deposit, also known as a pet fee. This one-time payment is generally due at the start of the lease or at the time that a tenant gets a pet if they decide to adopt an animal while living at the rental property. This amount is akin to a security deposit, however it is not returned to the tenant at the end of the lease. Many owners who go this route keep this fee aside and use it to perform maintenance or repair work that may be needed after tenants move out.

Each owner can also set specific rules for pet owners in their lease or as an addendum to the lease. Common clauses include instructions on the disposal of pet waste, restrictions on specific pet breeds, weight limits for pets or clear cleaning policies that require a tenant have the whole home’s carpeted areas steam cleaned before vacating the property. These sorts of additional conditions provide both the owner and occupant with clear directions, expectations and guidelines to maintain a fair and equal understanding of both sides’ rights and responsibilities when it comes to pet ownership.

While some owners choose to forgo allowing pets altogether, if handled properly and respectfully from the start, owners and tenants can reach an understanding that allows pets without unduly burdening either party. At AMG Property Management, we have plenty of experience working with property owners and renters alike to make sure that pets – whether allowed or not – are handled appropriately. This is just one of the many aspects that an effective property manager can handle for you. Find out more about our full range of property management services by calling us at 317-252-5830 or contact us online today!

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