An Atlanta Landlord's Guide to Pets in a Rental Property

An Atlanta Landlord's Guide to Pets in a Rental Property

Many households have pets as a member of the family. That can be complicated when you're a landlord. Pets can cause damage to your property, after all!

So, should you let pets live in your rental property? And if so, what should the pet rules be?

Read on to learn what you should know about pets in a rental property for Atlanta landlords.

Rental Pet Policies

If you do plan to allow pets in your rental property, you need to have strict rules. Creating clear and effective pet policies for your rental property in Atlanta is crucial for successful pet management and fostering a positive tenant-landlord relationship.

Require tenants to notify you in writing before bringing a new pet into the rental unit. Include a procedure for obtaining written approval.

You should require tenants with pets to obtain renter's insurance that covers pet-related liability. Outline the necessary coverage and provide proof of insurance.

A property management company can help you figure out what your pet policy should look like.

Pet Fees

You'll also need to ensure you're properly compensated for allowing pets on your property.

Consider requiring a pet deposit as an upfront payment to cover potential damages caused by the pet during the tenancy. The deposit should be clearly stated in the lease agreement.

Implement a non-refundable pet fee, which is a one-time payment made by the tenant to cover the cost of cleaning and preparing the unit for future tenants.

Consider a separate fee to cover additional cleaning or repair costs associated with having a pet in the unit. This fee could cover specialized cleaning services at the end of the lease.

Pet Rent

One thing to keep in mind when allowing pets is that you may be able to charge higher rents for pent-friendly buildings.

Or, you may want to add pet rent as an extra charge to your regular rent. Explicitly outline the terms of pet rent, including the amount, frequency of payment (e.g., monthly), and how it should be paid (e.g., alongside regular rent).

Support Animals

Even if you do choose to ban pets from your Atlanta rental property, some animals will still be exceptions.

Familiarize yourself with the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability. This includes the right to have a support animal as a reasonable accommodation.

There are two major categories of assistance animals: service animals and emotional support animals.

Service animals do tasks for individuals with disabilities, while ESAs offer emotional support to those with mental health-related disabilities. It's essential to distinguish between these types of assistance animals to understand the varying needs they address.

When a tenant requests accommodations for an assistance animal, landlords can request documentation from a qualified healthcare or mental health professional.

This documentation verifies the tenant's disability and the necessity of having an assistance animal to mitigate the effects of the disability. However, landlords should refrain from asking for specific medical details or details about the disability itself.

Pets in a Rental Property: Decide Today

There are a lot of pros and cons to allowing pets in a rental property.

Do you need help managing your rental properties? Look no further. PMI Atlanta West has the skills and experience you need. Contact us today to get started.