6 Reasons Why You Should Never Let Your Tenant Have A Pet!

Update: Before you leave hate on this article you need to realize that I am a dog owner myself. I love pets, check my instagram photos (icon on the top right) it’s filled with me and my little bichon poodle. However, I own rental properties in one of the most distressed areas in America. My tenants all are on government assistance and can barely take care of themselves, let alone an animal. These tenants have let their animals destroy my rental and I have zero recourse, because they can’t afford to pay for damages. So… I adopted the policy of no pets / no excuses. For those of you who still want to leave hate in the comments.. get over it. My properties, my rules. Before you say “charge a pet fee”, answer this question for me..

Have you ever tried to get a pet fee from a 100% government assistance tenant before?


Owning an apartment building or any rental unit means you’re the boss and that you make the rules. However, many landlords can sometimes be confused about which rules are really acceptable, or which rules can come off as harsh as the Nazi’s. However, when it comes to allowing pets in the place, it may be better off for you to be as strict as possible in saying no.

There are many reasons why pets should be an absolute no-no in your property. Below are some of them:

They pee and poo all over the place!

There’s really no telling whether your tenant will actually take good care of his or her pet. Chances are, they won’t even bother to properly train their dog, meaning you stand the chance of having all sorts of stains on your flooring and furniture. What’s more, some of the not-so-responsible pet owners will most likely just leave the feces and urine lying in the pathway, garage, or even on the stairwell, which will cause an absolute disturbance to your other tenants, not to mention hygiene issues.

The smell can be unbearable!

Your tenants want to wake up to a place that either smells of flowers and fresh morning air or to the scent of newly cooked waffles – but definitely not to the smell of cat urine! You run the risk of your property smelling awful if you allow even a single tenant to keep a pet, especially a cat. Plus, smells aren’t easy to mask, you will end up having to shell out a lot of to replace the carpets

They leave scratches

You hand over your keys to your new tenant, with the fully furnished unit all spotless and new. The next thing you know, that lovely wooden chair you bought at Home Depot is filled with scratches made by either cats or dogs. Pets can definitely damage your furniture, making them look worn out and less appealing to your next tenant. Not to mention cause you some undue stress.

Health hazard to the kids

Let’s face it, no matter how friendly dogs can get, you just can’t get rid of those sharp canines that they have. Pets are accidents that are just waiting to happen. You will really dread the day when an angry father calls you up to complain that their next door neighbor’s dog bit their child. And although this is the responsibility of your tenant, there’s just no avoiding the fact that as a landlord, you are still held responsible. Not only are kids in danger of being bitten by animals, adults are too.

The noise

Imagine you are sleeping ever so soundly when all of a sudden you are awoken by the sound of incessant barking. What’s worse is that the barking encourages other dogs around the neighborhood to bark as well, causing such a nerve wracking ruckus.

Some owners just can’t control their pets. If you want to have a good nights rest, by avoiding telephone complaints and city violations for noise complaints, then you’re better off just banning dogs and other pets in the first place.

The chance of escape

How many times have lost dogs, cats, and even snakes been reported? It would really be a nasty scene having to inform your other tenants that the occupant at unit 1A has just lost their pet snake. Even gerbils or cute rodents can be such a hassle if they are lost since they can dig holes under your walls or flooring, or eat up your wiring.

All of the reasons above depict just how disadvantageous it is for you to allow your tenants to have pets. No matter how cute these furry little things might be, they will just cause you a lot of undue headache, added cost, and property damage which you are much better off without.

Also, don’t worry about having to implement these rules, some tenants actually prefer not having pets at all so if your unit is characterized by your “no pet” policy, then chances are you’ll even get more tenants than expected.




  • Screen your tenants carefully too. I’ve seen pictures of vacated apartments that made me think that the tenants WERE animals.

  • One of my long term tenant has a dog. I think when they leave, we probably will have to replace the carpeting.

  • I was quite disappointed to see this post. It is a shame how difficult it is for a pet owner to find a home to rent. Instead of just being discriminatory against all pet owners, I think it is better to deal with it on a case by case basis. I agree that they shouldn't be allowed to have a loud dog, but most cats are mostly problem free. I personally don't mind putting extra money down as a pet deposit to ease the landlord's concerns. Also, I find that pet owners often tend to be nicer and more caring people. I guess a lot depends on the suite you are trying to rent out. A furnished suite would be a bigger risk.

  • We allow pets but we also charge more for them: a pet deposit up-front and a $20/mo "pet rent" fee.

    Pet owners know they have to pay extra to rent. Plus, so many renters have pets that we've actually changed our application from saying "Do you have any pets" to "What kind of pets do you have"

  • I never allowed pets when i owned rental property. I just found them to bring too many issues. Plus, pet owners deserve to have a completely tolerant environment. For a multi-family unit situation, it just was not possible.

  • YFS /

    Great point. You make your money when you screen not when you evict :-). Tenants aka your customers make or break your business. Pick the best one you can. Do you have any tips for screening tenants?

  • YFS /

    I can assure you that you will have to replace the carpets. I am in the process of replacing the carpets in my home now because of my dog. Disgusting! Take a black light to the carpets and be prepared to be scared. Thank goodness my rentals have hardwood floors.

  • YFS /

    I'm sorry but none of my rentals will ever ever have pets. Nope, not worth the clean up when they move out. Sorry, but that's a tenant I'm not willing to deal with.

  • YFS /

    Thank goodness the area where I have rentals pet owners are few and far between. Did you experience greater repair costs for tenants with pets over tenants without pets after the tenant moves out?

  • YFS /

    Exactly, multi-family units are already tough to deal with now add a yappy dog in the mix and you have tenants moving out earlier than you want.

  • Sorry I don't. I never got involved in the landlord thing partially for that reason 🙂

    I also don't want to be on call to fix hot water heaters at midnight.

  • YFS /

    Me either.. My property manager and tenant placer has to deal with the issues 🙂

  • This is a tough one because I'm all for pet owners having good options for apartments, but I also cringe at the thought of ever allowing pets in one of my rental units (if I owned any, although I hope to within the next few years).

    I'd probably only do so with a hefty pet deposit and a separate lease rider spelling out additional pet-related details. But if it were a multi-family building, it would have to be a 'no' simply for the comfort and satisfaction of all tenants (but I would certainly cry a bit for all those cute cats & dogs…haha!).

  • That's actually something we haven't experienced yet since they have all been rented out since we bought them. I'm sure the one with the little dog is going to take some work i think the extra money we've been making will cover it.

  • Allowing pet is a tricky decision as a landlord. I decided to allow a small dog because I could not find a decent tenant. I hope it works out for me. I asked the renter to clean the carpet before they leave. I guess I have to perform a thorough inspection of the house once they leave…

  • YFS /

    Most apartments will cater to tenants with pets. As a landlord who rents out single family homes I just can't allow them in my units because of the additional hassle. Nothing against pet owners. I own a dog myself and unfortunately, I'm in the process of replacing my carpet with hardwood floors. It took me forever to get the smell out and let me tell you professional cleaning wasn't the trick.

    I have a Bichon Poodle. What kind of dog are you thinking of getting?

  • Laura /

    Im always disappointed to see these type of posts discriminating against pet owners. Currently my husband & I are traveling long term but once we get back to the states we want to buy a dog but what holds us back a bit is worrying we won't be able to find a rentable unit that allows pets. I've found while traveling, it's really just the US that has this issue. Australia, Europe & even Asian countries seem to be better with this. They just require professional cleaners at the renters expense once they vacate. Makes most sense to me.

  • YFS /

    I understand your point of view but when it comes to maintenance, cleaning up after a pet is torture! Plan on replacing your carpets a lot and paying extra to clean the place.

  • YFS /

    The problem is that pet pee sinks to the bottom of the carpet thus any carpet cleaning isn't deep enough to get the smell out. I suggest your use a black light against the carpets when they leave to find the pee stains.

  • I had 2 small dogs when I rented and I was very conscientious about keeping the house clean – especially the floors. I also put down a separate pet deposit in case the carpet needed to be replaced. When it came time to move out, the landlord thought I'd gotten rid of the dogs because there was no evidence whatsoever.

    I understand that most people aren't as picky as I am, and I can understand why landlords are hesitant to allow renters with pets. But it does make it awfully hard for pet owners to find a place. Personally, I think landlords should visit the current homes of potential renters who want to bring pets. If the place they have reeks of pee, tell them no! If it's clean and the pets are well taken care of, maybe consider letting them bring the pets as long as they pay a separate deposit.

  • YFS /

    I understand your point of view but this is a case of a few bad apples ruining the bunch. It would be too much hassle to go to a possible tenants prior home to view how they are living. Just like investing prior results do not predict future success. Meaning, how they treated the old place has nothing to do with how they will treat your place. For me it's just not worth the hassle.

  • Well, I agree to a point but I must say we allow our tenants to have pets, and here's why:

    We want them to be very happy and stay a long time.

    That said, we do require a $500. pet fee upfront (per pet) in addition to their security deposit. Not a pet deposit, but a fee.. never to be seen again as I tell them.

    We have on occasion had damages that ate up the fee plus all the deposit.. but rarely over.

    And we've had happy tenants stay in our homes for 5+ years, which saves us a ton of money!

    dee 🙂

  • YFS /

    Great job on the 500 dollar fee! I understand you want you tenants to stay a long time but have you considered multi-year leases?

  • I have to admit (and you won't like it) that I got my cat and my pug when I was renting and was not allowed to have any pets. And my pug did poop and pee all over the place because he was only 4 months old, not housebroken. We lived like this for about 4 months and the bought our first place. I did not even feel bad about it because the place was ghetto-ish anyway. If it would be a nice place, with great neighbors and nice neighborhood, I probably would feel different about it.

  • YFS /

    Ouch.. I know your landlord hated you once he found out you had a pet. Did you get you full security deposit back?

  • Even though there's plenty of responsible pet owners who keep a spotless home, those idiot renters that don't drive the policy. Tough nuts to you if you're a renter, it's just the way it is.

  • […] 6 Reasons Why You Should Never Let Your Tenant Have A Pet! via @URFinanceSimple […]

  • 6 Reasons Why You Should Never Let Your Tenant Have A Pet!…

    Owning an apartment building or any rental unit means you’re the boss and that you make the rules. However, many landlords can sometimes be confused about which rules are really acceptable, or which rules can come off as harsh as the Nazi’s. However, w…

  • […] a pet deposit of half a month’s rent in case my two cats damage the apartment. Since so many apartments don’t allow pets, I grudgingly paid it knowing that I would likely get it back when I move.Also, since I would be […]

  • It would be more effective to not rent to irresponsible people. Pets don't destroy property. Thoughtless pet owners do.

  • YFS /

    Of course it will be more effective to rent to responsible people. That's a given. If I have 2 responsible people and one has a pet. I'm picking the one without a pet.

    I've provided ample evidence for my decision. What are your reasons for allowing tenants to have pets in your properties?

  • Fetesha Downs /

    Hmmm. While I'm of different opinion on this one, it's still good to remember the downside to pets in rentals. I think it really depends on the renters. How they present and treat their own property can be an indicator of how a pet fits into the equation.

  • URFinanceSimple /

    I tend to agree that it depends on the owners, but as a landlord you never know how good a tenant is until they've been at your rental for a long time. I rather just keep pets out, since they provide more issues than advantages for me.

  • pet owner /


    This is one of the most ridiculous lists I have ever come across. If a pet is making messes and being destructive it's not the animal at fault, but the owner, and you would most likely have problems with this person pet or no pet. As a dog owner I know the challenges of finding an apt. that is nice AND allows pets and this post is an ignorant example of part of the problem. My dog is cleaner and better behaved then most people and I don't think I should be covered with a blanket judgement just bc you don't like dog hair. In regards to health concerns for children check out the link above. Douche.

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Hello fellow dog owner. I’m a dog owner as well and in my rentals, I will never allow pets. Sorry. No pets allowed.

    Ohh name calling.. Since we are being childish.

    “I know you are but what am I”

  • Aubrey /

    I find this pretty sad. If all apartment owners think this way, then I’m guessing I’m going to have to fall more into debt by buying a house, just to own a dog. My daughter has never experienced the joy of having a loyal friend like a dog and the fact that she doesn’t have too long to live makes it worse, since she’s always been a dog lover.

  • I’m pretty sure apartment complexes are a bit more lenient and can bake the price of letting tenants have a dog into “doing business” but I own single family homes and dogs/cats etc etc do more damage than the tenants to my places. Once you spend 6k on repairing a place with no recourse, you might feel otherwise. Again, this is from an owners perspective only.

  • C. /

    Dear Aubrey,
    It sounds like you have enough on your hands if your daughter is fatally ill. I hope she will experience true friendships with humans who would love her during her short time on earth.
    I love dogs and have had them or have had neighbors with them, but am overwhelmed by the sheer number of dogs in many cities and suburbs. It appears lots of someones are making money selling puppies and dog food. Many owners do not have time to keep their pets company and do not socialize them well enough. Plus, how much poop can we keep walking over or discarding? Just today in east Arlington, VA, I saw a nice apartment building with many piles of feces of several sizes on the little strip of green around it. Not just disgusting, but disease carrying, too.
    It used to be that pets were a luxury since they cost quite a bit to raise properly, but now have become a required accessory or status symbol for too many humans. There are many people who take more care of their pets than other folks, too, which is disturbing–even to the current Pope.

  • C. /

    Aloysa is exactly the type of tenant that property owners/managers dread. No pets means no pets. You are not an exception because you believe you are special or above the rules or your pets are different.

    (Seriously, think about what you would want in your home! Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you. And how would a landlord visit a prospective tenant’s current place?
    Trade places when you are able to buy your own place and rent it out–see how you’d like to rent to you and your animals. (Or children))

    Pets, especially when very young or elderly, are generally incontinent, pee and often leave an ammoniacal smell which, even using different cleaning and enzymatic compounds, will still leave a residual, noticeable odor. They take as much work as children.

    I bought a house which turned out to have had a cat peeing in a corner of the wall-to-wall carpeting over the oak floors. It had seeped into the padding and the floor. Fortunately, with removal of the carpeting and sanding of the floors (you can only sand twice before there isn’t enough wood left, and the floor has to be replaced.) Other animals can smell it and pee in the same area to cover it with their odor. The cat in my house probably smelled racoons outdoors, according to a carpet sales person. A basement door had had scratches up and down it from the previous owner’s dog which was locked down there at times.

    I’d prefer to find an apartment building without pets as well as renting one to someone without pets. Learn to make human friends!

  • kayla /

    I’m a vet, obviously you don’t look after your dog if it’s peeing allover the place. Isn’t that hypercritical? The irony of it all…your tenants are most likely paying for your life style, and paying for your mortage….while your own dog pisses and shits everywhere..yet they are denied pets, just in case they are a terrible pet owner like you? Millions of pounds are having to put down animals because of landlord greed….how do you feel about that? and how would you feel if you could not afford to own your own house, there for have to give up on the right to own an animal.
    I rent out my late fathers house, I have a preference for pets over children, as children seem to do a lot more damage!

    So thank you for contributing to the millions of pets who have to be put down each year, because of greedy landlords like you…

    People should not have to pick between a home ( shelter is a human right) and the companionship of an animals…

  • Kayla,

    Take a quick gander at my instagram pictures, you will see that my pet doesn’t piss and shit all over my home. Secondly, I’m an amazing pet owner who loves his dog. Third, my tenants do not pay for my lifestyle. 4th, read my real estate articles, my tenants are in low income areas and can barely take care of themselves let alone a dog. 5. My property my rules. 6. Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion 🙂


    The pet owner who loves dogs, but won’t let his tenants have pets b/c they destroy my property.

  • Lauren /

    This is yet another example of ignorant and anal landlords. Have you ever heard of a pet deposit? I am a single female and I own a small dog. She is house trained and only barks when someone is near the door (something I find to be a plus while living alone).
    I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to search through page after page of seemingly perfect potential apartments only to find out that they don’t allow pets or only cats (which tend to be worse than dogs in most cases.) There is recourse for tenants who owe money on damages for an apartment. It is called rental history and collections. If damages are such an issue for you as a property owner perhaps you shouldn’t rent at all. As I am sure you have observed, people can be just as nasty as animals. Also, if a tenant allows their animal to wreck their house chances are they don’t have to much regard for the property to begin with.

  • No welcome to my blog. Did you read the red text before the post?

  • Lauren /

    Thankyou… it is hypocritical I agree. God forbid you ever have to rent and can’t take your dog with you. What would you do if you couldn’t find a place to live because the prospective landlords were as biased as you. If you rent to low income tenants perhaps that is the issue and not the pets. Most low income tenants aren’t responsible regardless.

  • Lauren /

    Yes. What’s your point?

  • Lauren /

    Do you walk around in a plastic bubble too? Most suburban and urban areas require that you clean up after your pet. Secondly, if you think there hasn’t been animal feces from domestic or wild animals for thousands of years maybe you shouldn’t leave your house. No one is telling you to pick it up with your bare hands or walk through it. Although sidewalks are a good option.

  • My tenants are Section 8 and DSS tenants with 100% government assistance. If my properties where in a suburban area of Norther VA where I live, then my pet policies would adhere to the prospective tenant I would get. However, my experience as a landlord in this particular area has required me to enforce strict pet policies. I appreciate your comment, nonetheless, but I doubt your opinion will make me change the way I do business in this area. Feel free to check out my other articles and share your opinion. Last, but not least.. have you ever tried to squeeze a pet fee out of a tenant who relies on 100% government assistance to pay their rent?

  • Peter /

    I can’t believe the audacity of the pet owners on this board. I own a condo that I put my life savings into, and unfortunately had to move because I lost my job. I realize that some pet owners are responsible, but I’ve also seen first hand the damage a dog can do to a place, so I decided to rent my property with a no pets policy (for less money I might add). How in gods name can you say that it is my responsibility to provide housing for someones pet? Like it or not, my house is my investment…..MY PROPERTY. I’m responsible for the mortgage, insurance, taxes, upkeep etc… the list goes on and on.

    I find the sense of entitlement on this board irritating. What gives you the right to demand that landlords accommodate your pet? How dare you! You are not entitled to an ideal set of conditions in life, pet owner or not.

    And to the veterinarian, SHAME ON YOU! How dare you accuse landlords of being responsible for the deaths of animals. Your assertion is ignorant, baseless, fallacious, misguided, pathetic and downright stupid. The fact that your logic resides entirely on ignorant assumptions makes me scared to think that you’re actually a veterinarian.

    And to the renters of the world, sorry, no pets. Its not personal to you or your animal. Look elsewhere, there are plenty of properties that are more than happy to accommodate you. HOWEVER, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED (or work hard, save up and buy your own house).

  • jillian /

    When you find an apartment and go over the lease with owner, this is when you can ask questions and clarify rules of the particular apartment.

    If the owner has a no pet clause, you are not being forced to live there, move on.

    Quit destroying peoples property and signing a legal document that you intend on failing to comply with.

    Once again, no one is forcing you to live in a specific place with specific rules, it is your choice, respect them or keep fishing.

    I’m currently going through hell as a landlord.. my nightmare tenant verbally and legally signed to a no pets clause, no smoking clause, etc etc. Totally has neglected all my rules and my property is now destroyed.

    Once again, if you are looking for a place for pets or whatever, make sure you respect the owners specifications, its simple.

  • […] my life. Your whole home does not reek of dog, unless you’re not taking care of your pets. This is why I wrote the article about not allowing pets at my rentals. It has nothing to do with the dogs. It’s because I won’t stand animal abuse. Keep in […]

  • Kathy /

    what if you bought a home move in with the pets and found out you were defrauded and the home went into foreclosure and end up renting it and now the land lord is bitching about your pets and they’re ordor.

  • I suggest you contact an attorney as soon as possible!

  • DarkCougar555 /

    Being responsible is the key. That’s only one way that pet owners won’t have to give their beloved pets up for adoption. But, please be aware that some regional areas or cities could have a lack of ‘pets friendly’ apartments in any state. That depends where you live in, I suppose… If there are so many ‘no allowed pets’ apartments, then it must be much difficult for pet owners to find a new place…

    Not everyone can afford a house (not an apartment).

  • Alex /

    Narrow minded landlords with little thought to potentially discuss and base their decision on the individuals case is my current overriding feeling on this. I’m finding the search for a rental property that will take me and my dog is often blocked by a blanket ban on pets, with no room to discuss. Even after offering to pay a higher deposit and contract in professional cleaners at the end of the tenancy. It’s unreasonable and closes off a large proportion of people that could potentially rent the flat that’s been empty and losing money for months! Here in the UK 12 000 000 people are pet owners- what business automatically turns away that many people without good reason?!

  • Sally /

    You are a despicable person. All you have done is run down people on assistance. How dare you!
    Many people cannot help their situation.
    I can only imagine how you look at these poor people when you are dealing with them.
    Who do you think you are? God? Only God can judge ..didn’t your mother ever teach you that?

    So you own property…..how wonderful for you. Do you thank God daily for for your blessings? That you are not one of these poor people that have to be on government assistance.

    Some of the poorest people are the most loving, kindest souls …have you ever tried to get to know any of them without playing your “I’m the boss…I own this place” role? Of course you haven’t. Your too busy playing your
    “I’m Mr. Important” role. How sad for you. You seem to be such a lost unhappy soul with no love in your life.

    I’m sure your tenants love their pets unconditionally and try and do their best by them. Leave them live in peace.

    Karma is a bitch when it comes around dear.

  • Crystal /

    We are landlords of our previous home in another state. We allowed our tenants to have dogs, and they destroyed our property. They left us to clean up their dog feces all over our 1/4 acre property. The sod grass we had installed was completely gone. All that remained was dirt and huge holes dug everywhere. The inside had major scratches all over the doors and door jambs, and those had to be replaced. There were spots/dirt all over the walls, so we had to repaint the entire inside of the home. The custom blinds were mangled and had to be replaced. We have swept, mopped and deep cleaned the place three times, and we are still finding dog hair. It is a NIGHTMARE, and an expensive one! For those of you that are pet owners and are “disappointed” in this post, get over it. Until you are a landlord and have your property destroyed by animals, only then can you understand the feeling of walking into your home and being overcome with the smell of pee/poop. Only then can you understand that no one should be able to walk into a Home Depot and know EXACTLY where everything is located (unless you work there) because we have had to go there every waking minute the last month. Its costing us thousands of dollars, not to mention our time. Bottom line: If you want pets, own your own home.

  • Jackson /

    Just another example of how landlords have a god complex, and everyone should be saving their money to buy a house and get out of the caste system.

    The headline should be “6 Reasons *I* Never Let Tenants Have Pets.” Not everyone has the same circumstances or criteria. Like tenant turnover? They’ll leave when they want a pet.

  • Julie /

    I rented a townhouse once that allowed pets. The basement was covered in dog hair. I even found dog hair in the kitchen drawers! The carpet upstairs reeked of dog pee and I had it professionally cleaned numerous times and the smell never went away! I can understand why there would be a no pets policy when people rent. You honestly don’t know what kind of person is renting there and how they are taking care of their animals.

  • Pandora /

    I just wish all the no pets allowed apartments stayed vacant ….. after a few months some landlords might change their opinions.

    So glad I don’t rent anymore …. grew to hate it when I saw so many animals killed so their owners could move into these pet-free paradises. Maybe these sanctimonious landlords can have a petless tenant who leaves behind a guest like bedbugs.

  • Pandora /

    “And to the veterinarian, SHAME ON YOU! How dare you accuse landlords of being responsible for the deaths of animals. Your assertion is ignorant, baseless, fallacious, misguided, pathetic and downright stupid. The fact that your logic resides entirely on ignorant assumptions makes me scared to think that you’re actually a veterinarian.”

    Lighten up, Peter. Sounds like the DVM touched a nerve with you. I seriously doubt there will be any laws changed that will make you accept tenants with pets anytime soon, so you are safe. Do forgive a few of us who mourn the deaths of so many companion animals whose only crime was being unwanted.

  • Angela /

    I am having trouble here in rural southwest England finding a house to rent with three dogs (we have sheep so they’re working dogs). We both have good jobs and are paid well, have rented for years with flawless references but don’t want to buy and be saddled with a mortgage (we could put down a hefty deposit but I don’t want a mortgage as it’s not really your house until you’ve paid it off). Anyway, yesterday, our landlord (who lived on the farm we rent as a child) let he is selling the house (or rather the agent did) but that’s renting for you. It’s a bit of a shock as we’ve been there years and he was easy going about the dogs as, being a farmer, he has them himself. I would say that when I was renting years ago in London and before that in the US, I came across many renters who were far more destructive and filthy than their animal companions.

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