For many people, owning and caring for pets is one of the greatest joys in life. People of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles consider owning a dog, cat, or another animal to be a great way to stay happy and healthy.
When renting, however, many tenants find that their landlords are not so keen on the idea of having pets on the property. As a landlord, it can be a tough decision about whether or not to allow tenants to keep pets on your property.
If you decide to allow pets, you will want to ensure you protect your property with a pet addendum form. Adding this document to your lease agreement ensures that you will have the means to repair any damages caused by the pet. But what does the addendum need to include?
We’ll give you a full breakdown of the best apartment pet addendum and a free printable pet addendum to go along with it!
A Table of Contents for Month-to-Month Rental Agreement Forms
- What is a Pet Addendum?
- When Do I Need to Use a Pet Addendum?
- Pros & Cons of Allowing Pets
- Writing the Pet Addendum
A pet addendum, also known as a pet agreement, is a legal contract that outlines the terms between a landlord and a tenant about having pets on the property.
In cases where a pre-existing lease is being changed or an already-signed lease needs to be amended, the pet addendum allows you to add pet-related rules and terms to the binding lease contract.
Even though the document may be added at a later time, the pet addendum is still a legally binding part of the lease.
Pet addendums are largely used in one of two situations:
1. You have a standard lease that you use with every tenant, but that lease does not include any terms about pets. You can also have your new tenant sign the pet addendum to ensure that all terms are covered.
2. You previously signed a lease agreement that did not include anything about pets or did not allow them. Your tenant has expressed interest in getting a pet, so you are adding a pet addendum to cover this allowance as needed.
It’s usually best to decide in advance whether or not you will allow tenants to have pets on your properties. Having a pet addendum form on file in case you ever need it will save you time, but you should make specific adjustments to the addendum as needed.
There will be cases, however, when you have a tenant already living on your property that wants to get a pet. Even if you don’t usually allow pets, you may consider it for this property or for that tenant if they have proven themselves reliable. Having a pet addendum PDF will make this change quick and easy for everyone involved.
Many landlords refuse to allow pets on their properties; others find it to be a minor inconvenience that really pays off in the end. How can you decide whether or not allowing pets is right for your situation?
There are a good number of pros to allowing pets:
- Attract more potential tenants
- Can charge higher rent
- Lower turnover rate
But there are also some cons:
- Potential pet damage
- Risk of injuries
- Lingering odors
- Noise complaints from neighbors
Regardless of whether or not you decide that allowing pets on the property is right for you at this time, putting together a pet addendum to your lease document so that you have it on file is a great way to be prepared.
Now that you know more about pet addendums and why they matter, let’s talk about how you can actually put one together.
To start off, check out the free printable pet addendum that we have available for you:
|Pet Addendum Form|
That is what a basic pet agreement should look like. Of course, it can be confusing to know exactly what you need to include in the addendum and why you should include it. Let’s break down the pet addendum a bit further to get the most complete understanding possible.
Basic Identifying Information
Always start addendums off with the basics. You want to identify the date, what lease or other document is being amended, and what date the main agreement was signed on. Finally, include a reference of which property the addendum will affect to make it all absolutely clear.
Next, you will want to outline what pet(s) is permitted on the property.
If the tenant already has a specific pet that they are asking permission for, you can simply give a description of the pet or pets that they will be permitted to have on the property.
If you are writing a more general addendum that will allow for different pets, include an exact and precise list of what pets are allowed.
This section of the agreement should explain how much money will be collected as a pet security deposit. This deposit will be used to cover any pet-related damages and, like a regular security deposit, must be returned to the tenant less any deductions at the end of their rental period.
It’s important to charge a pet security deposit to ensure that you will be guaranteed the funds necessary to fix any damages caused by the pet such as damaged doors or carpets. Without this deposit, it can be difficult to get a bad tenant to pay up.
This section of the addendum should clearly explain what the deposit can be used for and how much of a deposit will be collected. While most states have some regulations about how much of a security deposit can be collected, not all states regulate pet-related security deposits.
This deposit differs from the pet rent because it is only collected one time and, like a traditional security deposit, must be returned. Monthly pet rent is yours to keep.
Pet Rental Fees: Additional rent regularly paid to have a pet due to increased wear and tear. This can be added on to the regular rent a tenant pays. This discretionary fee is not regulated in most areas and can simply be added to the lease terms. This fee is usually less than $50.
Signatures: Both the Landlord and Tenant should sign the Pet Addendum to be binding.
Additional Rules & Agreements
Finally, include any pet-specific rules that are going to apply to your property. We’ve included a few sample rules in our PDF above, but there are a number of rules that you could include on your document to ensure that your property will be kept in good condition.
These are some of the rules that you may want to include in this document:
- Pet will not damage property
- Pet will not annoy other tenants
- Pet will not cause inconveniences for other tenants
- Landlord is not responsible for damages caused by pet
- Tenant will follow all local pet laws regarding keeping and leashing a pet
There are many other pet-related specifics that you could outline in this section if you wanted to, but it is best to keep this type of document as simple and clear as possible. Include broad, overarching rules that cover many situations rather than including hundreds of separate rules. It will be more clear to both you and the tenant that way.
Keep Your Property Protected
A pet addendum form is a great tool to keep in your landlord arsenal. At some point, a tenant of yours will ask about bringing a pet onto the property. While allowing a pet isn’t always worth the risk, there are ways to prevent that risk from becoming a problem.
The best way is to have the tenant agree to and sign a pet addendum like the pet addendum PDF we linked to above. An addendum ensures that both you and the tenant are in agreement about the rules and regulations of having a pet on the property.
This document protects your property from your tenant’s pets, and that makes it essential if you will be allowing animals on the premises!