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Pets are playing a more important role in the lives of individuals and opening your property to pets can increase your tenant base. But of course, you don’t want to suffer property damage or possibly have some an individual harmed by a rogue pet. The best way to get the benefits and limit your risks is by creating a pet agreement.

Include the following information in your agreement and you’ll limit your liability while informing the tenant of your personal stance on pets.

What Pets. This is more complex than it appears at first blush. Consider the variety of pets out there and what you’re willing to accept. Pit bulls, snakes, rats, pot belly pigs, and chickens are just a few animals that are considered pets by some and unacceptable by others.

How Big and How Many. Some pets don’t necessarily create a problem due to their size but some do. A Mastiff or an Irish wolfhound can create a lot of damage and scare many other tenants. A Chihuahua or a Pomeranian probably won’t scare others and do much damage but six of them in one unit can be a huge problem.

Tenant Responsibility. Make sure the tenant knows they have to all of their pets under control at all times. Dog owners typically know about leash laws but many cat owners feel comfortable letting their animals roam freely, which can be a problem. It’s also important that your tenants keep their pets up to date on registration and vaccinations.

Flexibility. Make your pet policy open to change in case you do have some problems or if things are going so well you’re willing to be a little more flexible. But if you’re going to make a change, consider adding a grandfather clause so your current tenants aren’t forced to move or get rid of their pets.