I am a pet owner and a pet lover but I do understand that in some situations landlords do not want animals in their buildings. If you own property and would prefer that there are no furry tenants in your buildings then you’ve got to let prospective tenants know that this is your policy from day one. You should include “no pets” in your advertisements and stay firm on this topic if questioned by the tenant. There should also be something in your lease that states that pets are not allowed. If you have exceptions to the pet rule, like weight limits or you’ll accept fish and birds but no furry four legged animals, spell all of this out in the contract and have the tenant sign it.

Then, if you learn that a tenant has a pet its time to start documenting their violation and your reaction to the violation. If you tolerate the presence of the pet you may lose your legal rights to evict the tenant or force them to remedy the situation. So it’s important to act quickly and to document every action you take.

Eventually, you may have to issue a cease and desist order which lets the tenant get rid of the pet and remain in the rental unit. Or you may have to evict the tenant. The rules on your exact legal recourse differ by state and sometimes by city so check the laws and then follow them closely. If you bend the rule for one you may end up having to bend it for everyone.