How To Persuade Your Landlord To Let You Have Your Pet In Dallas Fort Worth Rental Houses

I am a huge pet-lover, and sometimes in our rental properties, I am happy to accommodate pets as much as possible.  Sadly, sometimes, I can’t. I know your dogs and cats are like family members, providing unconditional affection and endless amusement to you, but unfortunately, bringing your furry family members with you to a rental property in Dallas Fort Worth may be more difficult than you expect. If your landlord is a private owner, like me, you might be able to persuade him or her to allow you to bring your pet. Fortunately, most landlords and property managers in Dallas Fort Worth are straightforward about pets when renting their properties, so you’ll know which rentals are pet friendly early on in your search. When contacting potential landlords throughout your search, it’s a good idea to indicate whether or not you have a pet.

I think I speak for most landlords, a policy to allow/not allow pets in our rental properties is a difficult one.  The decision is always based on 3 factors: 

1. The type of property being rented

2. The condition of the property

3. The pet type/breed, and the number of pets. 

The landlord’s goals are to make sure the property doesn’t get damaged or for someone to pay for the damage and to make the property desirable to as many tenants as possible. 

Here’s some solid advice on finding pet-friendly properties: 

1. Property Type – Apartment Communities

Apartments may be still more affordable but, nowadays, have high income requirements, smaller spaces, and some often don’t allow pets or allow pets selectively. 

All Other Residential Properties:  In addition, some residential properties are not conducive to some types of pets.  For example, a duplex may not allow dogs because of the size of the proximity of the two tenants.  There might also not be a fence between the two properties which makes it a pain for the tenant with the dog, or worse if there are two dogs contending for the same back yard.  In contrast, having a cat or two may not be an issue if they stay indoors.  

2. Property Condition

If a landlord has just renovated a house or changed the carpets/floors, they may be reluctant to rent to a tenant with dogs and cats in fear of damage to the new flooring.

3. Pet Type/Breed & Number of Pets

Some landlords are fine with cats but not with dogs, some will allow other pets but not dogs or cats, it just depends.  Also, as a tenant, you should know that some insurance companies will not allow certain types of dog breeds in the home because they are considered more aggressive or have historically bitten/caused accidents more often than other breeds.  Some landlords don’t want more than one pet, or the pet can’t be more than 25 lbs because a large dog equals more damage, right? Well, as we know that’s not always the case, sometimes the smallest dogs are the chewers, and the biggest dogs “the angels”. 

How Landlords Deal with Financial Concerns – Pet Deposits & Pet Fees: 

Some landlords deal with the financial risk of potential damage by charging pet fees.  In our properties, if the prospective tenant is willing to pay a pet deposit, we will make it refundable at the end of the lease assuming there is no damage.  In general, damage can be a breach of contract, so tenants should only bring in pets that will not cause damage to ensure that they can stay in the rental property.  Well behaved pets also increase their chances of a tenant’s lease being renewed.  

Depending on the pet, there might also be a reasonable monthly charge which helps defray repair costs and deep cleaning expenses before the property can be rented out again (e.g. pet peeing on a carpet or wood floor).  If for example, someone has a lizard, there will be no monthly charge because the lizard usually lives in its own habitat.  But if the tenant has a great dane in the house, it’s possible that the floors will be scratched and need to be refinished or replaced in time.  For example, wood floor refinishing can be as much as $10/sq.ft. so a pet deposit of $350 will not cover the $1,200 damage expenses of a 1200 sq.ft. house.  The bigger the house, the more expensive the repairs, of course.  

Like most things in life, the relationship between tenant and landlord is important for the longevity of a lease.  Good two-way communication, honesty, respect and care will make a big difference, enabling a tenant to bring along their pets and the landlord to sleep easy at night knowing their property is not being damaged.  Happy property fetching!