Pets in Rental Property

Hi Friendly People,

I have been renting a townhouse in Santa Clara region for the last few years. Currently it is vacant because the tenants do not have to be in the area because of remote work. I have listed the property for rental for the last few weeks. Though there were few people expressing interest and touring the place, no one has rented the place.

One renter wants to move forward, but has a cat. We had no pets policy so far. Given there are no takers, I am thinking about renting the house with one pet.

Please let me know if there is anything I need to do as part of the rental if I allow pets…? Is it a bad idea to have pets…? will that affect future rentals…?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts…


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You can take extra deposit and/or increase rent. Size of the pet is important. Big dogs can scratch walls, or floors. Smaller ones cannot. They will shed hair and fur. Yard must remain clean of droppings. If you do not like to worry about these, find someone who does not have a pet.

Just curious, are you renting at higher or lower than previous rent.

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charge them upfront, If they really want to bring in, you can’t do anything about it.
after they move in, then will pay some dr 99 bucks to write a emotional support BS letter

Definitely depends on the property. Carpets could be destroyed, but if they were halfway through their life, maybe doesn’t matter.

If it were me and there were carpets, I’d ask them to have on hand deodorizing chemical and a carpet cleaner. I’d ask to see these up front when they sign the lease.

Lineoleum? I don’t think cats can destroy this.

Wood? Can stain. Again, if it’s at the end of its life and you’d have resurfaced it anyways, maybe it doesn’t matter.

Then you charge a bit extra.

This is my view. Around 10 years before, I had the same situation by real estate burst, unable to get a tenant, accepted tenant with dog for additional $250 deposit.

They stayed for 12+ months, left the home in dirty condition.

Entire backyard was filled with dogs poop for which I paid $1200 to clean the dirt.

Entire home was smell with dogs urin, carpet was forced to change, wood floor was forced to change…spent more than $4000 to bring back.

We left back doors/windows open for 3 weeks to get rid of all smell.

They had 3 dogs, but everything can happen with one pet too.

That is the end of the story for pet renters.

Hindsight, I should have easily compromised $200 in rent for non pet owners to avoid all the hassle, delay…etc.


Well Said.

The rent on the property has always $200 less than the market price for the last 2 years because the property usually got vacant during October/November time frame. I would say the rent is $100 higher than the previous rent. We can possibly reduce the rent.

The prospective tenants own another home and are in the process of rebuilding it, so they have promised to take care of the house as their own. The house has 14 year old carpet and hardwood floors. They look good.

I have not yet decided.

@Jil @Terri @dioworld Thanks a lot for your inputs. This is very much appreciated.

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They just need 7-9 months to stay your home, dump all the items at garage. Recently, I had similar tenants with one pet, ready to provide me $200 as pet compensation and they needed 9 months contract. They were well off tenants, no issue with rent or deposit and even ready to provide full 9 months payment upfront.

Finally, I choose a non-pet owner who wants to stay longer period. He is planning to stay for more than 5 years, but so far completed 15 months.

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I would think people who own their own home would be sensitive to taking good care of yours. Seems like a plus. But then you probably should charge a little extra if they’re not staying long-term anyways.

In Tahoe dogs are pretty much ubiquitous. I charge a $1000deposit and $100/m min. per extra dog or person. Go with plank vinyl floors and a dog proof garden… dirt.

@Elt1 Thanks for your response

I have laminate hardwood floors and carpet. It is a townhouse and there are no backyards…

How do you dog proof the garden?

If it is all just dirt already and you don’t care, it is dog proof. Like most of my Tahoe houses… just native pines shrubs and needles cover the dirt, which is basically sand in Tahoe

Your chance to rent to a perfect tenant is slim. Most homes on the market taking multiple rent reductions. For a 3/1 duplex at Monte Vista/Kennedy school landlord only asks $2900. For a 3 br 2 br Cu schools SFH one can have it for $3900 with 1 month free rent.
It will be this way probably until next summer.
Your best bet is ask for a pet deposit (300-400) and let them have the place.


Listen to Sam. He always has pragmatic advice.

If you do decide to allow pets in your rental property, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your investment.

First, you should have a clear and comprehensive pet policy in place. This policy should outline any restrictions or requirements for tenants who have pets, such as breed restrictions, weight limits, and vaccination requirements. You may also want to require tenants to provide proof of pet insurance to cover any potential damages or liability.

Second, you should conduct a thorough screening process for potential tenants with pets. This should include asking for references from previous landlords, as well as conducting a background check to ensure that the tenant has a responsible history with their pets.

Cat pee is forever unless you tear out the floors.

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All kind of flooring ? Or only carpet and vinyl plank?

Pretty much all kinds of flooring unless it was thoroughly cleaned up right away. Dog poo and pee isn’t nearly as bad.

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