How to Handle Pets on Your Rental Property

Lease AgreementsOwning and renting out property can be a tricky business. Most of the time, renters take pretty good care of the spaces they inhabit – and if they don’t, that’s what security deposits are for.

But what if the tenant has a pet that causes significant property damage beyond what’s covered by the security deposit and any other pet fees? Read on to learn more:

Consider if you want pets on your property

The first thing to consider is whether or not you actually want tenants bringing their pets onto your property. While pets can cause damage to your property, prohibiting them can restrict your potential pool of applicants. Additionally, you may have to deal with tenants sneaking pets onto your property whether you allow them or not.

If you do decide to let pets onto your property, having a clearly define set of rules can help both parties (see below).

Define pet rules

The best way to protect yourself is to clearly define your pet rules on the lease. This includes any fees, deposits, and responsibilities of the tenant. For example, define whether or not pets must be on a leash while outside, and if there are specific areas that should off-limits to pets. Since there is no state statue, having this information written into leasing contracts is vital to protecting your rights under the law.

Get external help

As Landlordology notes, the state of Michigan has no statute on pet deposits, so this situation may leave a both parties feeling unsure of their rights.

In cases like this, it might be necessary to bring on external help to navigate the legal process. Michigan law allows landlords to recover some court and attorney fees that may apply, depending on the case. Our real estate lawyers will walk you through your rights as a landlord. We’ll talk through any and all potential avenues of securing compensation for damages accrued by pets during a tenant’s stay.

Call us at The Law Offices of Aaron D. Cox today at 734-287-3664 to discuss your options and see what we can do for you.

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