A rented house can’t be your home if your loved pet isn’t welcome
72% of renters have pets, but renting while owning a pet can get complicated. One of the top reasons pets are given up to animal shelters is failure to find housing that accommodates the whole family – furry members included.
Some landlords will prohibit certain types of breeds from living in their housing if that breed is excluded from the building’s insurance. If your pet is classified as a blacklisted breed, you may be more successful renting from smaller properties, where there are less shared areas the landlord needs to insure. However, by buying renter’s and pet liability insurance, you can help soothe the concerns your landlord has of your dog damaging his or her property.
Landlords may require pet liability insurance to compensate for the threat of your dog causing property damage to his or her apartments and building. Dogs can cause damage such as pulling down blinds, shedding, scratching, and accidents if they are not house trained.
Read your lease to learn which liabilities you are responsible for, and which your landlord is responsible for. Typically, landlords are held responsible for failure to protect or maintain their general residence.
In the majority of cases, you will be held liable for any damage or injury your dog causes. However, there are some instances where your landlord can also be held responsible. If a dog attacks a tenant more than once, and the landlord had the ability to evict the dog but did not, the landlord can be held reliable for failing to act and protect his tenants. A landlord can also be found responsible if he or she shared daily responsibility of the dog, i.e. taking the dog on walks, playing with it, and feeding it. Due to these risks of liability, it is in the landlord’s best interest to strictly adhere to their pet policy. Dog owners should be conscientious of the fact that there is usually only one strike allowed against their pet when they rent, meaning your dog only has to bite once for a landlord to force you to remove your dog from the premises or evict you. Get your FREE Pet Liability Insurance Quote here!
If your landlord is hesitant to rent to you because he or she sees your pet as a potential threat to other tenants, consider obtaining a letter of recommendation from your previous landlord to show your dog is well-behaved and a good resident, or introduce your new landlord to your dog so he can see first-hand how friendly and obedient your dog is.