Property Management Advice: Pet Policy in Palo Alto

Los Gatos Property Management - REC Property ManagementMany landlords want to know if it is a good idea to allow a tenant to have a pet. The benefit of a pet policy in Palo Alto allowing tenants to have pets in your residential property is that you have a larger group of renters to consider. A lot of people have pets, and they will obviously be looking for properties that will allow them to move in with their animals.

There is often a fear that the pet will destroy the property. This is an understandable fear but remember that people can do just as much damage, if not more, than a pet. Damage to your property is always a concern when you rent it out, regardless of your pet policy. Generally, if you can find a good, highly qualified tenant who has a pet, you can expect that the tenant will take excellent care of the pet as well as your property. Most of our experience has shown that your best tenants will always take care of their animals and make sure damage to the home is rare.

Here are a few tips to remember when considering your pet policy. These 3 things will help put your mind at ease and keep your residential property in good shape:

  1. Ask for an additional deposit. If you decide to rent to a tenant who has a pet, you can increase the amount of the deposit required before moving in. Be careful not to call it a separate pet deposit. Include it in your regular deposit because if you call it a pet deposit, then you will have to prove that the pet caused damage before you can use that deposit money to fix anything. That is a hassle you do not want to bother with. Instead, put it all together in one deposit. Damage is damage, and the larger your deposit the easier it will be to clean or repair any mess created by the tenant or the pet.

  1. Require renters insurance from your tenant. You could also require a policy with additional liability coverage from your tenants who have pets. If your renter’s dog bites someone on your property, the tenant can then help out with the liability that comes along with that dog bite.

Note on the lease that your property must be cleaned and treated for fleas. If you stipulate this expectation and require the tenant to pay for any pet cleaning and flea treatment, you can minimize the damage that might be done to your residence when a dog or cat lives there.

Allowing pets is a good idea, as long as you find a tenant who is qualified and takes good care of both the animal and the property. A pet policy that allows you to charge a higher deposit, require renters insurance and expect cleaning and treatment for fleas will protect you and your investment property. If you have any questions about how to put a pet policy in place, or any other property management concerns, please give us a call at Real Estate Connections, (408) 873-2100.


8 Responses to “Property Management Advice: Pet Policy in Palo Alto”

  1. George Trombley June 17, 2013 11:34 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the comment and great blog. I really liked the point about how allowing pets into one’s property allows for a bigger pool of tenants to choose from. I have included a link back to my blog so take a look.


  2. Terri Alcala July 25, 2013 4:51 pm

    Being open to allowing pets in a property opens up a greater pool of tenants to choose from. This allows for you to be able to find the best tenant for a property. Even though pets can cause damage, setting weight limits and breed limits helps hinder this from happening. I have written a similar blog on my blog site. I have included a link. Take a look at let me know what you think!


  3. Brenda Gerdes July 31, 2013 3:38 pm

    I recommend allowing pets into a rental property. This allows for me to find the very best tenant for each individual property because I get to choose from a wide range of different applicants. Yes pets can cause damage but by charging a larger security deposit while also limiting the size and breed allows for me to protect the properties I manage. I have included a link to my blog if you would like to get more information.


  4. George Trombley September 27, 2013 2:34 pm

    Good advice to stipulate on the lease that your property must be cleaned and treated for fleas at move out; fleas are easily overlooked but can be a nuisance later on. Another piece of information we give property managers prior to move in when it comes to pets in rental properties is to check with their insurance companies since some carriers will not cover certain dog breeds that are considered aggressive. If you’d like to read our blog, here is the link discussing the issue further:

    Hope you get some useful information on it.


  5. Michelle Hayes February 21, 2014 9:52 am

    Interesting points you make when apprehension regarding potential pet damage comes up, that is, people can do just as much damage, if not more, than a pet and that damage to your property is always a concern when you rent it out, regardless of your pet policy. When allowing pets into a property, we like to advise our landlords to check with their insurance company about which breeds the policy covers. Allowing prohibited dog breeds will open you up to liability completely. If you’d like to take a look at our blog on pet policies, here’s a link:


  6. Jennifer Newton April 11, 2014 2:03 pm

    I had no idea that 70% of renters out there had pets! That is pretty significant and enough to make a person reconsider whether or not they are willing to accept pets. I have a similar blog on my blog site. Take a look, and I would love to get feedback:

  7. Lois Moore June 30, 2014 12:00 pm

    This was interesting to find out how you handle a pet policy in Palo Alto. Please take a look at how we deal with this at Moore Property Management and let me know what you think:

  8. Tressa Rossi September 29, 2014 9:45 am

    Usually people with pets make great tenants and another added benefit is that you can expect pet owners to want to stay in your rental long term. That’s one of the points I make on my blog, if you’d like to see the others, feel free to check it out at