How to Ask Your Landlord for a Pet


How to Ask Your Landlord for a Pet

Pets are more than just pets—they’re family.

Unfortunately, convincing your landlord to allow pets can be challenging, especially if it says no pets on your lease. It’s better to be upfront and ask, though, rather than go behind your landlord’s back and sneak a cat or dog into your rental against the rules.

Of course, you still have to come up with a strategy when you approach your landlord. So, here are the things you can do to prepare before the conversation.

Prepare A Strong Case For Your Pet

Your landlord’s concerns about allowing pets are often related to potential issues such as noise, allergies, property damage, or complaints from other tenants. You should then identify these concerns immediately to tailor your request to address them directly.

Start by evaluating your potential pet’s behavior and any potential issues that may arise in the rental space. If there are issues that can be preemptively managed, outline your plans for doing so in your request. For example:

  • Offer to pay an additional security deposit
  • Offer to pay a non-refundable Pet Cleaning Fee
  • Agree to pay for flea and tick treatments after you move out

This is your chance to prove to your landlord that having a pet won’t cause any trouble and that you’ll be responsible for any damage or costs they create.

Craft A Persuasive Pet Proposal

The first step in making your request is to write a professional, polite, and clear letter or email to your landlord. This allows you to present your case thoughtfully and organized rather than through a rushed or potentially emotional conversation. Here’s how your letter should flow:

  • Introduce the topic
  • Express your understanding of any prior agreements or concerns
  • Articulate your request
  • Provide supporting details and concessions
  • Offer to discuss the matter further

Here’s a sample template to give you a head start.

Offer a Pet Deposit or Pet Rent

It’s almost certain that your landlord will have some reservations about changing the pet policy. So, be ready to suggest compromises that protect their interests while enabling you to enjoy your furry roommate.

These could include offering to pay a higher security deposit, obtaining renter’s insurance that covers pet-related incidents, or imputing pet rent in your overall dues.

Pet deposit

Renter’s insurance for pet-related incidents

  • Renter’s insurance has a personal liability portion that covers pet-related incidents, which may protect you from potential property damages caused by your pet, possible medical costs if your pet injures someone, or legal fees in case someone sues you. Make sure that your pet qualifies for this type of coverage.

Pet rent

  • On top of your monthly rent, landlords may charge you for your pet’s stay. Pet rent may vary according to area and preference i.e. flat fees or monthly fees, but is usually requested to cover additional property management activities your landlord may undertake due to your pet’s presence. This may be unnecessary if you can successfully obtain renter’s insurance.

Anything For Your Fur Baby

All in all, having that pet-related conversation with your landlord is a two-way street.

If you talk to them and they still say no… tough luck! You can look for a pet-friendly rental next year, but we can’t tell you enough how bad of an idea it is to get a dog or cat without asking first.

Trust us, we’ve seen how that ends (evictions, legal battles, etc.) and it’s not pretty!

Looking for the perfect rental property in Detroit? Check out our available rental units here.

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