Developing Pet-Friendly Property Management Policies

Accommodating Pets

Local Laws & Regulations

When accepting tenants with pets, be mindful of local laws and regulations. Depending on your area, there may be rules regarding health and hygiene that may affect your tenants, those both with pets and without.


Be sure any tenants with pets also have insurance to cover any pet-related incidents that might come up. While unlikely to occur, you want to be sure they are covered against any damages to the premises as well as any injuries that might occur as a result of owning an animal.

Formal Agreements

While pet owners are more likely to be responsible tenants, it is still import to ensure that all parties understand the expectations and responsibilities of renting with pets.

When creating or updating the pet-specific parts of your rental agreements, carefully consider what you expect of your pet-owning tenants and what they should expect of you. Pet-owning tenants should be held responsible for any damages or harm their pets might cause.

A sample pet agreement is available here. While your agreement will likely vary to accommodate the specific qualities of your properties, this sample agreement should serve as a good starting point.

Ultimately, you will want to be sure any formal pet agreements you might decide to adopt have been reviewed and approved by your legal counsel.

Screening Pet-Owning Tenants

When considering rental applications from applicants with pets, it is important to assess their pets as well as the candidates themselves. As with the candidates, you want to be sure their pets will be a good fit for the community to which they are applying.

Pet Resumés

These documents provide a quick and easy way to get to know the pets of your prospective tenants before you meet them in person.

Download a Sample

Pet Resumés

You may want to consider requesting pet resumés from prospective tenants along with their other application materials. Pet resumés are documents that contain basic information about the pets owned by the applicant. Among the items you may want to request are:

  • A photo of the pet
  • A description of the pet’s daily activities
  • A description of the pet’s personality
  • A description of how the pet interacts with other people and other animals
  • Any training or certification programs the pet has completed
  • Proof of vaccinations

A sample pet resumé is available here. The materials you request may look differently, but this sample gives you a starting point for items you may ask applicants to include.

Pet Interviews

Another way to assess your applicants’ pets is to conduct a pet interview. In a pet interview, you ask the applicant to bring their pet in for a face-to-face meeting. This allows you to get a better sense for the pet’s behavioral traits and mannerisms.

During a pet interview, you may also want to consider asking applicants the following questions:

  • How long have they had the pet?
  • Has the pet been spayed or neutered?
  • Is the pet house-trained?
  • Is the pet an indoor pet, an outdoor pet, or both?
  • Has the pet been treated for fleas?
  • How do they handle pet waste?
  • Do they keep their pet leashed?
  • Has the pet been microchipped?
  • Does the pet have a bite history?
  • Does the pet have a history of excessive noise?
  • Does the pet have a history of scratching floors, doorframes, or furniture?
  • Do they have insurance to cover damage and/or injuries caused by the pet?
  • How much time do they spend with the pet / how long is the pet left alone?
  • Does the pet have any behavioral training?

Every community, just like every pet, is different. While it is important to be welcoming of prospective tenants with pets, you must also make sure that those pets are a good fit for the rest of the community.

Looking for Even More Ways to Improve Your Pet-Friendliness?

Check out Better Cities for Pets™’ comprehensive set of resources for more information on specific actions you can take to improve the pet-friendliness of your community.

View Resources

Mars Petcare's Better Cities for Pets™ program features a comprehensive set of materials and resources designed to help you develop practical strategies for improving the pet-friendliness of your community.

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