To accept pets or to not accept pets, that is the question. As a property manager this is a constant dilemma. Some pets are well behaved, others are not. However, the latter seems to ruin it for all. Poor pet manners have caused not only home owners to ban pets, but also home/condo owner associations as well. Regardless of whether you rent or own, pet etiquette remains the same, especially if you live where there are shared common areas such as sidewalks, parking lots, grassy / landscaped areas. I don’t want to step in your dogs poo, and I don’t want the guy mowing to sling it on the buildings and cars. Yes, this really happens.
Here are some basic rules of etiquette for renters who have pets:
1. Make sure your pets have their vaccinations, regular veterinary care, and are spayed or neutered.
Most property management companies require pet owners to provide documentation their pets have had rabies and other vaccinations. Additionally, they will typically ask what kind of flea and tick preventative regime is used for the pet. In the event the dog or cat starts to act ill, it is not only in their pets best interest to seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible, it is also good etiquette because a sick pet is likely to be less tolerant of people.
2. Inform the property manager of your intent to have a pet.
While most people know to ask their property manager for permission before bringing a dog or cat into the rental home, some forget to check with their property management company before bringing a bird, reptile, fish, or small mammals. These pets have the potential to cause damage to the property just like a dog or cat and a property owner might not want to have a 6-foot boa constrictor in the rental home.
3. Housebreak and crate train your pet.
While all pets have an occasional accident inside the home, those who do so regularly can cause significant damage to the property, as well as make the home environment unhealthy. Crate training can help reduce the risk of accidents when the renter is at work and helps prevent the pet from chewing on blinds or moldings. When walking your dog, make sure to pick up the droppings. Cat owners need to make sure the litter box is cleaned on a regular basis.
4. Crate or kennel your pet on inspection days.
If your property manager performs routing inspections, please kennel or crate your pets for their protection, as well as the safety of the inspector. This is an important rule of thumb to follow if you’ve requested and are expecting maintenance personnel in your rental home. If you elect to leave your animal in a crate leave a note on the door or notify the property management company. A bark from behind a closed door may prevent services from being rendered.
5. Make sure the pet has regular exercise.
Just as a person is likely to become restless when they spend too much time inside, the same goes for your pet. By taking a dog on regular walks and trips to the dog park, the dog is less likely to have accidents inside, bark excessively, and chew on things. By taking good care for your pet, both you and your animal companion will enjoy your time in your rental home.