68% of US households own a pet. So, it is advantageous for landlords to allow pets if they do not want to miss out on over half of their prospective tenant pool. However, landlords who are renting out a unit in a condominium building are bound to the pet policies that exist for the association. Landlords should consult their association's governing documents prior to allowing any tenant to have a pet, as a condominium board can take legal action to evict any tenant that is not in compliance with the association's documents.

The following are good guidelines for establishing a pet policy, whether for the entire condominium association or by individual landlords residing in condo buildings that do not have an established pet policy. Landlords and condo boards should be mindful when it comes to pets, as they can both enhance and detract from neighbors' living experience.

If pets are allowed, a pet policy and screening process should be established. The policy should do the following: 

  1. Identify the types of pets allowed. If you will only allow certain kinds of animals, such as cats and dogs, but not others, like reptiles or birds, that should be clearly outlined.
  2. Identify the number of pets allowed per unit. Consider the size of the units and their outdoor space when setting the appropriate limit.
  3. Identify the size of pets that is allowed. A weight limit per pet can vary depending on unit size to best avoid property damage.
  4. Specify the costs associated with pets. You can choose to charge pet fees, rent, or security deposits to counterbalance the possible risk of damage. Specify if extra insurance will be required to cover pet-related incidents.
  5. Specify the course of action if an accident involving a pet occurs. Outline policies for inappropriate pet behavior in the same way policies are created for tenants.

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