Sometimes, I work with landlords who want to review/update their leases or consider forming LCS for rental properties. As a fellow landlord, I understand you want to be informed when dealing with tenants, especially given the law.
A question about Hawaii rent law I get now and then is: “So I have a potential renter, but they have a dog. Hawaii does allow landlords and property managers to collect an additional security deposit to address this issue.
So the Hawaii State Legislature amended the law* so that after November 1, 2013, landlords and property managers could collect an additional security deposit on top of that one (1) month’s rent. Second, when the pet is an assistance animal that is reasonable accommodation for a tenant with a disability.
Some times dogs are assistance animals for people with disabilities and in those cases the landlord will be unable to collect this additional pet security deposit. Even if toucan extract this additional pet security deposit, as a landlord, you may wish to consider other aspects of allowing dogs into your rental units.
Or in general, consider your insurance policy, does it cover pet allowances in your rental units? Along this insurance questioning, remember not all dog breeds are the same, and you as the landlord may be liable for injuries due to the animal.
Another interesting fact, I’ve had six dogs throughout my lifetime. With so many potential tenants looking to rent from pet-friendly landlords, remaining competitive in your market might mean reconsidering your stance on allowing Fido and Fluffy.
For example, a large dog has the capability of doing much more damage than a small cat, so you may want to charge those two fees differently. Additionally, the deposit required for a high-value property may be larger, as repairs to damage will be more costly than a lower priced apartment.
If you inspect the property upon move-out and notice damage, take the following steps, as you would when refunding a traditional security deposit: The reasoning is that pets increase the normal wear and tear on an apartment, whether they do obvious damage.
If the fee is too great and a tenant decides to challenge it, a judge has full discretion in enforcing the charge. Prices are typically comparable to pet fees, simply charged on a monthly basis rather than a one-time payment.
Proper identification, licenses, and vaccinations Particulars surrounding which types of pets are and aren’t allowed Weight limits Additional restrictions Make sure you have coverage in the event of any injuries or damages that are a direct result of the animal.
Analyzing applicant self-reported income against data from the credit report, including how much they pay toward balances, balances they carry, amount of money spent, and other factors, TransUnion can help landlords decide if they should request further proof of income. If you are a pro-pet landlord, an income and credit check may also help you understand whether your renter will be able to afford any pet rent or fees you may charge.
If you find yourself wondering, “Should I allow pets in my rental property?” then you’re in the right place. Many applicants are only interested in renting a house with pets and won’t even consider applying if you have a no-pet policy.
If you allow pets, your rental will appeal to a larger audience and help ensure you find a great renter for your property. And if there aren’t any pet damages, you’ll end up with additional rental income.
If there are multiple units on the property, or if there are neighbors nearby, noise can be a concern. From accidents to fur or hair, your rental may require spotless to get rid of unpleasant smells.
As a landlord, you don’t want to be held liable for injuries caused by your tenant’s pets. Make sure your tenant has proper renters' insurance that covers animal bites on the property.
So you’ve weighed the benefits and risks and decided to allow tenants with pets. Before you do, you’ll need to ask your insurance company and homeowners association (HOA) if they have any restrictions or disclaimers about renting to tenants with pets.
Linoleum or vinyl won’t collect pet hair, and they are more stain- and odor-resistant than carpet. Consider designating a section of your yard as a pet potty area and covering it with small rocks or mulch.
Zillow Rental Manager offers free, state-specific, customizable online lease agreements for select locations. Toucan customize your lease to include the type, gender, name, breed, weight and license number of a tenant’s pet.
4 If you’re OK with renters having fish, reptiles, birds or other caged animals but not OK with dogs or cats, you’ll want to let them know before they apply. For large animals like dogs and cats, it’s common to have a limit on how many can live on your rental property.
Some city laws even require you to limit the number of animals in a residence. However, accepting or denying pets based solely on their breed isn’t the best way to go.
For example, if you’re renting a small apartment, you may want to place a weight or length limit on dogs. Toucan work with an attorney to ensure you are compliant with state and local laws.
To avoid legal pitfalls, make sure you apply all rules equally to every pet-owning tenant while being mindful of those with service, assistant or emotional support animals. Allowing pets in your rental can put you at risk for pet-related property damage.
Protect your investment by requiring renters to put down an additional pet deposit. This additional income can help you cover the damages an animal may cause to the property.
A pet deposit is a refundable fee paid by the tenant before move-in and typically ranges from $200 to $500. It’s held by the landlord (just like the security deposit) to cover any damage done by the pet during the lease.
A more substantial deposit can help cover the costs of cleaning stained carpets, repairing chewed surfaces or removing scratches when the tenant vacates the property. Some states have pet deposit laws and may limit the fees youcancharge, so check with an attorney first.
Be sure to document the condition of your rental property before your tenant and their pet move in. Or, if your tenant is already living in your rental, make an appointment to do a walkthrough ahead of the pet’s arrival.
With proper rules and preparation, renting a house with pets allowed can make good business sense and keep your property filled for years.