There is no law that requires landlords to allow ordinary pets.  Many landlords do not allow them.

However, some landlords do allow pets under specific conditions and requirements, and they charge additional monthly rent for them.  Many have found this to be a good source of additional income, provided that they are dealing with responsible pet owners.

Having a responsible pet owner is even more important than screening out the type or breed of animal that is allowed.  A pit bull can be a good pet with the proper training, and under the control of a responsible pet owner.  Whereas, under the control of an irresponsible pet owner, even a tiny pekinese dog can be a vicious nightmare.

To screen out irresponsible pet owners, certain requirements are specified, which responsible pet owners should have no problem complying with, but which irresponsible pet owners won’t be able to comply with, or won’t generally agree to.

Requirements include: 

  • Provide Spay / Neuter verification from the veterinarian who performed the operation (applicable for all uncaged mammals).
  • Provide a Record that shots and other inoculations are up-to-date.
  • Provide a Copy of rabies tag documentation.
  • Provide a Copy of dog license or other required license from the municipality where the rental is located.
  • Provide a Color photo of the specific animal to be housed.  Only that specific animal is to be permitted.
  • Tenant must warrant that the animal is housebroken (applies to all uncaged animals).
  • Tenant must warrant that there is no past history of causing physical harm to persons or property, and no vicious history.
  • Animals must be controlled at all times, and on a short leash while in common areas or grounds.
  • Barking will not be tolerated.
  • Tenant must agree that the animal will not cause danger, damage, nuisance, noise, health hazard, nor soil the rental unit.
  • Tenant must agree to clean up after the animal and be responsible for any damage, injury, or actions arising from or caused by the animal.

The attached Pet Packet contains an agreement which can be attached to the tenant’s lease.  it authorizes the specific  pet or pets.  It sets forth the requirements which must be complied with, the pet deposit which must be paid, and the additional monthly rent.  The tenant is held liable for damages, and the landlord’s has the right to immediately terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with all the requirements.

 

SERVICE ANIMALS

Regardless of whether or not ordinary pets are allowed, landlords are required to allow a service animal (such as a seeing-eye dog) as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with disabilities.  No deposit may be charged, and no monthly rent may be charged.  The landlord is also limited in what questions can be asked about the tenant’s disability, and what documentation can be required.

The attached Service Animal Packet contains an explanation of the questions a landlord is allowed to ask, and the documentation a landlord is allowed to require, when a tenant requests an accommodation to allow a service animal.

Also included is a Service Animal Agreement, which which can be attached to the tenant’s lease.  This agreement authorizes the specific service animal.  It also sets forth the requirements which must be complied with.  The tenant is held liable for damages, and the landlord has the right to terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with all the requirements.

In addition to the specific questions and documentation relating to service animals, the same general requirements must be complied with as for ordinary pets (listed above).

 

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS

Regardless of whether or not ordinary pets are allowed, landlords are required to allow emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with emotional or mental disabilities, who require the emotional support provided by the animal.  No deposit may be charged, and no monthly rent may be charged.  However the Landlord is allowed to require documentation from the tenant’s licensed mental health professional of the need for the emotional support animal.

The attached Emotional Support Animal Packet contains an explanation of what questions and documentation a landlord is allowed to require when a tenant requests an accommodation to allow an emotional support animal.

Also included is a Emotional Support Animal Agreement, which can be attached to the tenant’s lease.  This agreement authorizes the specific emotional support animal.  It also sets forth the requirements which must be complied with.  The tenant is liable for damages, and the landlord has the right to terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with all the requirements.

In addition to the specific questions and documentation relating to emotional support animals, the same general requirements must be complied with as for ordinary pets (listed above).

 

DISCLAIMER

We are providing these materials to other PROA chapter organization only in the hope that they may prove useful to other PROA members.

No liability or responsibility is assumed by the Pennsylvania Residential Owners Association (PROA), or by the Apartment Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Inc., or by their respective boards of directors, staff, or members relating to the use of these materials by anyone.  We are not lawyers.  We do not make any legal or other representation regarding these materials or their use.

Landlords should consult with their own legal counsel regarding all matters, including contract language, and business decisions.

For Pet Agreement, Emotional Support Animals (ESA) Documentation Requirements and Service Animal Reasonable Request Documentation, login to members area, then go to links and download forms.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *