Sample Tenant Pet Policy

Dog on the sofa


The following is the pet policy of ________________________________ which was developed in cooperation with tenants of_________________________________ and in keeping with federal law. The purpose of this policy is to provide standards to insure the best possible environment for both pet owners and non pet owners and to insure the responsible care of pets. All tenants and applicants will read and sign a copy of this policy.

  1. Any tenant or applicant who wishes to keep a pet shall so inform management.1
  2. A Pet Rider shall be signed immediately by the tenant.
  3. Common household pets shall include domesticated dogs, cats, rodents, fish, birds and turtles kept for pleasure. No tenant shall have more than two cats or dogs.
  4. The size of pets is not specifically limited.2 However owners must be able to maintain control over their pets.
  5. All female dogs over the age of six months and all female cats over the age of five months must be spayed. All male dogs over the age of eight months and all male cats over the age of ten months must be neutered. If health problems prevent such spaying or neutering, a veterinarian's certificate will be necessary to allow the pet to become or continue to be a resident of the development.
  6. Pets shall be restrained (cats and dogs must be leashed) when on development property outside the owner's apartment or visiting in the apartment of another resident. (If the housing manager designates a specific fenced pet walking area, pets could be unrestrained in those areas.)
  7. Pet owners shall be liable for damage caused by their pets. While it is strongly suggested that pet owners obtain liability insurance, it is recognized that this is not possible for many tenants. The landlord may require of the tenant payment of a pet deposit for each dog or cat of $50 ($100 in carpeted apartments). Arrangements may be made to allow the tenant to pay the deposit over a period of time.
  8. Pet owners shall provide the name and address of a pet caretaker who will assume responsibility for the care of their pets should the owner be unable to, as well as the name and address of the veterinarian responsible for the pet's healthcare. If the tenant is unable to provide the name of a pet caretaker, he/she shall make alternative arrangements for pet care in an emergency and shall notify management of these arrangements.

     This information will be updated annually.

  1. A voluntary community screening committee may be established to review the suitability of the pet and the ability of the tenant to keep the pet, and forward its recommendations to the Housing Management Department so that they can be alerted to potential problems and discuss them with the tenant or applicant. Screening committee membership should include a veterinarian, a member of the Pet Committee in the housing unit if such a group exists and representatives of responsible and knowledgeable community pet groups (e.g. animal trainers, animal behavior specialists, humane society personnel). They shall use written procedures for the screening process. The committee could also assist tenants seeking to acquire a suitable pet.
  2. Size of a dog is not directly related to its desirability as a resident. Larger dogs are often more docile, quieter and more affectionate than smaller dogs. An older dog will probably be quieter than a younger dog no matter what its size.
  3. An owner's absence or inability to care for a pet in a short-term emergency should not mean that the pet is necessarily removed from the apartment. Some animals, especially cats, become very attached to their homes and are better off if they are cared for in the home.
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White long haired dog.


Tenant agree to promptly and regularly perform the following obligations in respect to ownership of a pet:

  • Keep the unit and its patios, if any, clean and free of pet odors, insect infestation and pet feces, urine, waste and litter.
  • restrain and prevent the pet from gnawing, chewing, scratching or otherwise defacing the doors, walls, windows and floor coverings of the unit, other units and the common area, buildings, landscaping and shrubs.
  • Immediately remove, clean up and appropriately dispose of any pet feces, waste and litter deposited by the tenant's pet on the common grounds, shrubs, flower beds, sidewalks, accessways, parking lots and streets of the project. Dispose of pet waste and litter using procedures for the tenant's specific building.


Tenant agrees to properly and al all times observe the following restrictions on ownership of a pet:

  • Tenant shall exercise proper restraint of a pet so as to prevent it from becoming a nuisance to any other tenant or person. Cats and dogs will wear an identification collar at all times.
  • The pet shall be maintained and properly licensed and inoculated as required by local, county or state statute, ordinance or health code.
  • Pets of vicious or dangerous disposition shall not be permitted. Any pet duly determined to constitute under state or local law as a nuisance or threat may be required to be immediately removed.
  • A pet will not be permitted to disturb the health, safety, rights, comfort or peaceful and quiet enjoyment of other tenants.
  • Pets except service animals will not be permitted to enter eating or gathering areas, except where properly restrained and where such is not offensive to the other tenants of the project. Pets except service animals will not enter areas designated as no-pet areas by the housing manager.
  • Tenants shall be responsible for the proper care and feeding of their pets. If the health or safety of the pet is threatened by the death or incapacity of the pet owner or if the pet is left unattended for 24 hours, the project manager may contact the responsible party designated by the pet owner in the pet registration. If that person is unavailable or unwilling to care for the pet, the project manager may contact the appropriate state or local authority to remove and care for the pet. If neither source of aid is available, the manager may enter the premises, remove the pet and arrange for pet care for no less than 30 days to protect the pet. Funds for such care will come from the tenant's pet deposit.


Each housing project shall consider establishing a Pet Committee made up of interested owners of pets in the project. The Pet Committee could visit with each new pet owner to explain specific procedures in the project and distribute a Pet Owner's Packet containing helpful materials, such as documents listing telephone numbers of community resource groups that can assist pet owners.

The committee could receive any written complaints against pet owners given to the management and work with the pet owner to resolve the complaints. The committee could also suggest policies appropriate to their pets particular building and might compile a list of non-pet owners willing to exercise or care for pets in an emergency for a reasonable fee.





NOTE: Animals individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefits of a person with a disability are excluded from this policy.

Courtesy of
Delta Society