An Overview of a Pet Addendum in a Residential Lease Agreement

Sometimes, there might be a need to make some amendments to a residential lease agreement. One such modification is a pet addendum to this residential lease agreement. It is typically used to modify the current document to grant a tenant permission to keep a pet.

However, there are many things you must include and consider when doing this. That is why, in this article, we will guide you through the whole process!

What is a Pet Addendum?

It is a legally binding agreement between tenants and landlords. The original lease agreement comprises no such clauses of permitting or disapproving pets. So, a pet addendum is typically brought into effect when tenants wish to own and keep a pet in their living unit.

When an actual rental or lease agreement remains silent about whether tenants can keep pets or not, they can add a pet agreement to the current contract via an amendment or a pet addendum. Then this becomes part of the original legal contract that was signed between both parties.

By signing a pet addendum in written form, the landlord is actually granting permission to the tenant to keep a pet in their rental unit. In return, a tenant has to agree to take full responsibility for the pet, its expenses, and any damages caused by the pet on the landlord’s property.

Since the landlord owns the rental property, he/she has the final say in letting a tenant keep a pet.

Essential elements you will find in a simple pet addendum

  • Date: This refers to the standard rental or lease agreement that is being modified.
  • Landlord: The name of the individual who is the owner of the property and owns the premises.
  • Tenant: The name of the person who will be the pet’s and the rental property’s owner.
  • Premises: The contract should identify where the landlord is renting out a property to the tenant. This will be the place where the pet will be permitted to stay.
  • Pet Details: This includes the name, breed, type, gender, weight, color, and age of the tenant’s pet.
  • Fee: The landlord can sometimes charge a non-refundable or one-time fee to keep a pet within his/her premises.
  • Pet Rent: This is the additional rent that tenants have to pay regularly to keep a pet due to more wear and tear.
  • Damage Deposit: This is the money that has to be returned to the tenant if their pet causes no damages.
  • Signatures: The pet addendum should be signed by the tenant and landlord to be legally binding.

For your convenience, here is a sample of a generic pet addendum:

Pet addendum sample

Things to Include When Adding a Pet Addendum to a Lease

Even the simplest and most basic pet agreement should be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Who is the owner (tenant)? Who is the landlord permitting to keep the pet?
  2. What does the animal look like? This should include all the pet’s details and specifications, like its name, color, breed, age, gender, weight, and registration or license no if any.
  3. Where will the pet be kept? This tells you whether the landlord has allowed keeping the pet at home or on the premises.
  4. When will the agreement be in effect, and when can the pet start living with the tenant?
  5. Why is the landlord not held responsible for any damages caused by the pet?

➡ LEARN MORE: Do I have to tell my landlord I have an emotional support animal?

Other Details to consider in the Pet Agreement

Additionally, a pet addendum should also include some of these helpful details, so there is absolutely no room for any conflicts between the landlord and tenant.

Tenants must promise to do the following:

  • Take responsibility for their pets and their to-dos at all times.
  • Be careful of neighbors and other tenants and try to prevent your pets from troubling them with meowing, barking, neighing, oinking, hissing, or neighing too loudly.
  • Do not leave your pet in the open or unattended for long durations at the risk of having the property destroyed.
  • Keep your pet animal in selectively chosen areas of the home when they are alone.
  • Clean up immediately after your animal, regardless of whether it is inside or outside.
  • Control your pet and keep them leashed, fenced-in, or in a carrier when needed.
  • Be nice to your pet and other animals by neutering/spaying and vaccinating them.
  • Follow all the community association and homeowners’ rules where they apply.
  • Pay additional money to your landlord for extra wear and tear and offer a pet security deposit.
  • Pay up money instantly if a pet breaks something that requires to be replaced or repaired.
  • Hire a professional cleaner for carpet cleaning when your lease is about to end.
  • Get insurance and entitle your landlord as an additional insured. This is particularly useful for cases when your pet gets out of control and unexpectedly scratches or bites somebody. 

Meanwhile, landlords have all the right to do the following:

  • They cannot be sued and are entitled to claim liability protection when a tenant’s pet hurts them or somebody else while on your premises. 
  • They can enforce the actual rental or lease agreement as the pet addendum does not alter the basic terms and conditions that the tenant has agreed upon.
  • And they can say no if the pet cannot stay anymore or need to go because the pet addendum was violated and needs to be terminated.
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