How to Ask Your Landlord to Add a Pets-Allowed Clause to Your Lease

When you’re moving into your first apartment, your landlord could have some very particular demands. Dealing with these demands can be a bit of a headache, and it’s often hard to get your landlord to change their mind. This is especially important if you have a pet or want a pet. Many landlords have very strict no-pets clauses in their leases. If you break this clause, you could be in serious trouble.

So, rather than risk breaking the rules, you could ask your landlord to include a pets-allowed clause. Doing so, though, can take a bit of craft. Here, then, are some simple ideas to help you work through this confusing process.

Be clear on the pet type and breed

The first thing to do is to make it clear what type of pet you’re bringing into the building. Some landlords are happy with a cat, but not a dog. Some will be happy with smaller dogs, but not larger dogs. You should try and make it clear from day one which kind of pet you have or intend to have.

This is important as clarity over your pet shows you are being open and honest. It’s the first step toward making clear what you’re asking for. 

Refer to the agreement

You also want to show that you’re not just ignoring what was written down previously. If your lease has a no-pets clause, make sure you refer to the clause and pick out a key part to quote. Doing so shows that you have not just skimmed or ignored the lease, and it also shows that you are empathetic to the landlord’s reasoning.

When you refer to the agreement, you make it easier for the landlord to feel like you are being honest. It also helps to show you’re not someone who simply ignores the rules.

Show a history of care

If you have had a pet before in a previous apartment, you could speak to your last landlord. They can provide testimony or evidence of you being a good tenant and pet owner. Otherwise, you could ask neighbors from a previous building. This can be useful to show that you have a history of looking after your pet and keeping their noise levels too low to disturb other tenants in your building.

At the same time, you should also be very clear that you understand that pets impact more than just yourself. Show proof that your pet is trained, or will be undergoing training, to fare even better.

Offer a compensation plan

The best way to finish your letter would be to make clear that you will pay any necessary fees. You could offer to pay a deposit fee, you could offer to make regular notes of any property changes, or you could offer ‘pet rent’ of a certain amount per month.

Many property owners will be more amenable if you show a willingness to take responsibility. So long as your previous landlord or neighbor testimonies show previous issues were limited or non-existent, and you’re willing to help make payments on anything needed, landlords are more likely to listen to your request.

Avoid waffle and emotional language

This is a personal request that should be handled as professionally as you can. That means avoiding going down the route of overly emotive language. Tugging at the heart strings is a waste of time. Instead, stick to the facts: you will get your pet trained, or it’s already trained. You’ll take responsibility for all incidents, and you’ll take every precaution when it comes to things like cleaning. You should also focus on the fact you’ll make keeping the peace with your neighbors a priority.

Getting a landlord to agree to just about anything that isn’t on your original lease is a challenge. Trying to get your point across with the right kind of language and reasoning is important too. So is being able to give the landlord a reason to trust you.

With the above tips, it becomes much easier to get that pet clause included. Why not try it out for yourself? 

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