How To Tell If Your Tenant Has A Pet Against The Lease.

Spencer Sutton here with gkhouses. And today, I wanna talk to you about  How To Tell If Your Tenant Has A Pet Against The Lease..

Pets are, you know, something that we get asked about all of the time when we on board a new owner.

Well, that’s one of the questions we definitely ask them, “Do you want to allow pets or not?” And people typically have a pretty strong opinion one way or the other.

Every once in a while we get people that don’t really have an opinion, and so they ask us, “What do you think? Do you think we should have a pet in the house?”

So my first thought on How To Tell If Your Tenant Has A Pet Against The Lease is if you want to open up the amount of prospects of people who will rent your house or are interested in renting your house, then most definitely allow pets in your house.

Because people are passionate about their pets, and when you say, “No pets in my property,” then you’re eliminating at least half of your prospective tenants.

So regardless, though, if you’re a homeowner and you decide not to allow pets, the question is how do you tell if your tenant is hiding a pet or they have a pet in your property?

This is a great question.

This is something one of my very first rentals, this was back probably in 2006, 2005, something like that.

We had this really nice house, we rehabbed it, we refinished the hardwood floors, we painted the entire thing, and we did a good job on this rehab. And so I was just worried.

I didn’t want a gigantic dog living in the house. And in my mind, I was thinking some gigantic Mastiff or some German Shepherd.

Now I love dogs. I’ve had Labrador Retrievers all my life, so we have a dog in our house, in our home personally, but I didn’t want a dog in this rental house.

And we found a person, and they were like, “Hey, no, we don’t have any pets,” and so screen them, I guess.

I can’t really remember exactly what my screening process was back then.

This was before gkhouses existed.  And they moved in the house, got their security deposit.

And I remember one time, probably six months after they were in the house, I went out to check on it simply really because they hadn’t paid on time, and so I was going to just pay a little visit.

I was in the area. Went and knocked on the door and around the corner, I mean, I could hear it sounded like seven little small dogs, like little Yorkie or Maltese or something, some little small dogs running around the corner barking their heads off.

And they ran to the window. Now, here’s the front door, there was the window, they ran to the window, and they just barked their heads off.

Nobody came to the door, but I knew right then I had a problem.  Fast forward, several months, this family had to be evicted.

So through the eviction process, when we took possession of the property, went back into the home, and I can tell you our hardwoods were totally destroyed.

And I don’t know, you know, pets, but we had to refinish them again. So it was a very hard lesson learned for me.

Some people care about it, about, you know, not allowing pets, some people don’t really mind and they allow pets, whichever way you fall.

So how can you tell if a tenant is keeping pets in your home?

One of the first things you can do is just do a drive-by, so this doesn’t require you to notify the tenant that you’re coming by the house.

You can just do a drive-by. You can examine, check out the backyard.

If you have a fenced-in yard, you can look and see if there’s any kind of dog supplies or anything like that, a dog house, bowls, dog food, anything like that outside, then that’s probably a good signal that they have a dog or some type of pet there at the house. So that would be the preliminary thing.

The next thing I would say is you can schedule a visit inside the home (How To Tell If Your Tenant Has A Pet Against The Lease).

So, depending on where you live, there’s probably some type of law that says you need to give a certain amount of notice before you come in the house or before you, you know, allow yourself into this rental house.

And so what we do, we have a quarterly inspection that we set up with tenants.

That quarterly inspection allows us to go in the house, we change air filters, we check batteries and smoke detectors, and then we just do a preliminary look around the house.

We take pictures. We upload it into a very nice PDF and send it to the owner.

And that report is just letting the owner know, “Hey, you know, everything looks good in the house.”

Or if there’s anything that we think needs their attention, we point it out in this report.

Doing that, having some type of quarterly schedule will allow you to get inside the house and look a little bit closer.

Now you may think, “Well, if they know I’m coming, they can go and hide the pet.

Yeah, they can, but there’s always going to be signs of a pet in the house.

I know in my house, you can tell that there’s a dog that lives there, because we’ve got you know, there’s dog hair that they leave, Labradors, especially, other signs like that.

So you can walk around and have an eye open for those things.

Probably one of the biggest things is going to just be the smell inside of a house.

If you are not used to having pets at all, when you walk in a house, a lot of times you can tell if they have pets or not right off the bat.

So then you need to decide what you do. So if you’ve been on the outside of the property and you’ve seen something that alerted you they have pets or you’ve been inside and you believe they have pets, then you need to decide what you’re going to do.

Are you going to evict for the breach of contract, or are you going to allow them to keep their pets and charge them a pet fee or some type of pet deposit, or sometimes people charge a monthly pet fee?

We charge a one-time fee of $300 pet fee. It’s not a deposit, so they don’t get it back. It’s a pet fee per pet.

And we pass $250 of that on to the owner, and everything seems to be good when you do that. So decide what you want to do.

Regardless, you need to have that discussion and just kind of see what their response is and then act accordingly.

Whatever your conviction is, because truthfully pets, regardless of how great they are, and a lot of pets are really awesome, they’re more than likely going to leave their mark on a house, sometimes they won’t.

But this is just a heads-up on how you can tell if your tenant is hiding a pet.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions about pets or anything like that or renting your house, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

You can check us out at You can email me directly,

I’m happy to help. Thanks so much.