In the previous blog post the importance of having a pet exhibit with every lease that clearly states whether or not pets are permitted, the description of the permitted pets (if any) and the consequences if an unauthorized pet is found on the Premises were discussed. This blog post will discuss some other important issues landlords should be aware of and some clauses they may want to consider including in their pet exhibit.
Probably the biggest risk exposure a landlord has regarding pets is if a pet the landlord permits bites or otherwise injures someone. The first layer of protection for the landlord is not to allow any "aggressive breed" animals. This is another reason why having a pet exhibit that specifically describes the permitted pet(s) is important. If the pet exhibit describes the permitted pet as a 10-year-old, 15 pound terrier and a tenant brings in an unauthorized 120 pound rottweiler that bites someone, it is pretty clear that the 120 pound rottweiler was not permitted by the landlord.
Of course, even a typically non-aggressive breed pet could still bite or injure someone. For this reason the pet exhibit should have a clause in it that states that the tenant will indemnify and hold the landlord harmless for any injury that may be caused by the the tenant's pet.
It is also important to realize that the local government or community association where the property is located may have laws or rules and regulations regarding pets. So a general clause stating that the tenant agrees to comply with any such laws or rules and regulations is a good idea as well.