Can a Landlord Tell You No Pets

Landlords have the right to refuse pets in their rental properties. This is because pets can cause damage to the property, disturb other tenants, and pose a safety risk. Landlords may also be concerned about the cost of cleaning and repairing the property after a pet has lived there. If you have a pet, it’s important to find a landlord who is willing to allow pets in their property. You should also be prepared to pay a pet deposit or pet rent.

Fair Housing Act and PETS

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in housing based on several factors, including disability and familial status. Under the FHA, people with disabilities are allowed to have assistance animals, such as guide dogs or emotional support animals, in their housing, even if the housing provider has a “no pets” policy.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a housing provider can deny a request for an assistance animal if the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. Additionally, a housing provider can charge a reasonable fee for the animal, such as a pet deposit or a monthly pet rent.

Assistance Animals Under FHA

  • A service animal is defined as a dog that has been trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
  • Emotional support animals (ESAs) are animals that provide comfort and support to people with disabilities, but they are not trained to perform specific tasks.
  • Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants with disabilities by refusing to rent to them or by charging them extra fees because they have an assistance animal.
  • Landlords can ask tenants with disabilities to provide documentation from a doctor or therapist verifying that they have a disability and that the assistance animal is necessary for their disability.

What Landlords Can and Cannot Do

Ask for documentation about the disability and the assistance animal’s role.Refuse to rent to someone with a disability because they have an assistance animal.
Charge a reasonable fee for the assistance animal, such as a pet deposit or a monthly pet rent.Impose breed or size restrictions on assistance animals.
Request that the assistance animal be removed from the premises if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.Evict a tenant with a disability because they have an assistance animal.

Housing Discrimination: When Landlords Say “No Pets”

The question of whether a landlord can tell you “no pets” is a complex one, with legal and ethical implications. While landlords have the right to set certain rules and restrictions for their properties, there are also laws in place to protect the rights of tenants, including those with disabilities.

Reasonable Accommodation vs. Undue Hardship

In the context of pet ownership, the key legal concepts are reasonable accommodation and undue hardship. Reasonable accommodation refers to modifications or adjustments that a landlord is required to make to allow a tenant with a disability to have equal access to and use of a rental unit. Undue hardship refers to a significant difficulty or expense that would be caused to the landlord by providing a reasonable accommodation.

  • Reasonable Accommodation:
    • Landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, including allowing them to have pets.
    • Examples of reasonable accommodations include allowing a tenant to have a service animal or emotional support animal, even if pets are generally prohibited in the rental unit.
  • Undue Hardship:
    • Landlords are not required to make accommodations that would cause them undue hardship.
    • Examples of undue hardship include a situation where allowing a pet would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or where the pet would cause significant damage to the rental unit.

In determining whether a particular accommodation is reasonable or would cause undue hardship, courts will consider a number of factors, including:

  • The nature of the disability and the specific needs of the tenant.
  • The type of pet and its size, breed, and behavior.
  • The size and layout of the rental unit and the common areas of the property.
  • The number and type of other pets that are allowed in the rental unit or on the property.
  • The potential impact of the pet on the health, safety, or property of other tenants.


Ultimately, the question of whether a landlord can tell you “no pets” is a legal one that must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Landlords have the right to set certain rules and restrictions for their properties, but they also have a legal obligation to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. In cases where a tenant requests a reasonable accommodation for a pet, the landlord must carefully consider the specific circumstances and determine whether the accommodation would cause undue hardship.

Housing Discrimination and Pets: Navigating Landlord Policies

Finding a pet-friendly rental is not always a simple task, as landlords may have varying policies and restrictions regarding pets in their properties. Tenants must be aware of their rights and understand the distinctions between assistive animals and pets to navigate pet policies effectively.

Assistive Animals vs. Pets:

It’s important to differentiate between assistive animals and pets when navigating rental pet policies.

Assistive Animals:

  • Defined as animals that provide assistance to people with disabilities
  • Protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and state laws
  • Landlords cannot deny or impose additional fees for assistive animals


  • Animals kept for companionship, recreation, or emotional support
  • Not covered under the FHA
  • Landlords can set pet policies, including restrictions on pet types, size, breed, and number

Landlord’s Rights and Responsibilities:

Landlords have the right to:

  • Set pet policies and restrictions
  • Require pet deposits and fees
  • Evict tenants who violate pet policies

Landlords must:

  • Allow assistive animals without additional fees or restrictions
  • Make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities

Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities:

Tenants have the right to:

  • Request a reasonable accommodation for their assistive animal
  • Keep their pet in accordance with the landlord’s pet policy

Tenants must:

  • Disclose the presence of an assistive animal to the landlord
  • Provide documentation of the animal’s training and purpose
  • Keep their pet well-behaved and ensure it does not cause any damage to the property
Pet Policies and Fair Housing
  • Reasonable pet policies
  • Pet deposits and fees
  • Restrictions on pet types, size, breed, and number
  • Denying or imposing additional fees for assistive animals
  • Unreasonable pet policies that discriminate against tenants with disabilities
  • Evicting tenants solely for having a pet

Landlords and tenants should work together to find a mutually beneficial solution that respects both parties’ rights and responsibilities.

Lease Agreements and Pet Policies

Many landlords have pet policies in place that outline the rules and regulations regarding pets in their rental units. These policies may vary from one landlord to another, but they typically address issues such as:

  • Whether or not pets are allowed in the unit
  • The types of pets that are allowed
  • The number of pets that are allowed
  • The size of pets that are allowed
  • The breed restrictions for pets
  • The pet deposit and pet rent required
  • The responsibilities of the tenant in caring for their pet
  • The consequences for violating the pet policy

It is important to read and understand your lease agreement carefully before signing it, especially if you have a pet or are planning to get one. If you have any questions about the pet policy, be sure to ask your landlord or property manager for clarification.

Some landlords may allow pets with a pet deposit and/or pet rent. A pet deposit is a refundable fee that is used to cover any damages that the pet may cause to the unit. Pet rent is a monthly fee that is paid to the landlord for the privilege of having a pet in the unit.

Landlord Considerations for Pet Policies

There are a number of factors that landlords may consider when developing their pet policies, including:

  • The type of property
  • The size of the property
  • The number of units in the property
  • The proximity of the property to other residential units
  • The potential for noise, damage, and other disturbances caused by pets
  • The landlord’s insurance policy
  • The landlord’s personal preferences

Landlords are generally free to set their own pet policies, as long as they do not violate any applicable laws. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, in some jurisdictions, landlords are prohibited from discriminating against tenants with disabilities who have service animals.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants who have pets are responsible for:

  • Keeping their pets under control at all times
  • Cleaning up after their pets
  • Providing their pets with food, water, and shelter
  • Taking their pets to the veterinarian for regular checkups
  • Complying with all applicable pet laws and regulations

Failure to comply with these responsibilities may result in the tenant being fined, evicted, or both.

Common Pet Policy Restrictions
Breed restrictionsSome breeds of dogs are considered to be more aggressive or destructive than others.
Size restrictionsLarge pets may cause damage to the property or be a nuisance to other tenants.
Number of petsToo many pets in a single unit can be overwhelming for the tenant and disruptive to other tenants.
Pet deposit and pet rentThese fees help to cover the costs of cleaning and repairing any damage caused by pets.
Responsibilities of the tenantTenants are responsible for the care and control of their pets.

Thanks for tuning in, folks! I hope you enjoyed our deep dive into the fascinating world of landlord-tenant pet policies. Remember, every situation is unique, so it’s always best to check your lease agreement and local laws before making any decisions about bringing a furry friend into your rental home. With a little research and open communication, you and your landlord can surely work out an arrangement that keeps everyone happy. And hey, don’t be a stranger! Make sure to visit us again – we’ve got plenty more property and lifestyle insights just waiting to be discovered. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!