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Negotiating a pet-friendly residential property lease

The number of landlords that allow pets in Florida and elsewhere is relatively small. Why? Pets can cause damage that many landlords simply do not want to deal with after tenants move. As more people are moving to renting versus home buying, what can be done to negotiate a pet-friendly residential property lease?

It is believed that only 4 percent of rental properties in the Orlando area accept pets. This is extremely low compared to other parts of the state. The landlords that do allow pets often set certain stipulations regarding pet types, breeds allowed and weight restrictions.

Due to the low number of available rental properties that allow bigger pets and certain breeds, many pet owners are being forced to surrender their pets to shelters or seek new owners. As pets are often treated as family, it is understandable that taking such a step can be heartbreaking. This is why some potential tenants are working harder at negotiating pets into their lease agreements. This can take a lot of back and forth and a lot of money.

Landlords in Florida are being encouraged to start allowing pets, which, in the end, could really help widen their potential pool of tenants. Meanwhile, tenants may have to be ready to pay larger than normal deposits in order for property owners to accept pets. Before a potential tenant signs a renegotiated residential property lease to include pets, an experienced real estate attorney can help him or her get the most out of the contract by ensuring pet deposits are refundable and that he or she is legally relieved of any further responsibility for the property after the lease expires.

Source: orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando rental market not so pet-friendly", Kate Santich, March 4, 2016

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