I am a landlord in California and found out my tenant has a pet, what can I do?

I saw the dog through the window one day, and I saw a dog carrier when I did a walkthrough, but I have not confronted the tenants. In our lease agreement, it clearly states- "Unless otherwise provided in California Civil Code 54.2, no animal or pet shall be kept on or about the Premises with Landlord’s prior written consent"

I don’t want to evict the tenant, but under the law, what can I do? Can I threaten to keep his deposit? or levy a fine?


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11 Responses to “I am a landlord in California and found out my tenant has a pet, what can I do?”

  1. Cody R says:

    let them have the pet depending on the animal…I mean if it looks like it’s trouble don’t let it stay there…but just give it a chance if it screws up…well you have to figure that out yourself:)

    your friend,

  2. Lawrence D says:

    It sounds like you have some answers already.
    I don’t know how serious it is for you and your tenants but what I would do is send a letter or notice explaining the violation and insert the California Civil Code 54.2 so he/she can see it. Include the penalties that he/she faces and what you want to happen to avoid any further actions. Make sure that you state you would like to speak with him/her after receiving the letter to ensure that they got it and that time you all can come up with a solution. If that fails then proceed with legal matters or raise the rent if possible. No one wants the rent raised. They’ll listen.

  3. Pepper says:

    Well I think you can keep the deposit. Or at least ask for an additional deposit because of the pet. Look it up..

  4. Guru says:

    You’ll have to do a major cleaning when they move. I recommend charging them full for every dollar of the cleaning, and take it out of the security deposit if you have to.

  5. namibunnie says:

    here is the deal. I’ve been a manager at a apartment before that didn allow dogs. I love dogs also but there r rules to be followed cuz if not then in the end itll be your butt.

    Give them a warning. The reason you want to let them knw that they are not allowed to have any pet is cuz when they do decide to move out and you do your walk though to see any damages they can lie or try to lie and say that they didnt do it and that it was there…and then drama starts. Also there might be other damages that was made and youll need to get those fixed.

    also rememeber this…if you saw it then the other tenents might of seen it also…..and next thing you know everyone has pets…and they are going to say that this and that about the other tenents having pets and YOU doing nothing about it.

    so better have ths taken care of before everyone in your apartment (the ones that wants a pet) gets pets

    good luck

    so do a warning and let them know that they have (this many) days to give a dog a new home if not then they need to find a new places…thats the rule
    they should of not bought a dog in the first place…its not your fault

  6. KitKat says:

    I would confront the tenant and ask for a pet security deposit to cover anything to you to have done in case the dog destroys anything. If they do not agree, you can start eviction proceedings because they broke the lease.

  7. angelina says:

    invite them for tea and explain them your problem and find a peaceful solution

  8. landwish says:

    I have 4 dogs in my rented house and I’m not allowed to have any. I wouldn’t have had any problem paying a pet deposit, but it’s impossible to find a rental that will allow four dogs and I won’t abandon my pets so I lied and said I didn’t have any.

    My landlord eventually saw the dogs and asked about them. We told her the dogs weren’t moving without us and that we’ll pay for any damage they do. She came over to look at the house for "insurance reasons" and hasn’t said anything about them since then. We’ve lived here for about three years and always pay our rent on time, so that probably helped our case.

    Since you did a walk through, how did things look? Most kids are probably more destructive than most pets. If things looked OK, maybe you should request an additional pet deposit instead of making threats. If you’re really set against the evil dog, just give them the choice to get rid of it or move. Then, don’t be surprised if they decide to move.

  9. pseudo obscure says:

    You can send them a letter stating that you know they have a dog (best to get photos first). Tell them the dog goes or they go.

  10. Kristine R says:

    Why don’t you chill out a leave them alone unless their dog is tearing up the place.

  11. Robbert Hobbemeister says:

    You have to set your own level – you don’t want to evict them, so they are OK tenants otherwise? If there is no damage now, and you are happy with them, I’d probably let it coast.

    How actively do you manage the property? Do you drop by and do walk throughs often? If you notice pet damage that they have not repaired, then have them work on the repairs. Require a larger security deposit, and when they move, you will have some money to repair and clean.

    It really is going to come down to "choosing your battles". If you are willing to stand on this issue, you have to be willing to lose the tenant. Bear in mind if your property is not fit for a pet (broken/missing fence, gate, screen door, etc), and the pet gets out and injures someone, you are also liable, and will probably be sued, and lose.