Pets in Boston Rental Units

  • The MerGo Team
  • 11/14/18

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Pets in Boston rental units

A common question that many landlords and property managers are asked is whether pets are allowed in the unit. This is a tough situation for many landlords and property managers. Throughout the Boston area, it is common that rental units do not allow pets.

Why aren’t pets allowed in rental units?

Landlord and property manager’s insurance and liability coverage increase with pets in the unit, there are allergy concerns, and the unit is more likely to be damaged by the pet. Many people think of just cats and dogs for a no-pet policy, but this also includes fish, reptiles, and birds.

So, what sort of damage could a fish or reptile cause? They seem harmless, after all, but they are included in no-pet policies for many reasons. If a medium to large fish tank were to break, the water from the tank would leak onto the floor. The water would then go into the unit below, causing damage to the floor and ceiling. These pets can also cause problems with allergies for other people living in the building. 

Can I convince my landlord to allow my pet?

Many leases and lease addendums have no pet clauses but may allow certain pets with written permission. If the landlord gives permission for the pet, they may ask you to provide certain information, like documentation that the animal has all appropriate immunizations and has no bad history with people or other animals. The landlord may also ask for confirmation from roommates that they are okay with the pet residing in the unit. The landlord has the right to say no and abide by the lease agreement.

How are service animals different?

Service animals are not pets, but working animals. They are trained to perform a certain task to help people with a specific medical condition. This includes physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other disabilities. They are allowed in any public and private facilities that patrons are allowed. (You can find out more about this here.)

Long story short: If you are thinking about getting a pet or if you are moving into a property with an existing pet, always speak with your property manager or landlord about it!

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