My tenant’s face when I ask where did the dog come from.  Illegal pets are a huge issue for landlords. 


Illegal pets,whether they are dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, etc., in your rental home are no laughing matter but it can be kind of funny when you show up unannounced, knock on the door and are met by one or more madly barking dogs.  They know you are going to ask “Where did the dog come from”.  Let the lying begin!


Illegal pets,whether they are dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, etc., in your rental home are no laughing matter. Click To Tweet


I have heard so many excuses!


  • That is not my dog.
  • I only have ___ dogs. I don’t have any dogs. 
  • There aren’t any cats.
  • I am only pet sitting.
  • My kid moved in with me and brought it. What was I supposed to do?


Having a pet policy in place is key in order to clearly say what happens when there are pets.  Make sure your pet clause is included in every single lease, even if they say they don’t have pets. Have penalties in place for when you find the illegal pet!


Real Life Case – Where Did The Dog Come From

Try dealing with a Section 8 tenant who has failed the first two inspections! She changed the locks and we can’t get in to fix anything.  She also has three dogs on the property.


We set an appointment to meet her multiple times and she “forgets”. Maintenance is afraid to go in the home because there are three dogs in there that sound like they will eat the guys.  


She swears there are only two dogs and they are so sweet!  A picture of one large dog and one small dog shows up in my Google Text.  However, maintenance has pictures of those two dogs plus one more!  We knew about the two dogs she sent us pictures of but not the third one.  When confronted and asked where the dog came from, she says it belongs to her mother and won’t be back.


Finally In

We finally get into the home to make sure that everything is fixed, because all but one thing were tenant related.  If we fail a third time she has to move and we weren’t calling for a third inspection until we had verified that she had done what she was supposed to do.


  • Extension cords run across the floor.  
  • Cable connection spliter run from one room to another through the doorway.  
  • Christmas lights still hung up outside and run through a window (in April). This bothered the inspector.  
  • The handle was missing on her stove.
  • The house was very dirty.
  • Child’s bed was placed in front the window thus blocking it for fire egress.


Where did the dog (cat, bunny, etc.) come from? Click To Tweet


She had confined the dog to another bedroom for maintenance and then she had to move him so they access that bedroom.  Let’s just say that this dog didn’t like maintenance!  Thank goodness they didn’t go into the home without her home.


Where Did The Dog Come From

Honestly it doesn’t really matter where the dog (or cat) came from. While it can be funny when your tenant caught red handed, it really isn’t a laughing matter. It doesn’t matter if the dog is just visiting because whether it belongs to this tenant or not, it can still do damage to your rental home.