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Ask Dave

No Dogs Allowed

Jim has been spending money on remodeling rental houses because he allows pets. Should he begin refusing tenants with pets?

QUESTION: Jim in Kansas has been spending money on remodeling rental houses because he allows pets. Should he begin refusing tenants with pets?

ANSWER: Don’t do that.

Listen, I’ve got three dogs. I have a pug that is older than God, and I have a shih tzu with an attitude and the best golden retriever on the planet. I love animals, and I’ve got a bunch of rental property. I don’t allow a single stinking animal in my property. It’s a $10,000 cat, man. Sometimes, you have to take up the floorboards even. These people don’t take care of their animals, man.

No, it isn’t against the law. You can discriminate against animals all day long. They’re not a minority. I don’t give a rip if it’s a companion animal. It’s a dog. I can tell you that even if the dog is a caretaker dog or whatever, I can just say, “I don’t allow animals period, so you’ll have to find another place with your caretaker dog.”

I love dogs, and I love caretaker dogs. They’re sweet animals, but as a landlord, man, I’ve got to tell you it’s a freaking $10,000 cat, man. They’re not moving in my house. Period.

It is not against the law. Believe me, it’s not against the law. And it’s not because you’re not an animal lover. You just hate that people don’t take care of their animals, so they tear up your freaking house.

I had a lady offer me a $10,000 deposit the other day to move in one of our properties so she could move her dog in. Turned her down. No. “This dog has never gone in the house in its entire life.”

And I said, “It’s never going to go in this house, I can promise you.”

“You just hate animals.”

No, I don’t. I don’t hate animals.

Listen, I’ve been landlording for 25 years. Dude, they tear up everything. My dog chewed the stair treads in my house. I had to put new stair treads in, and that’s my dog in my house. That’s just ridiculous. If a tenant did that, I’d be going around the moon and back. I’d be in orbit.

If I find out they have pets after they move in, I make them move the pet out or they move out. They’re in violation of the lease. The lease says no animals. If you don’t have it in your lease, put it in there. It’s a violation of the lease to bring an animal in one of my properties.

Again, I’m not mad about it. It just violates common sense. Even my son-in-law—he runs our properties—he goes, “Dave, $10,000. I mean, how much can the dog tear up?”

And I’m like, “Look, no dogs!”

I’ve been there, done that, got the little doggie T-shirts—tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of them. I’ve learned this lesson over and over and over again because I’ve got a heart for animals is the problem. I love animals, and then they move their horse in the living room. People have no sense.