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Valerie,  in San Francisco, CA

can I write up a contract that makes the tenant liable for any damage made my their cat?

Asked by Valerie, San Francisco, CA Sun Nov 16, 2008

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David Tapper’s answer
Yes you can. You should also get a pet deposit besides the security deposit. If you need help with a rental, I suggest you call Fay the rental queen. She specializes in rentals and screens them, runs their credit, and more importantly does a check list walk thru that is very impressive. http://www.Faytherentalqueen or

Good luck,

Dave Tap Tapper
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 17, 2008
Another question: What does your tenant's renter's insurance policy say? Are they required to have it? If you have an agreement (which you should), if you ever had to litigate it, it may be more hassle than it's worth. Filing an insurance claim may be the better way rather than have to sue or mediate. Just a thought. Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 5, 2011
As has been stated below, yes, you can make tenants liable for damage caused by pets. In fact, that would be true even if you did not have a written lease so stating.

However, it should be noted that the maximum security deposit you can require is an amount equal to 2 months of rent for an unfunished apartment. Any type of deposit counts toward this 2 month maximu whether you call is a last month's rent, security deposit or pet deposit. I recommend you simply take only a "security deposit."

It should also be noted that there has been an increase of demands by tenants to have a "comfort pet" as may be prescribed by a doctor. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you may be required to allow such pets.

Jeffery Woo, Esq.
Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP
Complex Rental Property Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 8, 2009
Yes, a tenant can be liable for damages caused by their pets, their guests and themselves. Most landlords also require an additional pet deposit.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 17, 2008
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