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Dogs and Rentals… a Mixed Breed?

Dogs and Rentals… a Mixed Breed?

   So the old saying goes that dogs are a man’s best friend. Well, they may be, but not if you’re looking to rent a place to live. In the age of foreclosures and short sales, this has become a prevalent problem. When people call looking for rentals, they will answer every question that you ask them, and then when you say ask do you have a pet, they tap dance around the topic…  Then the conversation goes like this:

   “Well, I have a dog.”

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...
English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

   I ask, “What kind of dog.”

   “It’s a mix.”

   “Well, what kind of mix?”

    “If I knew what kind of a mix it was, I guess I’d be able to tell you.”

   To which is them to text me a picture. (Yes, I am an insane lover of dogs, and I can probably tell you what breed it is) At this point, they start to squirm. One actually said, “I have a terrier.”  To which I finish the sentence with, “Stafford?” (Essentially, it’s a pit bull.) Nine times out of ten, when they won’t come straight out with it, it’s a pitbull mix, or Rottweiler mix, or Doberman mix, or Chow.. Now listen, coming from an owner of giant dogs, I’m only speaking facts here.  I was in the same position once…

   Here’s what most renters don’t understand. We may absolutely LOVE dogs. We may even love certain breeds more than others. But what most potential renters don’t understand, or don’t want to hear, is the liability factor that is involved. If your dog, any breed of dog, bites someone, it becomes a potential lawsuit to the owner of the house. Yes, you will also have repercussions, but ultimately the owner of the home can be sued.  Saying, “Well, my dog doesn’t bite!  He’s a sweetheart!” doesn’t help, trust me.  There can always be that one time that you don’t see coming. In turn, this raises their homeowners insurance, among other things but, it can be even worse than that…

   Case in point: A very good friend of mine that I recently sold a home, learned this first hand. She had an insurance claim for roof damage on her home after a storm. The insurance company sent the adjuster out, and he knocked on the door. Now, my friend is a lover of dogs, so much so that she has six of them(it’s a BIG house). They’re a mixed bunch of all different kinds of breeds, she adopts them. So the guy knocks, she opens the door, they all come running, and he looks down at just ONE of them wagging his tail…

   “What’s that?” he asks. She said, “I think it’s a dog?”  He asks, “What kind of dog?” She said, “He is a terrier.” He said, “No it’s not.” She said,  “Yes, it IS, it’s a Staffordshire.” He said, “No, it’s a pitbull.” Now, where am I going with this? Well, he filed her insurance claim alright, and she got a notice of cancellation of her home owners insurance Fed exed the next day. Why?

   Well, did you know that the insurance company actually has a list of breeds of dog that are not allowed if a home is to be insured with any given insurance company?  I sure didn’t!   Common breeds are any pure breed or mixed breed of pitbull, Rottweiler, Doberman, and a bunch of others. She was told that if she didn’t get rid of the dog, they would not reinstate her policy. Needless to say, she found another insurance company. But, my point is, potential tenants need to understand that when they are looking for a rental, if they own any of these breeds of dog, it is going to be difficult at minimum. The owner may absolutely love dogs, but they are not willing to risk getting sued if your dog happens to bite someone.

   This is not doggie discrimination, its a rule. That’s why when you get an MLS rental listing, it will possibly say “yes with restrictions.” That usually means size and/or breed of dog. There may also be a size restriction within condo association. So please, if you are looking for a rental and you own any of these type of dog, understand that you are going to have a more difficult time finding a rental. More importantly, please understand that you must disclose what breed of dog you have, and be honest about it. Not disclosing honestly what breed of dog you have is considered a violation of your contract. You would end up finding yourself with no where to live before you were ever allowed to move in. As an agent, it puts us in a very bad position if that happens, as the listing agent can blame us for failure to disclose that you had such a breed of dog. So, please, when we ask you: Be honest and upfront with your agent from the start. It is far easier for us to help you if we know from the beginning what we’re dealing with.  There are plenty of landlords that will rent to you, we will help you find one!


Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever! I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ and Burlington County, NJ, too! Pick a town, any town! Need some suggestions? Ok! Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic. Any you don’t see here? CALL ME! I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225