Last week we discussed the pros and cons of allowing your tenants to keep pets. Should you choose to allow pets in your buildings, there’s more to know that will help going forward, including breed restrictions, city ordinances and laws.
Small animals and domestic fowl. There are specific regulations and restrictions on the number and types of animals allowed in residences. Up to 3 small animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, goats, etc.) are allowed in each dwelling unit. Residents may not have more than 1 potbelly pig, and goats may be kept if they are miniature, dwarf or pygmy, and dehorned. Up to 8 domestic fowl may be kept on any lot; however roosters are not permitted.
Bees. Bees are allowed outright when registered with the State Department of Agriculture – no more than 4 hives, each with only 1 swarm, are allowed on lots of less than 10,000 square feet. Hives may not be located within 25 feet of any property line, except when located 8 feet or more above or below the grade immediately adjacent to the lot on which they are located. Colonies must be maintained in moveable frame hives. Bees may be considered a nuisance if the colony is defensive or exhibits objectionable behavior, or if they interfere with the normal use of a property or the enjoyment of other people; if the colony swarms, or if the hive becomes deceased or abandoned.
Breed Restrictions. Many Landlords choose to allow dogs but only certain breeds. Commonly restricted breeds include: pit bulls and pit bull mixes, boxers, rottweilers, dobermans and poodles. The most commonly restricted dogs tend to be those that have more of an aggressive or fighting reputation. Another strategy many Landlords choose is to only allow dogs under a certain weight limit – commonly 20 or 30 pounds.
When it comes to the animals more commonly encountered when leasing, it is important to note that federal law requires that service dogs be allowed, and prospective tenants may not be discriminated against because of a service or rehabilitation pet.
Note: Farm animals: Should this issue come up (!) – lots must be at least 20,000 square feet for farm animals to be permitted.