HAWAII Rental Property - Pet Addendum and Pet Deposit
Pet Addendum and Pet Deposit
For any landlord renting a property out, allowing pets is always a difficult decision. The potential damage any animal can cause in a home has to be weighed against the significantly increased number of potential tenants that may rent the home. Issues of service and emotional support animals can add another layer of difficulty to pet deposits and pet addendums. As those issues are even more complex, this article will not address them.
To help property owners mitigate the costs of damage from a tenant’s pet, Hawaii Revised Statutes 521-44(b) allows for a landlord to collect a pet deposit of not more than one month’s rent. This deposit is treated the same as the security deposit. That means that a pet owner tenant could potentially hand over the first month’s rent, a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, and a pet deposit equal to one month’s rent at beginning of the rental agreement. The landlord does not have to make the pet deposit equal one month’s rent. Depending on the property, the animal, and other considerations, it may be significantly less than that.
The other important step when allowing a tenant to bring pets into the property is to use Hawaii REALTORS® RR305 – Pet Addendum or something similar to get detailed information on each pet that the tenant is bringing into the property. This type of agreement is important because it restates the rules for the tenant and has the option to require the tenant to purchase liability insurance for claims that may arise due to the tenant’s pets. Hawaii Revised Statutes 663-9 states that the pet owner or landlord is liable for the personal or property damage caused by the animal. This means a landlord could be held liable for a tenant’s pet causing harm to someone else on the property.
Property owners, property managers, and landlords have to make many decisions when listing a property for rent. Deciding whether or not to allow pets is an important one that should not be taken lightly.