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Pet Policy

INTRODUCTION

This policy establishes the rules and conditions under which a pet may be kept in the housing developments of the Roxboro Housing Authority (“RHA”). The primary purpose of these rules and conditions is to establish reasonable requirements for the keeping of Common Household Pets (as defined in this policy) in order to provide a decent, safe and sanitary environment for existing and prospective tenants, RHA employees and the public, and to preserve the physical condition of RHA property.

This policy does not apply to Assistive Animals (as defined in this policy) that reside in public housing or that visit RHA properties. It does not limit or impair the rights of persons with disabilities or affect any authority RHA has under other legal provisions to regulate animals that assist persons with disabilities.

Violations of this policy shall be considered a violation of a material term of your lease with RHA. The property manager may require the removal of a pet upon violation of these rules or may commence eviction procedures. In the event that a pet permit is denied or revoked or there is otherwise a violation of this policy, RHA’s grievance procedures shall apply.

DEFINITIONS

Assistive Animal.  An Assistive Animal is an animal that provides assistance, service or support to a person with disabilities and which is needed as a reasonable accommodation to such individual with disabilities. RHA recognizes two types of Assistive Animals. They are Service Animals and Assistance Animals. Service Animals must be a trained dog and the person with disabilities in the household must require that dog’s services. For an animal to be considered an Assistance Animal, there must be a person with disabilities in the household and the family must request and RHA must approve a reasonable accommodation in accordance with its policies. An Assistive Animal (Service or Assistance Animals) shall be counted in the number of pets kept in a household. 

Common Household Pet. A Common Household Pet is a domesticated animal such as a dog, cat, bird or fish that is traditionally recognized as a companion animal and is kept in the home for pleasure and/or support.  A Common Household Pet is not a reptile, rodent, insects or bugs, spiders or arachnids, pigs, chickens, turkeys, horses or other wild or feral animals.  

GUIDELINES

  1. Any tenant head of household of one of RHA’s dwelling units who wishes to obtain and/or keep a Common Household pet must first submit a written request for approval to RHA Administrative Office and must receive such approval from RHA prior to obtaining or keeping a pet. RHA reserves the right to check references, such as prior landlords and neighbors, regarding (a) the resident’s previous pet ownership history, and (b) the pet’s behavioral history.  If RHA concludes that maintenance of the pet by the resident in an RHA housing unit would, in RHA’s opinion, be inappropriate or ill-advised based on the reference checks, RHA will inform the tenant in writing, stating the specific reasons for the denial. 
  2. Tenants who have a history of poor housekeeping habits, as determined by RHA, shall not be approved for pet ownership until they have satisfactorily passed housekeeping inspections for twelve (12) consecutive months.
  3. Any tenant interested in owning and/or maintaining a common household pet in his/her unit will be required to obtain written approval from RHA prior to housing a pet on RHA’s property. To obtain approval, a tenant must first submit an application for the Pet Permit at the local management office, which will include, among other things, information concerning the size, type and weight of pet intended for ownership by the tenant and whether the pet has been spayed or neutered.  The management office will provide the tenant with a copy of RHA’s Pet Policy and will review all of the rules and regulations listed therein with the tenant.  Upon reviewing these requirements, the tenant will be requested to sign a Pet Agreement, thereby certifying that he/she has received a copy of the Pet Policy, understands all of his/her rights and responsibilities thereunder, and agrees to abide by all of the rules listed in this policy and those federal, state and local laws and/or regulations pertaining to the owning and keeping of pets in housing.
  4. If RHA concludes that approval of the application for a Pet Permit is warranted, a permit and agreement must be signed immediately by the tenant. All pet owners must be able to control their pets via leash, pet carrier or cage.
  5. No pet that bites or attacks will be permitted. For safety of RHA personnel and other tenants, any animal which shows an inclination to bite or attack must be removed from RHA property immediately.
  6. Dogs that are commonly known to have vicious or aggressive dispositions will not be permitted. Such animals include, but are not limited to doberman pinschers, pit bulls, chows, boxer, rottweiler, etc. Due to age and behavioral activities of puppies and kittens, application for ownership of such young animals shall be more closely reviewed prior to approval.
  7. Tenants may own a maximum of two pets, one of which may be a dog. In the case of fish, residents may keep no more than can be maintained in a safe and healthy manner in a tank holding up to 10 gallons. Such as tank or aquarium shall be counted as one pet.
  8. Any animal shall be permitted that has an adult weight exceeding 25 pounds.
  9. No animal not permitted under federal, state or local law or code shall be allowed on RHA property.
  10. All dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered at the time of registration or, in the case of underaged animals, within 30 days of the pet reaching 6 months of age. Exceptions may be made by the Executive Director upon veterinary certification that subjecting the pet to the procedure would be temporarily or permanently medically unsafe or unnecessary.
  11. Tenants are expressly prohibited from feeding or harboring stray animals. The feeding or harboring of a stray animal shall constitute having a pet without the approval of RHA.  In the event that a pet housed in one of RHA’s units gives birth to a litter, the resident pet owner shall remove the entire litter or reapply to keep one member of the litter.  This requires removing the mother pet.

TENANT’S RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The pet owner is responsible for proper pet care which includes, but is not limited to, good nutrition, grooming, exercise, flea control, routine veterinary care and yearly inoculations. Dogs and cats must wear identification tags and collars at all times.
  2. The pet owner is responsible for cleaning up after the pet inside the unit and anywhere on RHA property.
  3. A “pooper scooper” and disposable plastic bag must be carried by owner. All waste shall be bagged and disposed of in a receptacle determined by management. Toilets are designed to handle pet litter.  Under no circumstances should any pet debris be deposited in a toilet as blockage will occur and tenants will be responsible for cost of repairs replacement of any damaged toilets or pipes.
  4. A separate waste removal charge of $10.00 per occurrence on pet owners who fail to remove waste in accordance with prescribed pet rules will be imposed.
  5. The pet owner shall keep the unit and its outside area clean and free of pet odors, insect infestation, waste and litter, and maintain the dwelling unit in a sanitary condition at all times.
  6. The pet owner shall restrain and prevent the pet from gnawing, chewing, scratching or otherwise defacing doors, walls, windows and floor coverings of the unit, other units and common areas, as well as shrubs and landscaping of facility. The cost of repairing such damage will be charged to the tenant.
  7. Pets are not to be left outside of the dwelling unit, tied outside, or on porch without supervision.
  8. Tenants are not to alter their units, porch, or other outside area to create an enclosure for an animal.
  9. Pets shall be adequately and effectively restrained at all times when outside of the unit and on RHA property. No pet shall be unattended or unrestrained while outside of the unit or in common areas.  Pets are not permitted on common area furniture.
  10. Pets shall not disturb the health, safety, rights, comfort or quiet enjoyment of other tenants. Pets shall not create a nuisance to other tenants with excessive barking, whining, chirping, or other unruly behavior.
  11. Tenant pet owners must provide litter boxes for cat waste which must be kept in the owner’s unit.  Litter boxes shall be kept clean and odor-free.  Tenant shall change the litter at least one (1) time per week and shall separate waste from the litter at least one (1) time per day.
  12. Pet owners agree to periodic inspections, at which times, the unit will be inspected to ensure pets and units are being cared for properly. Pet owners further agree to apartment inspections when, in the opinion of RHA, there is a reasonable basis to believe that pets and/or units are not being cared for properly or that undue damage to the apartment has been done by a pet.
  13. The tenant is responsible for providing management with the following information and documents which are to be kept on file in the tenant’s folder:
  1. A color photo and identifying description of pet;
  2. Attending veterinarian’s name, address and telephone number;
  3. Veterinary certificates of spaying or neutering, rabies, distemper combination, parvo virus, feline leukemia testing, feline VRC, and other inoculations when applicable;
  4. Tenant shall inoculate the pet in accordance with state and local laws.
  5. Two (2) alternate adult caretakers, their names, addresses and telephone numbers, who will assume immediate responsibility for the care of the pet should the owner become incapacitated; these caretakers must be verified in writing by signing the pet permit, acknowledging their responsibilities as specified.
  6. Emergency boarding accommodations; 
  7. Temporary ownership (overnight or short term) shall be registered with management under the pet rules and regulations; and
  8. Name of adult ultimately responsible for pet
  9. As applicable evidence that the animal has been spayed or neutered.

Each pet owner tenant is responsible for notifying RHA in writing of any change in the information initially provided in the application for Pet Permit and the verifying documentation submitted to RHA as a condition of its approval.  In particular, tenant must submit to RHA on an annual basis written verification of compliance with all applicable spaying, inoculation, and registration requirements.  This submittal will be required each year at the time scheduled for family Recertification for Continued Occupancy.

  1. Violation of any terms of this Pet Policy shall be considered a serious violation of the Lease Agreement and shall be reason for termination of tenancy.

 MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. RHA shall post the rules and regulations of pet ownership and maintenance and enforcement, including any changes thereto, in the management office of each housing development which it owns, and shall inform all registered pet owners of any changes in such rules and regulations.  
  2. RHA shall keep proper records related to pet ownership, including but not limited to: owner’s and pet’s pertinent information, pet participation fee, apartment inspections, investigations of complaints, etc.
  3. All complaints regarding pets shall be in writing. All written complaints will be investigated for resolution.  Management will inform the resident of any infraction and will attempt resolution.
  4. Upon second notice of a complaint, the resident shall be advised that a further notice shall be cause of termination of Pet Permit and or the lease, as determined by RHA. However, in the case of a serious nature, for example, a vicious dog, this procedure may be shortened in the interest of public safety.  If the situation cannot be satisfactorily remedied, the Pet Permit will be revoked, the pet must be removed from the premises, and the lease may be terminated.

PET DEPOSIT & MONTHLY PET FEE

  1. A pet deposit of $200.00 is required of each pet owner. This fee may be payable over a reasonable time period with the first installment of $50.00 due at the time of signing the Pet Permit and pet agreement and subsequent $10.00 monthly maximum installments.  The tenant is not required to pay all of the deposit before bringing in the pet.  This payment will be implemented as a fee.  Failure to make payments as agreed upon will require that the pet be removed from the premises immediately.  Any partial payments made on the Pet Deposit will be not be refunded to tenant when pet has been permanently removed from premises.  Non-compliance with this section will result in Lease termination. The exception to Pet Policy requirements is birds and fish pet owners.  Owners of these animals will not be required to pay participation fees as outlined above.  The Pet Deposit will be deposited at [NAME OF FINANICAL INSTITUTION].  The deposit will be refunded no later than 30 days of move-out or removal of the pet from the unit, provided that no pet-related damage has been done to the property. If the fee is not sufficient to cover the damages, the tenant is responsible for payment of the balance of the charges.
  2. A monthly pet fee of $10.00 is required to cover the reasonable operating costs of the housing development related to the presence of pets. This pet fee shall be billed on a monthly basis and shall be non-refundable.

LIABILITY OF PET OWNER FOR DAMAGE OR INJURY

  1. Pet owning tenant shall be responsible for payment of repairing or replacing damaged areas of the exterior, interior, doors, walls, floor coverings and fixtures in the unit, outside areas or other areas damaged by tenant’s pet;
  2. Cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing carpeting and other floor coverings in the unit as necessitated by presence of the pet;
  3. Charges for damage will include materials and labor. Payment plans may be negotiated between management and the pet owner and approved by the Executive Director or his designee.
  4. The pet owner is encouraged to secure and continuously maintain renters insurance which includes personal liability and property liability insurance that protects against pet-related injury and/or damage to third parties.

 PROTECTION OF PET

  1. An identification card, naming veterinarian and caretaker should be with pet owner at all times. In the event of a sudden illness or accident, attending authorities should notify management to assist the pet and avoid a delay in proper care of the animal.
  2. No pet is to remain unattended, without proper care, for more than twenty-four (24) hours, except in the case of a dog, which shall not be unattended for no more than twelve (12) hours.
  3. If the health or safety of a companion animal is threatened by the incapacity or death of the owner, management will contact the caretakers designated by tenant.

REMOVAL OF PET

  1. If the health or safety of the pet is threatened by the death or incapacity of the tenant, or by other factors that render the tenant unable to care for the pet, RHA may contact the caretakers identified in the tenant’s file. If the caretakers are unable or unwilling to assume responsibility for the pet and tenant is unable to locate an alternate caretaker, management may enter the premises, remove the pet, and arrange for pet care for no more than ten (10) days.  Management may contact the local Animal Control Center or other suitable humane society for assistance in providing alternate care for the pet.  The cost of the animal care facility will be the responsibility of the tenant. 
  2. Termination of Lease proceedings may be instituted if the pet owner is in violation of these guidelines which the pet owner has agreed to abide by in signing the Pet Permit and the Pet Agreement attached to the Lease. Termination of the Lease proceedings may also be instituted if the pet owner has been warned three (3) times by management; except that in a case of a serious nature; i.e., animal appears vicious, animal has bitten or attacked; animal must be removed immediately or the Lease will be terminated immediately with no further warnings.

Application for Pet Permit