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Today I thought we would talk about the definition of a companion animal and how that is different from a pet for property owners in the Santa Cruz area. A companion animal is an animal that a person needs to maintain their physical or mental health.

If you’re a Santa Cruz rental property owner and you want a policy that does not allow pets, that’s fine. You are not legally required to permit pets in your property. However, if someone comes to you and says they have a companion animal or a therapy animal, those animals are not recognized as pets by law. That means you have to accept them.You have the right to ask for verification that it’s a companion animal. This might be a letter from a doctor or a therapy certification. However, once you have that documentation, you cannot collect any extra deposits, fees or rent for this animal. When you’re drafting your rental agreement, you can include the stipulation that you will enter the property on a regular basis and check it for any damage that the animal might be causing.

It’s important to understand that according to the law, companion animals are not viewed as pets. It can be tricky for rental property owners, but you have to accept those animals.

What is a Companion Animal and How Does this Affect My Santa Cruz Home? by Portola Property ManagementIf you have any questions about how to protect your Santa Cruz property while following the law when it comes to companion animals, please contact us at Portola Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more.