Should You Allow Fish In Your Rentals?



When talking about “pets”, many people jump to the conclusion that these are four-legged furry friends. Keep in mind that when residents ask about a “pet policy”, they’re not always referring to cats and dogs. Well, what about fish?

When it comes to creating pet policies, the rules are completely up to you. You don’t have to reject all types of animals and can be as selective as you please. After all, there are a lot of benefits to welcoming pets into your rentals.

Many property managers and landlords are aware of the risks and benefits of allowing furry animals into the property. However, what about fish? Before you decide, consider the following pros and cons:

Pro: Allowing fish is sometimes better than no pets at all.

Some residents enjoy taking care of an animal. It can help boost a renter’s level of happiness as a person and as a resident. Depending on the habitat the resident is providing for the fish, it could be a smaller risk to damaging the apartment than other types of animals.

Con: Large tanks could be a damage risk.

When a fish tank aquarium breaks, your apartment could be affected by water damage. Some fish owners have a small fish bowl, while others may have a 20-gallon tank. Should you allow large aquariums in your property, you run the risk of having water damage if the tank breaks. It could also damage the property of the people that live below the unit as well.

Pro: It’s less likely to disturb the neighbors.

Fish don’t bark or meow. Therefore, fish are less likely to disturb the neighbors (unless the residents have a huge, noisy motor for the tank).

Con: It can jack up the electricity bill.

Large fish tanks require filters and pumps that are run by electricity. If the resident is paying for the electricity bill, then you don’t have to worry about this much. However, if you’re fronting the bill, you might see a generous spike in the electricity bill.

The bottom line: Decide the rules and be clear!

Regardless on what you decide: fish or no fish, make sure you’re very clear about it in your lease. If you choose to have “no pets”, be clear about what pets are not allowed and include any exceptions (if applicable).