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When landlords think of pet policies, they usually have dogs or cats in mind. Few anticipate the tenant who wants to keeps snakes as pets.

If your pet policy doesn’t include snakes, but you find you are open to the idea, here are a few considerations:

1.  Snakes are generally considered to be wild animals.  Before considering a lease with a snake owner, check with local police or review statutes to confirm that keeping snakes of the nature the tenant possesses is not illegal.

2.  Have a long talk with the tenant about the snake’s care.  Questions to discuss include:

How big is the snake going to get?

What’s the back-up plan if the snake gets out of its cage?

Where will its food be stored?

How might the snake impact other tenants? Maintenance workers?

Consider whether the tenant appears knowledgeable about the snake’s care, and whether they are forthcoming about the nature — and number — of snakes they plan to keep when deciding whether to allow snakes in your rental property.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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