County of Los Angeles – Pet-Friendly Housing Guidelines
Ordinance No. 2020-0001 (Los Angeles County Municipal Code, Division 3, Chapter 8.70) entitled “Pet-Friendly Housing” authorizes tenants of new or rehabilitated multifamily housing (“Project”) financed, in whole or in part, by the County of Los Angeles (“County”) and/or the Los Angeles County Development Authority (“LACDA”) on or after the effective date of the Ordinance, to have at least one pet in a rental unit consistent with applicable Federal and State Laws.
The Pet Friendly Housing Ordinance, defines a “Pet” as a common household domesticated: animal (such as a dog, cat, rabbit, or bird); rodent (such as a mouse, hamster, guinea pig, or rat); and animal kept in an aquarium or appropriate enclosure (such as a fish, frog, or non-venomous reptile less than six feet in length). A Pet is kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes and does not include any equine, bird of prey, swine, sheep, goat, cattle, poultry, or other similar livestock.
The Pet Friendly Housing Ordinance requires landlords to maintain and provide a copy of pet policies to tenants. A Project’s pet policies shall include all mandatorily required policies and may also include discretionary guidelines designated by the owner or operator and shall be specific to each Project. Mandatory and allowable discretionary policies are outlined in the table below.
|Mandatory and Discretionary Pet Policy Guidelines
|Mandatory Rules (Ordinance No. 2020-0001)
Title 10, Section 10.20.350
|Pet owner must spay or neuter dogs and/or cats at four months or older or obtain an unaltered dog or cat license per County requirements.
Title 10, Sections 10.20.220 and 10.20.230
|Pet owners must inoculate dogs and/or cats against rabies.
Title 10, Section 10.20.185
|A dog and/or cat four months or older must be implanted with an identifying microchip.
Dogs – Running at Large Prohibited
Title 10, Section 10.32.010
|A dog must be restrained on a substantial leash not exceeding six feet in length by a person capable of controlling the dog while on public property or common areas of private property.
Title 10, Section 10.20.010
|An animal owner or custodian residing in the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (“Department”) must obtain an annual license for each dog or cat older than four months.
Title 10, Section 10.40.065
An animal nuisance arises when an animal bites or otherwise injures a person, attacks other animals, is repeatedly at large, damages and/or strays on private or public property, or otherwise interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.
When the Department receives a complaint of an animal nuisance, it will issue a written notice to the owner or custodian of the animal advising of the nuisance, and ordering the owner to correct the nuisance. An animal owner or custodian who fails to immediately correct the animal nuisance after receiving written notice from the Department is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Title 10, Section 10.40.066
|A person who owns or has custody of a dog (except a visually impaired person with a guide dog) is required to remove the dog’s feces immediately from public property or private property not owned or possessed by the owner or custodian of the dog.
A Project owner or operator may require the tenant to register their pets. Pet registration information may include:
● Proof of rabies vaccination;
● Proof of spay/neuter;
● Proof of microchipping;
● Photo of pet or description of pet appearance; and
● Designation of next of kin.
|A Project owner or operator may place reasonable limitations on the number of pets allowed in a dwelling unit.
|Potential Financial Obligations of Tenants – Pet Deposit
A Project owner or operator may ask tenants who own or keep dogs and/or cats for a refundable pet deposit. If the owner chooses to collect a deposit, the deposit must:
● Be reasonable and refundable (per Ordinance No. 2020-0001);
● Be administered consistent with State Law;
● Not exceed the amount periodically fixed by HUD (24 CFR 5.318) – current limitation is $300; and
● Provide for a gradual accumulation of the deposit not to exceed an initial $50 when the pet is brought into unit and subsequent monthly payments of $10 per month until deposit amount is met.
|Potential Financial Obligations of Tenants – Waste Removal Charge
|A Project owner or operator may impose a separate waste removal penalty of up to $5 per occurrence for failure to comply with pet rules on waste removal.
|Pet Care Standards
A Project owner or operator may prescribe standards of pet care and handling but must be limited to those necessary to protect the condition of the tenant’s unit and general condition of the project premises. Permitted standards may:
● Limit the length of time that a pet may be left unattended in a rental unit;
● Bar pets from specified common areas (such as lobbies, laundry rooms, and social rooms), unless the exclusion will deny a pet reasonable ingress and egress to the project or building;
● Require a pet owner to control noise and odor caused by a pet;
● Require a pet owner to keep dogs and cats current on vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, and intestinal parasite treatments;
● Require a pet owner to keep pet cats indoors; and
● Require a pet owner to keep pet food indoors.
Note: Pet care standards shall not include inhumane practices such as vocal cord removal or declawing.
|Pets Temporarily on the Premises
|A Project owner or operator `may exclude from the Project pets not owned by a tenant that are to be kept temporarily on the project premises for 14 days or less.
The Pet-Friendly Housing Ordinance No. 2020-0001 shall not be construed to limit or otherwise affect other statues or laws that require reasonable accommodations to be made for a person with a disability who maintains a pet to provide assistance, service or support.