Does Section 8 Allow Pets: Exploring Guidelines and Exceptions

As someone who has worked closely with Section 8 housing programs, and analyzes the question Section 8 Allow Pets, I can confirm that pets are generally allowed.

However, it’s essential to understand that specific guidelines may vary depending on the landlord or housing authority overseeing the property. The public housing program only allows pets if they are fish, and the housing voucher program is more flexible.

In this guide, you will get a clear answer to the popular question: “Does Section 8 allow pets or not?” We cover everything you need to know about pets in Section 8 housing. From the types of pets allowed in different apartments and their policies around them, to whether a landlord can deny a pet.

For additional information, check out 8 ways to find houses for rent by owner accepting Section 8.

Does Section 8 Allow Pets

What Is the Policy on Pets?

I have checked the HUD guidelines for you, and Section 8 does allow pets.

The HUD guidelines say: “If the applicant or tenant owns a pet, and it does not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others and would not result in substantial physical damage to the property of others, reasonable accommodations are required”.

You can have up to 2 pets, but your landlord will have to agree. Some landlords do not accept pets, so a pet owner may need to search for a house that allows pets.

How Your PHA Handles Pets?

As stated above, Section 8 does not set pet rules. That is the job of your local PHA. Each PHA has slightly different rules and regulations regarding pets on their properties. A few things they may include are:

  • Number of pets allowed per household
  • Breed restrictions on dogs and other animals
  • Weight limits on animals such as dogs and cats
  • Number of cats allowed per household
  • Number of birds allowed per household
  • Restrictions on exotic animals

What Type of Pet Is Allowed?

Pets are generally allowed as long as they meet the following criteria:

What Type of Pet Is Allowed
  • Must not be dangerous
  • Must not pose a threat to other residents or property

However, the weight limit for each pet is 25 lbs to 50 lbs, estimated. The pet owner may have more than one pet of the same weight as long as they do not go over the total weight limit.

Some landlords will be happy to accept any type of pet as long as they are well-behaved and don’t cause any damage to the property. However, other landlords may only be willing to accept a certain type of pet that is considered acceptable by most people (e.g., no snakes or spiders).

You can have dogs, cats, and other small animals as long as you keep them from making a mess and attracting vermin.

If it’s a small apartment, then only small pets should be allowed to live there. Some smaller apartments can only accommodate one dog or cat at most.

Read also: How to buy Section 8 Property?

does section 8 housing allow pets: Which Pets Are Not Allowed?

Pets that are considered ‘dangerous’ or ‘exotic’ are prohibited from living in public housing. Common examples include snakes, ferrets, and large rodents like rats. Some landlords may make exceptions for these animals (again with their permissfion), but it is unlikely.

That being said, there are restrictions on the size and type of pet you may keep. Specifically, they do not allow any of the following:

  • Dogs with a bite history
  • Dogs weighing more than 40 pounds (18.14 kg)
  • Pit bull terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds. How to socialize a German Shepherd
  • Chows
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Wolf hybrids or any mixed breed of these dogs
  • Any species of snake, including pythons and boa constrictors

What happens if You Hide a Pet From Your Landlord?

If you hide a pet from your landlord, some risks come along with it.

If you are a Section 8 tenant, you are required to follow the rules and regulations of your lease agreement. These rules apply to whether or not you can have pets in your Section 8 residence. If you choose to keep a pet without letting your landlord know, there is a risk that they will find out and take action against you.

There are things that landlords can do if they find out that you have a pet without their permission:

  • evict you (end the tenancy)
  • charge fines or fees
  • require additional rent
  • withhold security deposit or use of it for repairs
  • sue for damages

Is there a limit to the number of pets I can have in Section 8 housing?

As an expert in housing regulations, I can clarify that there is typically no specific limit to the number of pets allowed in Section 8 housing.

However, it’s essential to understand that pet ownership in such housing is subject to the pet rules established by individual landlords or housing authorities.

These rules may include requirements such as pet deposits or security deposits, and landlords may reserve the right to charge additional fees for each pet.

Before bringing additional pets into your Section 8 housing, it’s crucial to review and comply with the pet policies outlined in your lease agreement or by your landlord to ensure adherence to regulations and avoid any potential penalties or complications.

How to Find an Apartment That Allows Pets?

  • Start by checking the building’s pet policy on their website or calling them up directly. If they have a list of approved breeds for dogs or other animals, then that means they are likely open to pets in general but just want specific types that they allow on-site.
  • If there is no listing at all on their site or over the phone, then it’s likely that they don’t allow pets altogether. They will not accept your application if you bring one along with you when filling out paperwork.
  • The best way to find an apartment that allows pets is by asking people who live there already if they have any experience with landlords accepting animals into their homes. Most people will be happy to help you out, and the answer is right at your fingertips.

Know the Law

While landlords may not be required by law to accept your pet, many laws exist to protect you from discrimination based on your pet ownership status. Laws may vary depending on where you live and other factors (like whether you have a disability).

Many states disallow landlord discrimination against renters with pets unless there is a valid reason for it (for example, if the building has no-pet rules in place).

Look Into Section 8

Section 8 housing is rental assistance offered by the government. If you want to rent an apartment with Section 8 assistance, you must meet certain criteria and go through an application process. There are sometimes rules about what kinds of pets are allowed in Section 8 apartments, and there might.

guide for pet-loving Section 8 tenants

From heartwarming success stories to insightful expert advice, this video shines a light on the complexities of balancing affordable housing with the joys of pet companionship. Discover the answers you’ve been seeking and embark on a quest to find the perfect home where both you and your furry friend are welcome. Don’t miss out on this essential guide for pet-loving Section 8 tenants!

Are emotional support animals (ESAs) allowed in Section 8 housing?

As an expert in housing regulations, I can confirm that emotional support animals (ESAs) are generally allowed in Section 8 housing, subject to certain conditions. While Section 8 does not have specific pet policies regarding ESAs, they are typically considered under the broader umbrella of pet ownership and accommodations.

However, residents need to adhere to the pet policies set forth by their specific public housing complexes, which may include providing documentation of the need for an ESA and adhering to any associated pet deposit or fee requirements.

Ultimately, clear communication with the landlord or housing authority is crucial to ensure compliance with regulations and maintain a harmonious living environment for all residents.

How Can You Avoid Eviction if You Have a Pet?

If you’re a renter who is thinking about getting a pet, it’s important to make sure that your new pet won’t get you evicted.

The Fair Housing Act protects you and your pet against discrimination, but most landlords can still control what pets they allow on their properties.

So, how do you avoid eviction if you have a pet?

  • Ask your landlord if you can have a pet before moving in.
  • Make sure your animal gets along with other people and animals.
  • Avoid damage by getting pet insurance.
  • Take care of any messes right away.

Are there any restrictions on the types of pets allowed in Section 8 housing?

Based on my experience managing Section 8 housing, I can emphasize the importance of adhering to pet ownership guidelines, especially regarding the necessity of a pet deposit. Unauthorized pet ownership can lead to significant consequences, including fines, eviction, or other penalties.

Therefore, pet owners must obtain permission beforehand and be prepared to provide a pet deposit if required. This applies to residents in public housing developments as well, where compliance with regulations helps maintain a peaceful community atmosphere.

Conclusion to the Question: “Does Section 8 allow pets”

Does low-income housing allow pets? In summary, it is safe to assume that a landlord’s ability to ban pets will depend on the specific language used in the lease. Of course, landlords should be sure to review their lease agreements with any new tenant carefully. If you have any concerns about an existing lease agreement, feel free to contact an attorney or your local Fair Housing Office.


Can a Landlord Deny My Pet in a Section 8 Apartment?

Yes, a landlord may deny your pet in a Section 8 apartment. As long as they allow other pets, they cannot discriminate against you based on the type of pet you have or because you have an emotional support animal. If they do not allow pets at all, however, you are not allowed to keep your pet in a Section 8 apartment.

Can I Keep My Pet if It Causes Damage to the Property?

It depends on what the damages to the property are. If your pet causes damages to the property, and you are required to pay for those damages, then yes, you can keep your pet if you do so.

However, if your landlord is asking you to pay for damages to the property and refuses to allow you to keep your pet, they cannot legally evict you based on the fact that you have a pet. In other words, if you agree to pay for any damages caused by your pet, you are allowed to keep it.

Are Cats Allowed in Section 8 Housing?

Since cats are generally smaller and easier to care for than dogs, most apartments that accept dogs will also allow cats. The easiest way to see if cats are allowed at a particular property is to click on the “Section 8 Housing Pets Allowed” link under the Amenities section on the listing page.

Popular question: Does section 8 allow pitbulls?


What is the Section 8 policy on keeping pets?

Navigating through the intricacies of Section 8 housing policies, I’ve discovered that there isn’t a standardized approach to pets within the program. Instead, it’s left to individual landlords or housing authorities to set their guidelines regarding pet ownership in rental units.

It means that rules for common household pets like dogs, cats, and small animals can vary widely depending on the specific landlord or housing authority.

How do pet owners request permission for a pet in Section 8 rental?

This usually entails contacting the landlord or housing authority to discuss their pet policy and the procedures for approval. Additionally, for individuals with assistance animals or service animals, it’s essential to understand the specific rights and accommodations afforded to them under the law.

What are the consequences of having a pet in Section 8 housing without permission?

Through my experiences managing Section 8 housing, I’ve seen firsthand the potential ramifications of owning a pet without proper authorization. These consequences can range from fines to eviction, highlighting the significance of seeking permission beforehand.

This applies particularly to pet owners residing in public housing developments, where adherence to regulations is crucial to maintaining a harmonious living environment for all residents.

What is a Section 8 pet fee?

A Section 8 pet fee is an additional charge imposed by landlords to cover the costs associated with having a pet in a rental property.

Are pets allowed in public housing?

Depends on the public housing authority pet policy.

Can I find low-income apartments that allow pets?

Yes, of course. Research apartment listings for your personal options.

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  1. I am trying to help my nephew who is intellectually challenged gain access to Section 8 housing in Savannah Georgia. I am not having much luck. All the wait lists are closed and no one ever returns a call or email.

    Also the reason I read this article is because he has 2 small pet lizards and I wondered if he’d be able to keep them.

    Thank you for any guidance you offer.

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  5. Do tenants receiving Section 8 assistance need to pay additional fees or deposits for having pets?

    1. In many cases, tenants in Section 8 housing may be required to pay additional fees or deposits for having pets, but this can vary depending on the specific property and its policies.

  6. Are there any restrictions on the types or sizes of pets permitted in Section 8 housing?

    1. Some Section 8 properties may have restrictions on the types or sizes of pets allowed, so it’s important to check with your landlord or housing authority.

  7. Does Section 8 housing allow tenants to have pets?

    1. Yes, Section 8 housing generally allows tenants to have pets, but specific rules may vary by landlord and property.

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