What to suggest to landlord in terms of pet deposit / rules for us to follow w/ chickens?


8 Years
May 5, 2012
Lex, KY
Forgive me if this is the wrong board, it just didn't seem to fit in Managing your flock or Laws and Ordinances.

I think our landlords are reluctantly going to agree to 2 or 3 chickens (we meet all requirements to have up to 10 hens in one section of our yard). However I can tell, by him laughing and saying so today
, that they were kinda hoping we'd be "over" that request and not want them anymore. Needless to say I'm in a funk after that, but I didn't let it show to him.

Anyway. I'd given him 3 examples of possible styles of coops we could do. All 100% non permanent and the least possible damage on his lawn etc. Right down to having it up on a raised platform so only the posts would be damaging to the grass.

We showed him these 3 (all with notes that slight mods would be made to be raised, solid floor that's easy to clean and so that the hens aren't walking on hardware cloth, not an eye sore for them or the neighbours, what I build would depend on breed, etc) as examples of what the coop "could" look like, and to show them I wasn't thinking of a huge flock in a muddy old, farm-style run (thinking back to my grandfather's runs):



I offered him a pet deposit esp since there is actually a zero pet policy in the lease unless both parties have an agreement in writing, and because we've only been here a month and a half lol! I think the poor fella is worried about what I'll ask for next if he says yes.

But how much for the average pet chicken deposit?
What would the "rules" / "guidelines" be for this deposit / having chickens??

They wouldn't be in the house unless we have to start with younger pullets and have to get them ready to go out - but here it's still 70 at midnight!

Maybe something about replacing any grass with sod (right word?) / grass seed before we move if it's damaged from chickens or coop?

That if the neighbours complain to us and we don't solve the issue in 2 weeks and they complain to the landlords we have another 2 weeks to fix issue or the chickens are gone??

Help me out here! We're SO NEW to renting and we've never really been off-base and dealing with landlords before. What can I bring to them as guidelines we're willing to follow or forfeit the deposit?

Any and all info appreciated and sorry this is so long, I'm running off too little sleep with the baby to keep things short and sweet
You could build a chicken tractor. It's a chicken coop/run combo that's on wheels. The idea behind the chicken tractor is preservation of your lawn. If you only have three chickens it will take them several days before any impact on the ground would be noticeable. If you were to move your tractor around twice a week no one would even know they were there. Free fertilizer for the lawn.
I will probably do a PVC tractor run. I have to make sure the part of the yard that the coop stays in is only in one section of the yard, or the 50ft ordinance is broken. So keeping the coop in one part and just moving them in a run / tractor to various parts of the yard each day is my rough plan right now, but I def haven't ruled out a true tractor for them yet. :) Thanks!
How much does sod go for these days? and what all would/could chickens damage? I could only think grass/landscaping. If I were the landlord, I would find out the price of sod, add about $20 instillation fee and charge per sq foot that is damaged. Unfortunatly, if he has other homes and/or neighbors complain, he is the one really that has to deal with any complaints. Also, despite us all knowing that chickens are wonderful! most renters are going to see them as a liability, and this may effect either his ability to lease the house and/or those next to it. So, even if he is enlightened, he will still have to make sure it doesn't bother his or his neighbors bottom lines.

As far as amount, maybe about 50 bucks?\ that will get you a chunk of sod, a kid to install it, and maybe some of the water bill to get it growing. Hopefully you and your landlord have a good chicken experience and this will become more common!
Thanks for your help!

You have some great points - it's not like they'd be scratching holes in the screen doors, ripping up or peeing on carpet, it won't dig it's way out from under the coop making huge holes to fill in,no breaking through fencing to neighbours, and so on.

I wonder if he'd be insulted at a $50 deposit, but the costs are very low for sod, especially if you don't need a whole lawn replaced, and regrowing the grass from seed even could happen before we leave as long as we keep the coop moving at that point to stop any further damage.

Maybe he'd be okay with a $50 deposit if we have a few lines written in there that we won't leave behind a coop etc, that all grass damaged will either be starting to be regrown from seed or that sod will be purchased, placed and watered. Possibly a line stating that once they are past the little chicken stage and safe (and able to control their own heat etc) they will no longer be allowed in the house. And that we'd have them contained in the house as chicks (though we're hoping to start with older pullets) so no damage could happen - we do have renters insurance btw).

Anyone that IS a renter or a landlord that can weigh in on this subject and say what they have in their lease about chickens?


I am a landlord.....
Please check your local landlord tenant act. (each area is different) mine is here:http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/

According to my area. you should not require an extra deposit. (not legal to take more than one month's rent as deposit in Ontario)
I would be really surprised if your chickens could do that much damage in that short of a time.

You should (again I just know my area) be restricted in the same way a dog owner is:
peaceful enjoyment of common areas - noise, smell/mess
any damage repaired before you leave (although I don't think you will have an issue)

If you are legal there is just the issues with noise and cleanliness issues.

Hope this helps.
(I wish my tenants could have chickens(those that want them))

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