Netintegrity Blog

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Properties?

By Joseph Slonimsky

 

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental PropertiesLoving animals is one thing, but allowing them to live in one of your rental properties is another. While some property managers find no issue in welcoming four-legged family members along with their tenants, others find it to be altogether too risky. If you’re on the fence about which route you should take with your own properties, let’s take a few moments to examine some of the pros and cons of allowing pets, to help you make a more informed decision.

Pros of Allowing Pets

Larger Pool of Candidates – The goal, as always, is to find and keep quality tenants. By keeping your options open to include those that are responsible pet owners, you vastly increase the number of candidates from which you can choose.

Increased Revenue – Most pet owners understand and are happy to pay an increased rent to be able to move in with their four-legged friends, which means more money coming in to your business month after month.

Word of Mouth – When you extend rental opportunities to people with pets, they tend to be very grateful and grateful people share their feelings with others that they know. When word gets out that you welcome responsible pet owners, it’ll only improve your rapport within the community.

Happier Tenants – Studies have shown that people who own animals are generally happier. Happy tenants tend to be loyal and are more likely to take good care of your property. It’s a bit of a long stretch, but in many cases it’s absolutely true so it’s worth a mention.

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Cons of Allowing Pets

Destruction of Property – If you’re not careful about what type of pet or more importantly, what type of pet owner you rent to, you could end up with damaged property. For instance, a dog with separation anxiety or a cat that prefers to use walls and carpets as scratching posts.

Neighborhood Disturbance – Some animals, even if they don’t mean to do so, can become a nuisance to those that live in nearby units and the surrounding homes. Dogs can bark incessantly and cats can roam through other people’s yards, causing tension throughout the neighborhood.

Dishonest Tenants – Even when you do your due diligence in asking what type of pet the prospect owns and collecting a pet deposit, there’s no guarantee that person is being completely honest. You may be perfectly comfortable renting to someone with a small terrier, when in reality they actually have a German shepherd, which they move in after the fact.

Mitigating Your Risk

If the pros are swaying you but a few of those cons are just gnawing at your conscience, there are a few things you can to do help reduce the risk involved with renting to tenants who own pets.

  • Communicate and enforce a strict limit on number, size and types of pets that you’ll consider.
  • Clearly indicate your pet policy and who is responsible for damages within your lease (consult with an attorney for optimum results.)
  • Check references of landlords prior to the prospect’s current one. Previous landlords will be more likely to be honest, whereas the current one may not because they just want to get the tenant out of their property.
  • Collect a pet deposit in addition to a normal security deposit, to help defer the cost of any damages directly related to the animal.
  • Increase the monthly rent charged.
  • Be present. Stop by the property regularly to make sure that everything is on the up and up. This way if there are any issues with damage or misrepresentation they can be addressed right away.

The property management industry is challenging enough. When you add the possibility of pets to the equation it can seem downright overwhelming. By understanding ahead of time what the pros and cons are of allowing animals in your properties, and how you can mitigate the risk associated with doing so, you’ll have a much better chance of successfully incorporating responsible pet owners into your tenant base.

Related Post: How to Profit from Allowing Pets in Your Rental Properties

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Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.


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