America is a nation of pet lovers. As a matter of fact, 72% of renters, according to the Humane Society of the United States, have pets.
Pet owners see their pets as part of the family. Among other things, pets provide love, company, and emotional support. As such, it isn’t surprising that tenants with pets will exclusively look for pet-friendly homes.
However, as a landlord, you have a right to choose whether or not you will accept pets into your rental property. Each choice has its own fair share of pros and cons. So, should you allow pets into your rental property?
Before making that decision, the following are the pros and cons you should consider.
Pros of Allowing Pets into Your Rental Property
1. Pet Owners Tend to Be Responsible
Caring for a pet requires a great deal of care and consideration. Knowing an owner’s willingness to provide these, there’s the likelihood that that tenant will also treat your rental in the same way.
2. You’ll Have a Larger Tenant Pool
As already mentioned, over 70% of all renters in America are pet owners. That number can be even higher if your rental property is geared towards a younger market. According to the Washington Post, 75% of people in their 30s are pet owners.
Allowing pets into your rental property means one thing: a larger tenant pool. By extension, a larger tenant pool means a higher likelihood of finding the best tenant for your rental.
3. You May Have a Lower Tenant Turnover Rate
For tenants with pets, it can be hard to find another suitable rental that allows pets. As such, you’re more likely to land a long-term tenant when you accept pets into your rental unit.
4. You May Be Able to Ask for a Higher Rent
This is the #1 reason why most landlords will consider allowing pets into their rentals. Allowing pets into your property can make your property stand out from the competition. In turn, this can give you a vantage point and allow you to ask for more rent.
Cons of Allowing Pets into Your Rental Property
1. There is a Risk of Pets Injuring Other Tenants
Pets can cause physical injuries to people. Due to this, you may require your tenants to have renters insurance. This will provide coverage against potential liabilities, such as dog bites.
2. Odors Can Accumulate
If the renter isn’t responsible, their pet’s litter boxes or “accidents” can build up and lead to offensive odors. That’s why it’s important to screen tenants properly before allowing them to rent your home.
3. Pets Can Disturb the Peace and Quiet
Excessive barking can become a nuisance to fellow tenants and neighbors. This is especially true if there are multiple pets in the rental unit.
4. There is a Risk of Property Damage
Pets can cause all sorts of property damage, from chewing on furniture to urinating on carpets.
It’s important to only accept well-trained pets into your unit.
How to Reduce the Risks
While allowing pets in your rental property can be a hassle, it’s certainly worth considering. That’s because many renters are pet owners, and they will choose their pets over a rental.
The following is how you can lower the risks of allowing pets into your rental property:
1. Consider Charging a Pet Fee
Require tenants with pets to pay a pet fee in addition to the normal security deposit. This will help shield you against the cost of repairing damages to your rental property.
But before implementing the pet fee, make sure to consider some things. In the state of California, for instance, landlords cannot charge a non-refundable fee for having a pet.
You must also ensure the fee is reasonable. If you choose to impose a specified pet deposit, avoid making it unreasonably high.
2. Make Tenants Be Responsible for Their Pets
Tenants should always be responsible for their pets. For example, they must clean after their pets, keep their pets in appropriate areas, and never leave them unsupervised for long periods of time.
As we mentioned earlier, to further minimize any risks, require tenants to carry renters’ liability insurance. Specifically, ensure that it covers damage caused by pets.
3. Insist on Tenants Asking for Your Approval
Require that tenants seek your approval on if they can have a pet. However, you may wish to bypass this for certain pets that you don’t think will cause problems or trigger complaints. Goldfish are a good example.
4. Specify the Types of Pets that Are Allowed
Yes, your agreement should specify the type of pet, but it should also narrow down to the weight and breed of a pet. This can make a significant impact on the outcome of accepting pets into your rental unit.
5. Require Tenants to Have Proper Pet Documentation
Require tenants to ensure their pets wear the proper identification tags and include proof of current vaccinations.
Registered and certified Service Animals—animals that assist a tenant with their emotional or special medical needs—will have proper, up-to-date documentation. Service Animals are legally permitted in any rental unit, regardless of a landlord’s pet policy. You can check their documentation as part of your pet screening process.
To learn more about the HUD’s guidelines on Service Animals, you can click here.
North County Property Group Pet Guarantee
Are you a property owner looking to maximize your rental income? If you are, North County Property Group can help. As already mentioned, allowing pets to your home can have a large impact on your investment.
As a property owner, we want you to feel comfortable allowing a pet into your home. That’s why we’ve created a foolproof and legal pet policy to ensure you and your home are protected against any liabilities.
We guarantee that homes under our property management will be protected against damages caused by any pet approved by us. Get in touch with us today to learn more about this service!
You can reach us by dialing 1-800-436-2235. Alternatively, you can also leave us a message or any question you may have on our contact page. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.