Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Property?
For many people, owning a cat or dog is not just having a pet. Instead, people view their animals as actual members of their family, often thinking of them as children. As people continue to become more mobile and move from one city to another for career opportunities or other reasons, being able to bring their pet with them is a source of great comfort. However, it can be difficult to find rental properties that accept pets, creating a problem for potential tenants who will under no circumstances, give up their constant companion. If you are a landlord who currently does not allow pets in your rentals, you may be making a big mistake on many fronts, particularly when it comes to your profits. If you’ve been asking yourself if it is time to let tenants have a pet living with them, here are some reasons why we think it’s a great idea.
Increasing Your Pool of Renters
Once you decide to allow tenants to own a pet, we find you can immediately increase your pool of potential renters. According to the latest statistics, more than 70 percent of people looking to rent a property own pets. Thus, if you have a no-pet policy in place at your rental properties, you’ll only have access to 30 percent of people who may want to rent one of your properties.
Beating the Rental Property Shortage In many parts of the nation, there is a shortage of available and affordable rental properties for people who are looking for a home. If this sounds familiar, we have found that by making your rentals pet-friendly, you’ll suddenly become the go-to property for many people who have been searching in vain for a place where they and their four-legged family member can call home. Once this occurs, your new tenants will start telling others about their great new home, likely resulting in you obtaining even more new tenants. Pet Owners are Long-Term Tenants
If there is one thing we do not like to see at our properties, it is the proverbial revolving door of tenants coming and going year after year. Not only does this make it difficult to keep vacancy rates to a minimum, but it also starts to put the property in a bad light as a place in which nobody wants to live. If you have been experiencing this problem and want to make a change for the better, allow your tenants to own a pet. In numerous studies, it has been found that pet owners tend to be long-term tenants at rentals, which makes your job as a landlord much easier. By having lower vacancy rates, you’ll ultimately have fewer expenses such as carpet cleaning and other tasks associated with a new tenant moving in. Pet Owners are Happy People
If you are like us, we want our jobs to be as easy as possible each day when it comes to our rental properties. One of the best ways we have been able to do this is by having pet-friendly properties since in most cases people who own a pet are pretty happy and easy to get along with on a daily basis. As we all know, a happy tenant makes for a happy landlord, and a happy landlord is able to sleep well at night while increasing their bank account. Pet Owners are More Responsible
In many cases, pet owners at rental properties turn out to be tenants who are very responsible and give their landlords few if any reasons for concern. In our experiences, we have found tenants who owned a pet were almost always on time with their rent, had few if any complaints from neighbors regarding noise or other issues, and stayed around far longer than those who did not own a pet. Improve Your Reputation within the Community
Once you decide to become pet-friendly with your rental properties, we have found it is a great way to improve your reputation within the community, especially for multi-unit buildings. For example, by being pet-friendly, you can choose to work with local animal shelters to allow tenants to not only adopt needy animals but also offer much-needed foster homes to dogs and cats until they find a forever home. By doing so, you are not only helping the animals and the local rescue organizations but also enhancing your presence and reputation within the community. Having seen this done at numerous properties over the years, we highly recommend this strategy.
While some landlords complain it is too difficult to know if a person’s pet will behave itself, we have found it is very easy to have a strong screening process in place to ensure all goes well. For starters, we require pet details from each potential renter, allowing us to know how the pet is taken care of by its owner. Along with this, we also contact the person’s previous landlord to find out how they did with their pet at the previous location. By doing so, we can find out if the pet damaged the property, disturbed neighbors, or had other issues.
What About Service or Comfort Animals?
Service Animal Home or Apartment If you as a landlord have wondered about tenants who have service animals or comfort animals, we have had many of the same questions over the years. In situations where we have had a tenant move in with one of these special animals, there have been certain rules we had to keep in mind. For example, we cannot deny them the ability to move in with their animal, nor can we charge additional deposits, since the animal is technically not considered a pet. However, the animal still must behave itself, not be allowed to destroy the property, and the owner must clean up after the animal. By having an in-depth screening process in place to make sure the animal does indeed qualify as a service or comfort animal, we find you have few if any problems with this matter.
Charging Additional Deposits
When allowing tenants to have pets we think it is wise to obtain an additional deposit before moving them in. At Authority we often charge an additional $300.00 per pet to help limit the property owners risk. Most if not all new tenants are expecting an additional deposit.
Pet Rent the new craze in rental properties. Many landlords or property owners are moving towards collecting pet rent. Pet rent would be a separate rent due each month because the tenant has a pet. The extra Pet rent can help to cover the additional wear and tear a property may receive because there is an animal in the home. We have seen a wide range of pet rent anywhere from $25 per month to $75.00 per month.
Reducing Potential Conflicts
Even at rental properties where there is a strict no-pet policy in place, conflicts inevitably arise when a tenant decides to adopt a pet or start caring for a local stray. In these situations, we have found it is better for everyone to have pet-friendly properties. By doing so, we reduce the risk of losing an otherwise great tenant simply because they want a pet and also eliminate the problem of tenants bringing in an unauthorized pet and then playing hide-and-seek with it and their landlord.
While there will naturally be some issues with having tenants owning a pet, we feel the benefits far outweigh any problems. Therefore, we believe letting Fido or Fluffy live in your properties will be a win-win situation for everyone.