- June 18, 2020
The decision on whether to allow pets into your property can be challenging, especially if you are new to real estate. Having a pet friendly-rental property comes with both pros and cons you should consider before accepting the whole idea. While statistics lean towards having a pet-friendly rental, the risks are also worth knowing. A 2019 survey by the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends shows that at least 46% of tenants consider their pets family, and they would not consider giving up their pets. So, they actively search for a pet-friendly home. Others list it is a mandatory requirement for their next rental.
Demand for Pet-friendly Homes
As a landlord, here is an opportunity to fill the niche for a pet-friendly rental property and get access to a larger pool of potential tenants. So, if you still having doubts about allowing pets into your property, then you are in the right place. Our guide will prepare you to face the challenges posed by the four-legged animals in your rentals.
Benefits of Accommodating Tenants with Pets
Allowing pets into your rental property comes with many benefits. Here is what you get by establishing a pet-friendly property:
Access to a Larger Pool of Applicants
Allowing pets into your rental property will give you access to up to 68% of U.S. citizens that own pets. Rentals that appeal to millennials can access up to 76% of the younger market. You will appeal to a large pool of renters once you draft a pet- friendly policy.
Get Access to Increased Rental Income
Allowing pets into your property increases the market value of your houses. And so, you can charge pet deposits, non-refundable pet fees, or pet rent for each month. You will end up with extra income if you do find any pet damages at the end of the month.
Pet Owners Renew Leases More Often
Pet owners, especially dog owners, tend to stick around longer than those without pets. There are fewer pet-friendly properties, so renters with pets fill out renewal’s to avoid the stress of moving with their pets.
Pet owners are typically responsible because they are accustomed to spending more time and attention to looking after their pets. They consider the rental property as their home and dedicate care and energy when it comes to your rental property.
Allowing pets into your property is one marketing strategy of recreating the home atmosphere for your tenant. APPA Statistics show that pets tend to reduce stress, and so up to 67% of renter consider owning pets.
Decreased Chance of Unknown Pets
Landlords that allow pets on their property draft a proper lease agreement that requires tenants to be upfront about their pets, and hence, they reduce the risk of tenant sneaking unknown pets into the property.
Risks of Allowing Pets in Rentals
Allowing pets and pet owners in rentals does come with risks that can be minimized. Here are the dangers your tenant’s pet may pose:
Damage Your Rental Property
Tenants associate some pet behaviors such as urinating on carpets, chewing wood, and staining surfaces to pets such as cats and dogs.
Some Pets Disturb the Neighbors or Other Tenants
Noise such as excessive barking can be a concern if there are multiple units and several dogs and cats on the property.
Some Pets Leave Unwanted Odors
Pets require proper grooming and bathing. Occasional accidents along the hallways and animal hair or fur may call for extra hygiene to prevent unpleasant smells in your rental property.
Inconvenience Tenants with Allergies
Pets may pose a health risk to allergic tenants in multi-unit rentals.
Some Pets May Injure Tenants or Other Animals
Ensure your tenants have access to a renter’s insurance coverage for animal bites. Also, ensure your rental property insurance allows pets on rentals to reduce liability in case of on-property bites. You can consult your insurance company and Home Owners Association (HOA) about any special requirement for your insurance plan for tenants with pets. For example, some insurance companies and HOAs have restrictions that may vary for breeds of dogs, such as Pit bulls and German shepherds. However, disclaimers differ depending on the HOA or insurance company.
Tips on Making Your Property Pet Friendly
You can make your property desirable to pet owners by considering the following recommendation:
- Consider Installing a durable flooring made of Linoleum or vinyl
- Landscape your yard by designating a section for pet potty.
- Install a fence to prevent pets from wandering off the property.
How to Screen Tenants with Pets
You should screen both the pet and pet owner to assess if they are a good fit for your rental property. Proper screening requires that you meet the animal to confirm if its tenant or people-friendly. You can take the pet’s picture for future records. You know if a pet is well-behaved by asking tenant relevant questions about their pet.
Type of Pets Allowed
Your pet agreement should specify the type of pets allowed in your rental property. Most landlords permit commonly domesticated animals such as dogs, rabbits, and cats. Others also allow some types of small reptiles, birds, fish, gerbils, and guinea pigs, and hamsters. Always ban wild and some dog breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers that have a high propensity toward violence.
Essential Questions to Ask Tenants with Pets
You can assess if an applicant is responsible by asking questions such as:
- The number of pets they own and duration they have owned pets
- Their pet’s breed, age, and size
- Whether their pet is trained, vaccinated, and duly licensed
- If the pet ever acted aggressively toward animals or persons and who is responsible for their pet
- How of the pet is spayed or neutered in control of control fleas
In a nutshell: Remember to add a pet addendum to your lease if you’re considering renting to tenants with pets. It must contain essential sections such as your pet policy, tenant responsibilities, pet rent amount, pet deposit amount, and non-refundable pet fees. Tenants must sign a pet addendum as a commitment to abide by specified rules, regulations, and pet policies.
Visit our page and learn more about allowing pets in your rental property. It’s essential to plan by drafting a pet agreement that captures the rules and requirements of having pets in your rental lease.