Pet-friendly Rentals?

Should Your Rental Property be Pet Friendly? Pros & Cons

 

 

Our furry friends are quite meaningful to us, and a rental property that allows people to bring their pets with them is widely appealing to many. After all, people are often inseparable from their dogs and cats.

PROS OF A PET-FRIENDLY RENTAL PROPERTY

There are quite a few pros of a pet-friendly property. Firstly, it is just more appealing to the general public.

1. MORE TENANTS WILL BE INTERESTED IN YOUR PROPERTY

You can usually fill vacant units faster because pet-friendly rentals appeal to a wider range of potential tenants.

2. YOU CAN CHARGE A HIGHER RATE

You can charge more money if you have a pet-friendly unit. This can be in the form of a pet deposit or pet rent if you wish.

3. PET OWNERS ARE GENERALLY RESPONSIBLE TENANTS

It takes a lot to tend to our furry friends, so pet owners are generally quite responsible. Most tenants will crate their dogs when they are away if required to do so or will invest in training. This could decrease property damage.

CONS OF A PET-FRIENDLY RENTAL PROPERTY

Honestly, there are plenty of cons when it comes to renting out a pet-friendly unit as well. Namely, the risk of property damage is generally much higher.

1. PETS MIGHT DAMAGE THE PROPERTY

If animals aren’t well-trained, they may damage the property.

This could include:

  • Scratch marks
  • Chewed wood
  • Bad odors
  • Chewed cables or wires
  • Destroyed landscaping

If you want to decrease the risk of property damage, you could outline the consequences for damages caused by pets in the lease agreement.

2. NOISE FROM PETS

Pets can be quite noisy, especially if we are talking about dogs. This can disrupt other tenants and neighbors. You can ask the tenants about their dog’s barking habits and even talk to prior landlords about this. You could also only allow cats to decrease this risk.

3. PET ALLERGIES

A lot of people are allergic to pets, and many long-haired cats and dogs shed. The owner is likely just fine with this, but their neighbors might not be. Additionally, allergens will often spread through the air conditioning ducts and affect common areas. For this reason, you will likely want to have a building-wide pet policy in place.

4. PET-RELATED INJURIES

Pets can often lead to various injuries for tenants. For this reason, you may also want to require renters insurance, including a pet policy.

HOW TO SCREEN YOUR TENANTS

You will likely want to screen your tenants and their furry friends if you have pet-friendly rentals.

You can do this by:

  • Creating an¬†Avail¬†account
  • Requesting a rental application and screening reports
  • Requesting training documents, vaccination status, and images
  • Approving or denying applications

Approving or denying applications will likely limit noise complaints. If you are going to allow dogs, you might want to opt for smaller breeds only or other specific restrictions. You could also limit the number of pets each tenant can have.

You may want to ask tenants the following questions when screening them:

  • How many pets do you own?
  • What is the pet’s breed and size?
  • How old is the pet?
  • How long have you owned the pet?
  • Are you solely responsible for the pet?
  • Has your pet ever acted out of aggression towards another person or pet?
  • Is your pet trained?
  • Does your pet get along with people, other animals, and children?

These are important questions to ask before renting out your unit to a tenant and their pet. If they only own one or two small pets, that is likely ideal. If the pet is aggressive or untrained, you could potentially deny their application so that you know they don’t cause very much trouble. On the other hand, a trained, fairly quiet pet could be a great addition to the community.

In short, having pet-friendly apartments certainly has its pros and cons: On one hand, you will likely get more renters and happy pet owners. On the other hand, you could have to deal with more noise complaints and grumpy neighbors. In any case, if you do decide to opt for a pet-friendly apartment, you will likely want to screen your tenants and have a solid pet policy in place.