Many landlords are not sure if they should allow tenants to have a pet. Some pets are wonderful and do not cause property damage, or are a nuisance to the other tenants. However, there are always horror stories related to pets, and they can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and annoy other tenants. With 68% of U.S. households having pets, it brings to light the importance of animals in society. Should you start allowing pets in your rental property? Would it provide you with a larger tenant pool to work with, or tenants that stay longer? Here are some things to know about pets and rental properties.
Pros of Allowing Pets in Rental Property
When you decide to start allowing pets in your rental property, you will see a larger number of people filling out rental applications. Not only will you have a larger tenant pool, you will also be able to charge people more money for having pets. Pets can come with a pet deposit, which you can keep if it is found the pet causes damage to the property. Some landlords set up pet deposits to be non-refundable as they often pay for expensive cleaning services to begin following the tenant moving out.
Take a look at how much extra you can make yearly by including a pet policy, and charging more for the pets. For some landlords, that extra amount of money can add up to thousands of dollars a year.
Not only do landlords find they can make more money by allowing pets, many landlords report the pet owners are generally more responsible tenants. Tenants with pets are often limited in their ability to find a nice place to live, so they tend to be more loyal and grateful to the landlords. These same tenants are usually the ones that will renew their lease at the hassle finding a pet-friendly place to live is challenging, and it often causes stress to the animal to move them often.
Cons of Allowing Pets in Rental Property
Pets can improve quality of life for many people, but they can also have the adverse effect on others. If you start allowing pets, some of the tenants may move because they specifically want to live in a pet-free area. If you have a condo association, you will need to check the pet policy before you tell tenants they can have pets.
The other downside to pets is the amount of pet damage they can cause. Dogs can easily scratch up the walls, chew on railings, urinate inside, and more. All animals can lead to odors inside the home, which can be challenging to remove even with the best cleaning agents and scrubbers.
Pets also can lead to noise and be a nuisance for a lot of tenants. Noise from a barking dog can annoy other tenants, and it could cause other tenants to ask to break their lease so they can move. Dealing with the pet owners and talking about the noise caused by their animal can also lead to issues as the pet owners can become agitated and defensive.
Similar to noise, pets cause another issue for tenants, allergies. Some people are allergic to pet dander and having pets on the premises can cause them to suffer from allergy attacks.
Pets do come with some liability risk as well. Dog bites are always a concern for landlords. Having insurance is one way to help protect yourself, but some tenants may not have liability insurance in the event of an animal biting another person.
Advice for Landlords
There are always pros and cons to pets so it all depends on what you’d like to do. Some of the things to consider include:
Place a size restriction on animals if you are concerned about people bringing larger dogs on the premises.
Restrict certain dogs per your insurance company requirements as there are some breeds that are considered “at risk.”
Place a restriction on how many pets a tenant is allowed to have so they do not bring on too many pets to the premises.
Working with a property management company is one of the best ways to ensure you have a solid pet policy in place. Keyrenter Property Management Atlanta, GA, is here to provide property owners with an effective rental property.