Owning a rental property is a large responsibility. Whether you manage the facility yourself or farm the work out to a property manager, there are still many factors to consider when it comes to prospective tenants. Though most tenants are required to pay a damage deposit and to supply references, sometimes these are not a guarantee that a tenant will treat your property with the respect that it deserves. In today’s rental climate, many tenants, whether individuals or families, are pet owners. While some rental properties welcome pets with open arms, it is certainly not a proposition that is without risk. If you are a property owner, should you allow pets in your rental property?
Things to Consider
As you are pondering the decision of whether or not to allow families with pets to rent your property, there are some important factors to consider. To ensure a smooth relationship with your tenant, it is important to put in place specific boundaries regarding what you will and will not allow. To do this, some thought must go into what types of pets you want to permit in your facility. Though most renters are pet parents to cats and dogs, some who apply may be owners of exotic pets or members of the rodent family such as hamsters, gerbils, or even mice. You must decide ahead of time what, if any, members of the animal family you will allow in your rental property. Once you have established this, it will be equally as important to set parameters as to what your expectations are regarding their care, housing, and clean up responsibilities.
Many landlords who permit pets in their rental properties require additional fees as a security deposit. Others insist up on a small monthly stipend which is added to the cost of rent and which is deemed a pet fee.
Whatever you decide regarding all of these things, be certain that all conditions are clearly expressed in your tenancy agreement. Failure to do so may leave you stuck holding the bag when it comes to damages incurred by renters with pets.
Reasons to Rent to Pet Owning Families
Whether or not you choose to rent your property to families with pets is a personal decision. However, with more and more people adding at least one pet to their home, it is wise to at least give serious consideration to including a pet policy to your rental agreement.
Here are some compelling reasons to consider allowing pets in your rental property:
Widen tenant options
With pet ownership on the rise, allowing pets in your rental property gives you a broader base of prospective tenants to choose from. By including that your property is pet-friendly in any advertising, you will automatically attract the eye of people seeking accommodations that include Fido and Frisky too.
Recent research shows that greater than 75 percent of all people seeking a long term rental situation own at least one pet. By choosing to be a pet-friendly property, you gain a competitive edge over other buildings with more restrictive pet policies.
Encourages long term rentals
Rental properties are hard to come by these days, and facilities which permit and even encourage pets are rare indeed. As the owner of a rental property, you are likely well aware that tenant turnover can be exceptionally high, and each time a client moves on, you can be stuck with a property that requires renovation and repair. While you diligently work to get your property shipshape for viewing by a new round of potential tenants, you are losing valuable income.
With pet friendly properties nearly as rare as finding a pink unicorn, tenants who are lucky enough to find one typically want to hang on as long as possible. This virtually guarantees long term renters for you, ensuring your income remains consistent, and the required maintenance on the property is greatly reduced on your end.
Provides extra income
If you choose to allow pets in your rental facility, it is a good idea to also include a small added cost which is considered rent for the “pet tenant.” A deposit taken as a precaution against any damages incurred by pets should be collected in addition to this amount.
Be sure to clearly state in your tenancy agreement the maximum number of pets allowed in your facility and what course of action will be taken for tenants who exceed this number.
Engenders good will in the pet community
Pet owners are a great group of people to have in your corner. Treat someone’s pet with kindness, and you will most likely receive a royal welcome from the pet owner’s family, friends, and pet connections which can extend from groomers to pet store associates to day care owners and even vets.
As an added step, consider implementing a specific strategy for pets in the event of an emergency.
Adds a layer of protection
Though perhaps not your primary intention, a property which is amenable to pets adds an additional layer of protection to the grounds. Dogs will often alert bark at the presence of a stranger, giving other tenants an added sense of security.
But though pets in house can serve as protection for your property, you must also take care that you carry sufficient insurance to recoup any cost incurred as a result of damage to your rental facility by tenant pets. It is also important to ensure that your lease agreement is exceedingly clear in terms of what is permitted, what is expected, and what repercussions will be incurred if the agreement is violated.
Always bear in mind that collecting a pet deposit is an important precautionary measure for you. While the deposit should not be an astronomical amount of money, it must be substantial enough that a renter would be highly motivated to prevent potential damage in order to receive their deposit back when it is time to move on. The average deposit for this purpose ranges from $200 to $500.
The truth is most property owners who choose to allow pets in their rental facilities will incur some damage to the grounds at some point in time. However, these same damages may just as easily be inflicted on the property by children who are not properly supervised or even by adults who simply are not as respectful of the facility as they ought to be. There are risks involved regardless of who you choose to lease your property to.
Your best course of action to protect your property is to screen all potential tenants exceptionally well. This can include veterinary references and even commendations from people involved in the pet’s training and well-being including trainers and groomers.
Considering making your rental property available to families with pets? With rental facilities for pet-loving families so challenging to find, you are sure to make a friend for life!