Should you accept pets in your rental property or not? This is a question all landlords face. Most pet owners consider their pet a member of their family and will not even consider living in an apartment that requires them to give up their beloved animal. When you think about how many potential tenants seek a rental property that allows pets, it may be worth your time to welcome four-legged guests. On the other hand, you may be concerned about the damage their pet can make to your rental property. Although there isn't always a clear winner, each option has advantages and disadvantages. So, we will help you make your choice by going over some of the pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental.
Pros Of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property
When discussing this topic, most people only consider the cons without weighing all the pros of allowing pets in your rental property. There are certainly a lot of benefits to establishing a pet-friendly property. Let's look at some of them:
Larger Tenant Pool
According to data, nearly half of all renters have at least one pet. Moreover, if your rental home is promoted to a younger demographic, there is a greater chance they have a pet. Therefore, limiting your homes to non-pet owners means you'll have a smaller pool of individuals to pick from. This means your property will be on the market for much longer - or will fail to rent. Letting pets in your rental helps you to have a bigger tenant pool from which to choose. The larger the pool, the more likely it is to find a suitable tenant.
The amount you can charge for rent is determined by market value. One way you can increase your rental property value is by remodeling. Another easier option is by allowing pets which, in turn, drives up the price of your rental. This is especially true when very few houses in your community are pet-friendly. At the absolute least, this may provide you an advantage over the competition if a selection is made between your home and a similar one that does not allow dogs.
Lower Tenant Turnover
As a landlord, you realize the value of renting to long-term renters instead of dealing with frequent tenant turnovers. Long-term tenancy essentially means that you can keep more of your income because tenant turnovers tend to be costly. Pet owners tend to stay longer because it is difficult to find a pet-friendly rental. Pets help to alleviate stress, which means your tenants are more relaxed and content. Allowing pets reduces the likelihood of tenants bringing in pets that you have not approved. Pets, such as dogs, can also provide additional security on your property.
Taking care of a pet, such as a dog, needs a significant amount of time and attention. Pet owners are likely to devote the same amount of time and effort to caring for your property, and they are likely to regard it as a home.
An Important Note on Assistance Animals
Even if a lease states "no pets" or bans pets, as a landlord, you must make reasonable accommodations to enable pets that function as assistance animals. That also includes animals that provide emotional support. By law, emotional support animals are not pets. Furthermore, the property code prohibits any discrimination against people with disabilities. That makes it illegal to evict someone over owning a service or assistance animal.
Cons Of Allowing Pets in Your Rental
While there are certainly some benefits, renting to pet owners also comes with some risks. Here are some of the disadvantages of letting pets in your rentals:
One of the biggest cons of allowing pets in your rental is undoubtedly property damage. It's what all landlords are afraid of. Pets, for example, can scratch, rip, and destroy walls and furniture. Furthermore, they can chew cables and wires as well as destroy the landscape. Pets that are not properly groomed or cleaned might bring mites and fleas into your property.
If litter boxes are not cleaned regularly, or pet accidents occur in the hallway, foul scents can accumulate in shared spaces. Animals that haven't been adequately groomed or showered can contribute to other unpleasant aromas inside the unit.
Barking dogs, squawking birds, and four-legged animals roaming around the apartment might annoy other tenants as well as outside neighbors.
You could assume this is not a huge concern if neither you nor your present tenants are allergic to pets. That's incorrect. Allergens have a habit of getting into carpets and air ducts and staying there for an extended period. This means that if your future potential tenants are allergic to pets, they would most likely experience a classic allergic reaction within your property. That may drive them to leave your rental or never choose it in the first place.
Screen Tenant with Pets
Screening tenants is one of the most important steps to being a successful landlord. In general, tenant screening includes investigating a renter's income, criminal history, and rental history. If you decide to accept pets, make sure to examine the tenant's references. The purpose is to determine whether or not their pet has ever had any problems. Request that the tenant allows you to visit their pet. The way their pet behaves might reveal a lot about their personality.
Long Distance Moving
Once you've chosen the right tenants, with or without the pets, and signed the lease, it's time for them to move in. There are many ways you can help them in this part of the process, especially if they're moving from another state or city. Recommend hiring long-distance movers and suggest someone reliable. The right movers can make the transition feel seamless and get the job done with minimal obstacles.
If you have a pet or used to have one, you will understand why most people regard their four-legged pals as family members and treat them as such. Can you imagine ditching someone you care about to move into a particular apartment? You probably won't be able to. That's why you must consider the complete list of pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental. However, don't let the negatives scare you; you can mostly avoid them by adequately screening your tenants and including a pet clause in the lease agreement.
Meta: Should you let your tenants have pets? To help you decide, check out our complete list of pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental.
Photo used: https://unsplash.com/photos/sxNt9g77PE0