Deciding to have a pet-friendly policy in your rental home requires careful consideration. You need to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks it presents.
Evaluate if welcoming pets is manageable for you. If you’re open to the idea, you need to add a pet policy to the leasing agreement. Renting to pet owners can be very advantageous to landlords, but it also comes with its own challenges. In this article we will weigh all the pros and cons of opening your rental property to fuzzy companions.
What are the Advantages of Being a Pet-friendly Rental?
Presented with additional responsibilities, landlords may not be inclined to welcome pets in their rental property. However, this can be a loss of opportunity with several benefits open to rentals allowing tenants with pets.
Below are top reasons for landlords to reconsider permitting tenants with pets into their rentals:
Increase in income
Tenants with pets often spend their disposable income on their pets. They’re willing to pay additional fees such as a pet deposit, pet fee, or pet rent as long as they’re allowed to move in with a pet. Landlords should view this as an upside. They can earn more income by allowing pet owners to occupy their rental homes.
Check that the fees you charge align with the fees set under your State laws.
It’s a fact that pets can induce happiness and reduce stress. Some people even find solace in their pets as companion animals and treat them as family. Having pets gives your renters a feeling of home in your property. This leads to a happier disposition and inclination to stay for the long haul.
Widen your pool of prospects
As the trend of pet ownership rises, you can expect more tenants searching for pet-friendly rentals. You don’t want to miss out on serving this expanding market. Being welcoming of pets increases the number of potential tenants you can have. Having more applicants means landing more qualified renters.
Attracting long-term tenants
Given that some rentals aren’t open to tenants with pets, this group is far more likely to resist moving around a lot. Pet owners tend to stay in a rental for longer periods of time. They’re also attuned to the need for familiar locations for their pets. Responsible long term renters are a landlord’s dream!
This is a definite advantage for property owners since longer-staying tenants translate to more stable and consistent rental income. Having a constant rental income leads to a higher ROI.
Gain responsible renters
Taking care of pets requires a deep sense of responsibility. You must commit to being available to take them on vet visits, feeding them regularly, and maintaining a fitness schedule for them. Having this type of tenant lends more trust that they’ll treat your rental well.
Being used to the duties in pet ownership, the possibility is high that they’ll equally perform their duty of being a good tenant.
Set a higher rental price
Allowing pets in your rentals means higher exposure to risks. Landlords are therefore justified in charging extra fees and higher rent. This is an acceptable practice, and most pet owners agree to paying the additional rent charges as long as their pets are welcome to live with them in the rental place.
Check with your local and state rental laws to ensure that you’re complying with the charges you’re collecting.
What are the Risks Faced by Landlords with Pet-Friendly Rentals?
As with everything else, there are risks involved in allowing tenants with pets on your rental property. However, there are solutions you can apply to manage the situation.
Here are some scenarios you might confront as a landlord with a pet-friendly rental unit:
Greater possibility of property damage
With pets, it can be hard to control their behavior. Some can be a ball of energy and will chew on the furnishing and carpets. They might also leave scratch marks on the floors and doors. If you are the owner of the property it is your responsibility to have insurance, or possibly pay for the damage out of pocket if the security deposit doesn’t cover it.
It is difficult to tell if a pet will cause damage to the property. However, you should have an open conversation with the tenant about property damage and how you can prevent it together.
High likelihood of disturbance around the neighborhood
Sometimes, pets can create a lot of noise with their constant barking, squawking, or howling. This can lead to receiving plenty of complaints from neighbors.
If you have an apartment complex with no soundproof walls, it’s also easy for the other tenants to hear the animals’ screeching and running steps.
Potential for injuries
Animals can be reactive when they feel threatened in their territory or triggered by other pets. This can lead to inflicting injury on people or other pets. As a landlord, it’s worth focusing on this scenario and planning preventive steps to minimize this situation from occurring.
Dealing with pet odors
Odors can be left behind by pets. Some pet owners may need to be reminded to pick up after their pets, especially in common areas of the rental property. This can lead to complaints from other renters.
Adhering to the Fair Housing Laws
Even if you’re not entertaining the idea of welcoming pets on your property, you can’t turn down people with disabilities bringing assistance animals into your rental home. They’re protected by the Fair Housing Laws since these animals aren’t strictly categorized as pets. Even if you set a no-pet rule in your leasing contract, you’re still required to accept tenants with service dogs.
Checking your Insurance Policy
It’s essential to review your insurance coverage when allowing tenants with pets to occupy your rental. Look at your liability coverage to ensure that you’re protected from high expenses. It’s advisable to be ready in advance and know the limits of your insurance so that when pet injuries happen, you’re prepared.
Look over the fine print of your contract with insurance companies. They may have set a firm rule over pet breeds and this can mean paying the hefty medical costs resulting from pet injuries on your own.
Including a Pet Addendum in the Lease
Having a clear and specific pet policy outlined in your lease will serve you. If it’s not included in your lease, tenants can contest it. Make sure to discuss the consequences when tenants violate the agreement contained in the signed leasing contract.
Being open to tenants with pets has pros and cons, but the drawbacks can be handled well as long as you’re prepared. Denying pet owners as renters can mean reducing your optimal income and this can be an opportunity loss for you.
If you’re searching for a trusted property manager to guide you in welcoming pets to your property or providing excellent property management services, contact Schambs Property Management today!