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Should I Allow Pets at my Rental Property?

Whether you should allow tenants to have pets is one of the most commonly asked questions property owners pose to property management companies. The decision is ultimately yours, and there are pros and cons for either allowing or not allowing pets in your rental property.

Many property owners are concerned that by allowing pets, their property will sustain more damage and they will have to incur costly repairs when the tenant moves out. While this may be true is some cases, it is certainly not the norm. Many property owners can actually make more money by allowing pets, and the damage caused is usually no more than what is covered by the security or pet deposit.

Reasons Property Owners Should Allow Pets in their Rental Properties

Property Management Idaho | RooftopIf your rental property is in a competitive rental market, allowing pets will help your property rent faster, as you will have a larger pool of applicants. In fact, a recent study by Apartments.com found that 75 percent of renters have pets. If it is taking a long time to rent your property and you don’t want to lower the rent, allowing pets may be the answer.

Not only will your property rent faster and spend less time vacant, but you may also be able to charge a higher rent. Because there are so many renters with pets and a limited amount of rentals that allow them, pet owners will often pay a premium to be able to keep their pets. You can also charge a separate pet deposit if you are concerned about damage.

Reasons Property Owners Should Not Allow Pets in their Rental Properties

Allowing pets does invite a host of new problems for property owners. Untrained pets can cause damage to carpeting, doors and walls. Dogs bark and can damage your yard. Smells from a cat box or accidents throughout the home can linger and be difficult to remove.

After a renter moves out, your property will require extensive cleaning to remove any allergens or odors from the pets. Pets also attract pests like fleas that can infest your property, and consideration must be taken to ensure these pests do not stick around for your next tenant. Depending on the damage caused, your property may have a longer turnaround time than a property that does not allow pets.

Protecting Yourself from Damage Caused by Pets

Crafting a detailed pet policy will provide a level of protection for the property owner if they choose to allow pets. This is a place where you can clearly outline your rules and expectations and state any penalties for violation of the policy. Rooftop Real Estate can help with this, if you decide to allow pets at your property.

Include in the pet policy how many pets are allowed, what type is allowed, and if there are any exclusions. Outline any costs associated with allowing the pets on your property such as a pet deposit or required pet rent. Outline the tenants’ responsibilities regarding their pets, and clearly and directly outline the penalties for violating the pet policy. Finally, state the tenant’s financial responsibility for damage caused by their pets.

During your tenant screening process be sure to check references, and you may also want to limit the number or size of the pets allowed. Requiring a pet deposit reduces some of your risk and holds the tenant accountable for any damage their pet causes.

Pets and your Property: Decisions…Decisions…

Ultimately, the decision to allow pets is entirely up to the property owner. There is greater risk involved, but allowing pets can also be profitable. Take the time to learn your rental market, and if you do choose to allow pets, take cues from other property owners in the area when determining a pet deposit and rent. Rooftop Real Estate works to understand the market in Idaho and will be able to help you decide what is best for your property.