Deciding if you want to allow pets in your rental impacts how much profit you make, whether your property will get damaged, and how many tenants will be interested in your property. More and more people are getting pets, and yet not many landlords will allow pets. Some consider it a liability, and in some cases, this may be true. However, there are also many benefits to offering a pet-friendly rental experience. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if you should allow pets in your rental property.
Allowing Pets Attracts More Residents
Because more people are getting pets, they’re looking for a place to live that will let them take their furry friends with them. Many pet-friendly properties offer amenities such as dog wash stations, enclosed dog parks, and even doggy daycare. You don’t have to go to such great lengths at your property, however. Simply allowing pets will draw a larger pool of applicants.
Many animal lovers are willing to pay more to live somewhere that will allow them to move in with their pets. It’s true that many times pets cause extra wear and tear to your property, but you can account for that by charging an extra “pet deposit” or a slight premium each month.
Insurance Policies May Place Restrictions
Before allowing pets, you should check with your insurance company. Some policies will specifically prohibit animals, or animals over a certain size, from living on the property. Some charge more for certain breeds of pets as well. Whatever the case, you’ll want to be sure to adjust your insurance policy accordingly.
Consider Meeting Pets Before They Move In
Just as you screen residents before they move in, you might want to consider screening their pets as well. Start by asking the prospective resident about their pet. A few questions you could ask include: How long have you had your pet? Where did you get them? Has the pet ever done damage to a person or property? Who will care for the pet? Do they have proper vaccinations and licenses? This will give you a general idea of the pet’s history. Then, ask to meet the pet. You’ll generally be able to get a sense of the animal’s demeanor within the first few minutes, which will help determine if they’ll be a good fit for your property.
Make Your Pet Policy Clear in Your Lease
Whether you decide to allow pets or not, your lease agreement should make your restrictions and expectations clear. Specify what pets are allowed as well as the type and number of pets that are allowed. If certain breeds are banned, be specific about which ones. You might also want to include restrictions on the size or weight of pets that are allowed as well as if visitors are allowed to bring their pets and under what conditions. Next, you should define the responsibilities of the pet owner. For example, include whether pets should remain on a leash while on the premises or if you want to ban them from specific areas such as the pool or clubhouse. Finally, you should outline a procedure in the event that an animal becomes a nuisance. Include language in the lease that states a warning and/or penalty system in the case that a pet becomes a problem to others.