One of the toughest questions is that should I allow my tenants to have animals? Being a landlord is an excellent way to make extra money. However, there are many decisions that a landlord must make, and one of those choices is whether to allow animals at your property. Sure, dogs and cats can cause thousands of dollars in damages, but many well-behaved pets are like an addition to the family. Since only 55 percent of landlords allow animals, it may be time to put them on the lease, as offering pet-friendly units can give you an edge over your competition.
Should I Allow My Tenants to Have Animals: Animal Damage
Certain types of pets, like cats, dogs, and birds, can destroy a home. They can urinate on the carpets, chew up linoleum and trim, and leave an abode with a noticeable odor. Noise is often a complaint with these pets, too.
However, not all animals are so destructive. Small animals can actually be ideal pets for apartments since they don’t take up much space and stay inside their cage or tank. For example, leopard geckos, a popular pet reptile, only need a 3’ long cage, and will get sick if they spend too much time outside of their cage. Betta fish are a popular pet fish that can be housed in just 5 gallons of water, so you don’t have to worry about water damage if it accidentally falls over.
Many landlords who ban pets find that their tenants sneak them in anyway. Instead, encourage a more open dialogue with your tenants. Instead of banning, why not charge a monthly deposit or an additional charge on the monthly payment to offset the potential damage? Plus, you might be pleasantly surprised to know good tenants will care for their pets as well as they do their children. References are key. Talk to previous landlords and make sure the renter not only paid their rent but also that their pet didn’t leave behind any damages.
Should I Allow My Tenants to Have Animals: Focus On The Rental Agreement
You can broaden your pool of potential renters by simply allowing pets. When you permit animals to be brought to the home, you must be very clear in your contract or rental agreement. The rules will protect you should you ever need to collect money for pet-related damages. Before allowing pets, make sure to prepare a rental agreement that outlines pet regulations ahead of time.
Potential for Higher Retention and Lower Vacancy
In many areas, the rental markets are competitive. If you allow residents to have pets, then you can decrease your vacancy loss. When you have pet-friendly rentals, this can increase your tenant pool. Also, by charging a deposit and monthly fee, you can make more money from the property. Since most renters consider their animals as part of the family, they wouldn’t dream of moving to a place that doesn’t allow them. Did you know that 67 percent of all households in America have a pet? If you don’t allow pet owners, then you could be losing out on rent.
There are risks to having pets in a rental property. However, if you clearly put stipulations in the contract and make the tenant stick to those guidelines, in most cases, things end fine. Get references, and make sure your tenant takes care of their pets, and all will be well.
If you need help getting good tenants for your property, take advantage of our tenant placement services!
Steelbridge Realty LLC is a Licensed Real Estate Brokerage that utilizes cutting-edge marketing techniques and data-driven Real Estate solutions in today’s ever-changing environment. Our group of professionals have decades of experience and have navigated through many business cycles. Our diverse background gives us the tools to guide people towards successful decisions.