If you are renting out properties, it is important to decide if you want to make them pet friendly or if you would rather keep them as dog-free spaces. There are benefits to either choice, but it is important that you understand the situation fully before you make your decision and decide to make it one way or another. Creating a pet-friendly property takes some work, so it is good to figure out if it is right for you and your properties before making the decision.
Things Landlords Need to Know Before Choosing to Make Their Properties Dog Friendly: Dog Breed Limitations
For some landlords, it is preferable to only allow certain breeds of dogs rather than making it possible for any breed to live on your property. Depending on your space, you may want to limit animals based on size or energy level. There are many different breeds of dogs, some of which are better suited to apartment living than others. It is a good idea to do some research on breeds of dogs that do best in an apartment setting so you can make the best decision for your space. It is also entirely possible to allow any dogs on the property if that is a decision that you are comfortable with.
Common Property Damage
One of the most important things to be aware of is the possibility of property damage from the pets you allow on your property. There is always wear and tear when a tenant lives in your space, but an animal can increase the damage caused, so it is a good idea to be aware of that possibility before committing. Animals often scratch or bite surfaces, so it is a good idea to invest in surfaces that are resistant to that kind of damage. It is also important to determine what level of damage you will consider normal wear and tear and what will lead to additional costs for your tenants.
Things Landlords Need to Know Before Choosing to Make Their Properties Dog Friendly: More In-Depth Cleaning
Dogs can cause some major messes in a property, so it is important to note that more in-depth cleaning will be necessary if you allow pets on your property. Dog hair is one of the major problems that make cleaning up after a bet more complicated. Getting rid of pet hair can be challenging but with carpet cleaning and deep vacuuming you can get your property looking as good as before. It is also important that your pet owning tenants take care of any accidents that may have occurred early. The earlier these kinds of messes are taken care of, the quicker the process will go and the better condition your property will be in at the end.
Whether or not you have a pet friendly property, you may have service animals in your space. Because service animals are protected by the ADA, you cannot prevent a tenant with a service animal from living in your space. That said, there are particular requirements for an animal to be considered a service animal. These animals are specially trained to address a need of their owner, and they are not the same as therapy dogs that merely provide comfort. The good thing about service animals is that their extensive training means that they are generally well behaved and far less likely to cause damage or have an accident in your property.
Things Landlords Need to Know Before Choosing to Make Their Properties Dog Friendly: Pet Deposit and Pet Rent
If you decide to have a pet friendly space, it may be in your best interests to require a pet deposit or even monthly pet rent. When setting the deposit amount, it is a good idea to choose a fair amount that will cover your needs if damages do occur but won’t be so much that it will discourage renters. Try to aim for an amount that feels comfortable for you but that doesn’t exceed a few hundred dollars or so. This deposit will help to cover any pet related damages that may occur.
Amenities for Pets
If you run a rental property with many renters and a variety of pets, it can be a good idea to provide some pet amenities. Providing a station for pet waste bags and a trash can make it easier for your tenants to keep the area clean and encourage responsibility for pet waste. A small dog park can also give a space for animals to be off leash and make living with pets on your property a simpler and more fun prospect. Taking small steps like these to make your property more pet friendly can cause a small expense up front, but it can foster an environment of responsibility and community for your pet owning tenants.
Things Landlords Need to Know Before Choosing to Make Their Properties Dog Friendly: Flooring Options
If you know that you are going to have pets on your property, it is a good idea to invest in flooring options that are pet friendly. Hard floors are much easier to clean and protect from pet related damage and can be a great investment to keep your property looking great from tenant to tenant. Going for linoleum or hardwood options can help to protect your investment and make clean up easier for your tenants which helps ensure that your property will remain in good condition.
Writing out the contract for your tenants is always important, but when you add pets into the equation, it is even more essential. Do what you can to make your contract as clear as possible, especially when it comes to any regulations related to the keeping of pets. This will ensure that your tenants know what your expectations are and protect you from liability if a problem occurs or the rules are broken. The clearer you make your contract, the better informed your tenants will be and the better protected you and your property will be as well.
Deciding to make your properties pet friendly is a big decision that can come with significant benefits. Learning as much as you can about the process before making the decision will ensure that you make the best possible choice for your situation and your tenants.
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