Before placing renters in your property, you will have to decide on a pet policy. There are negatives to pets, such as the ability to cause damage to your property, but there are also positives to pets, including responsible pet owners being great tenants. Learn seven pros and five cons of renting to tenants with pets.
Being a Pet-Friendly Property
We often hear of the problems animals cause for rental properties. However, there are some very good reasons to allow pets to reside with your tenants.
- Larger Prospective Tenant Pool– Firepaw.org states that almost 50% of renters own a pet.
Pet Owners Make More Money- According to Practical Apartment Management, by Edward N Kelly, 65% of pet owners earn over $50,000 a year.
- Longer Tenancy– Pet owners typically stay in a rental longer because it can be harder for them to find other pet friendly options.
- Responsible Pet Owners Can Be Responsible Tenants– If a tenant is responsible to take care of an animal, there is a likely chance they will treat your property with the same respect.
- Charge Higher Rent– If there are not a lot of pet friendly properties, tenants will have fewer options.There is an opportunity to charge slightly higher rents if you allow pets due to the increased demand.
- Happier Tenants– Animals can help reduce stress. Having a pet around can make your property feel more like a home for the tenant.
- Dissuade Tenants from sneaking in Pets– If you allow pets, it may decrease the chances of tenants trying to sneak in pets that you have not approved.
Cons of a Pet-Friendly Property
Five of the most common problems pets cause are:
- Damage to Your Property– Animals can scratch the floors, chew up carpets and have accidents on the carpets or wood floors.
- Disturbing Neighbors– Dogs barking, birds squawking, and four-legged animals running around the yard can disturb other tenants or ownersnear the property.
- Liability– There is a risk of the animal biting other tenants or neighbors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that dogs bite 4.7 million people a year, with 800,000 of those needing medical attention.
- Loss of Other Tenants– Future tenants may be allergic to dogs or cats.
- Pet Odors– Accidents inside the unit or in the yard areas will cause odor, as will animals that are not properly groomed or cleaned.
Follow the Fair Housing Laws
There is a Fair Housing Law regarding pets. Even if you have a no pet policy, you cannot violate the housing rights for the disabled who require an animal for their well-being. You can ask for a note from their physician verifying their need for an assistance animal.
This law has now expanded to allow animals for groups such as the clinically depressed and those with post-traumatic stress because the animals can provide emotional support.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
You will want to check your insurance policy to find out what type of coverage you have if you decide to have a pet friendly property. Make sure you know the amount of liability coverage your policy includes. Ask your insurance company if there are any limitations or exclusions to this coverage, such as if they have a list of dog breeds they consider to be “dangerous breeds,” which will not be covered under the policy. WaterMarke Management Group does not accept the following breeds: Doberman, German Shepherd, Chow Chow, Rottweiler and Pit Bull.
Defining a Pet Policy in Your Lease
WaterMarke Management Group includes a pet addendum in your lease and requires every tenant to sign it. This policy clearly statesthe property’s pet policy and the expectations of the pet owner. We always use attorney written leases and addendums.
Make it clear that by signing the lease, the tenant agrees to these terms and if they violate these terms, it will be considered a breach of contract.