Everyone wants something different in their future home, but tenants share a few things in common when they own pets. They want welcoming communities that don’t close their doors to animals so they can find a long-term place to settle down.
These are the pros and cons of pet-friendly policies for landlords to consider before allowing pets into rental units. Learn what you’re getting into before deciding if this is your next best business move.
1. You’ll Appeal to More Renters
Owning a pet isn’t for everyone, but most people will adopt a furry friend at least once. Recent research found that 67% of American homes include some kind of pet, including animals like fish and reptiles.
Excluding pets closes the door on those 84.9 million potential renters. You’re more likely to find your next renter if you have a broader pool of applicants.
2. You May Have More Noise Complaints
Some animals will make noise no matter how well their owners train them. Dogs bark at people they see through windows, and cats fall while climbing furniture or curtains. Prepare to deal with more possible noise complaints if animals that don’t occupy terrariums live in your units.
3. You’ll Increase Your ROI
Landlords can charge an extra monthly fee for pet owners to cover the cost of damage, providing pet waste bags, or a dog park. It’s additional income that increases your return on investment, but the fee doesn’t apply to all pet owners.
Anyone who requires a service animal may not have to pay an additional fee. If they provide documentation for qualifying disabilities, you’ll likely have to waive your no-pet policy or fees because it hinders the applicant’s right to a safe and welcoming home environment.
In many cases, this won’t be something for landlords to worry about. Just make sure you understand the scope of pet policies in your region in order to keep compliant.
4. You Could Repair Unit Damage
Before welcoming pets onto your rental property, train maintenance team members to identify common signs of unit damage they may come across during routine repairs.
Stained carpets, scratch marks on the walls, or chewed baseboards will come out of the renter’s pet security deposit. Renters may not report these kinds of damage because they hope to get the full deposit back when they move out.
5. You’ll Gain Responsible Tenants
Pet owners are likely more responsible than tenants who don’t own pets. Good pet owners will always think about cleaning up after their pet and preventing bathroom accidents.
Of course, the interview process will be essential for determining whether that’s the case for a potential tenant.
However, if your tenant seems to be a good caretaker, that may be a good sign. An increased sense of personal responsibility protects your property because they’ll remain aware of how their actions affect their rental unit. Any landlord will benefit from accepting responsible tenants over those who don’t care about maintaining their living space.
6. You Might Have Tenant Quarrels
There’s no way for pet owners to guarantee their animals will never cause problems. Dogs could slip off their leashes while on a walk and run up to children, scaring them and upsetting their parents. If a reptile escapes its enclosure and wanders down the hall of your condo building, the renter’s neighbors might find an unwelcome surprise at their front door.
Tenants may argue with each other over accidental pet occurrences. While it doesn’t mean the pet owner is necessarily at fault for doing something willfully neglectful, it does mean your staff should prepare to handle arguments should they arise.
7. You’ll Renew More Leases
Depending on your property’s location, your pet policy may help renew more leases than before. Pet owners will stay where they find a place to live if there are limited rental communities nearby that also allow pets. Incentivize them to stay with dog parks and pet perks to guarantee lease renewals with happy pet owners.
8. You Could Fight Odors
When tenants move out, you’ll likely have to replace the carpeting even if it’s in good condition. Pets create odors whether they have bathroom accidents or not. Lingering odors in carpet fibers turn away new renters. It’s a necessary cost to continue doing business, but it may not be something you can handle with a tight budget.
Reimagine Your Pet-Friendly Policies
There are many pros and cons of pet-friendly policies for landlords, so consider each carefully before making a final decision. Pet owners could become your next significant applicant pool if it’s the right move for your rental business.
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