Navigating Pet Policies in Rental Properties: What Seal Beach, CA, Landlords Need to Know

Navigating Pet Policies in Rental Properties: What Seal Beach, CA, Landlords Need to Know

Fur, pet urine, and dog smell - these ingredients are a recipe for disaster for your Seal Beach, CA, rental unit, but you're still not sure you should ban pets from your rental home altogether. Smart thinking.

Research shows that nearly 90% of renters own pets. That means most renters are seeking pet-friendly rental homes. Allowing pets in your rental home will increase your chances of securing renters, but animals can damage your home if not cared for.

Knowing how to handle pets in a rental property can be tricky for landlords. Let's explore how to navigate pet policies.

Refusing Pets in a Rental Property

Landlords are legally allowed to refuse pets for multiple reasons. You may refuse a pet if you're worried about damaging your property. Other legitimate reasons for refusing pets include concerns about the following:

  • Safety
  • Other tenants' allergies
  • Noise complaints

You must comply with fair housing rules when renting to tenants with pets. You can't refuse to prohibit pets due to a pet owner's protected characteristics. These include:

  • Their disability
  • Their religion
  • Their race

Ensure your pet requirements are clear in your lease and align with your state's laws. An attorney can help ensure your pet policy is compliant while protecting your best interests as a landlord.

Benefits of Refusing Pets

A significant benefit of turning down pets is that they can cause costly damage to your property. These include odors, stains, and scratches. Pets may also spark noise complaints from other tenants.

What if your tenants' pets injure others or damage their properties? You might be held responsible, meaning you must cover the injury or damage costs. If you allow tenants with pets, insurance can help protect your real estate business.

Benefits of Accepting Pets

A significant benefit of accepting pets is that this will expand your potential tenant pool since many animal lovers struggle to locate pet-friendly rental homes. A pet owner might also embrace paying higher rent amounts or pet deposits to keep their pets, increasing their revenue.

Another benefit of welcoming pets is that pet owners are usually more settled, leading to longer tenancy. This means a lower vacancy rate, resulting in more rental income. Many pet owners are responsible tenants, treating their landlords' rental properties with care and respect.

Service Animals

Remember that a service animal (a dog trained to assist someone with a disability) isn't considered a pet. This means it receives protection under the ADA.

You can't charge a person pet fees or rent if they have a service animal. The ADA also prohibits restricting the animal's size, species, or breed. ADA protections don't cover an emotional support animal (an animal that a mental health professional prescribes someone to give them companionship), so you can charge extra fees for one.

How We Can Help Landlords

How do you deal with pets in a rental property? Allowing pets in your rental property can increase the demand for your home and lead to longer tenancy. Banning pets may save your rental house from damage and prevent noise complaints.

PMI Patron is a leading provider of property management services in Seal Beach, CA. We can help you decide on the most effective pet policy for your property and handle tasks like tenant screening and maintenance. Schedule a free consultation today!