Having an extra property to rent is a blessing not many people are lucky to have. However, contrary to popular belief, being a landlord is not an easy job. It requires a lot of decision-making that can have some severe consequences if not carefully thought through. Deciding who to allow into a home you've worked hard to earn is a gamble and an emotional task. Most often, the issue arises when pets are in question. So, if you are wondering whether you should allow pets in your rental property, you are in the right place. This article will cover the pros and cons of a pet-welcome policy which will hopefully help you make the right decision.
A pet-welcome policy means more tenants to choose from
Nowadays, more and more people are choosing to share their lives and homes with animals. According to the Humane Society, around 70% of renters have pets. Therefore, if you decide to allow pets, you will significantly increase the number of potential tenants interested in renting out your property. This will enable you to find occupants who are ideal according to your standards. From a business point of view, it's clear that allowing pets is a smart move.
With a pet-welcome policy, you will avoid unpleasant surprises as people often try to sneak in their pets without the landlord's knowledge and thus create unnecessary issues. Additionally, with people competing around your property, you will get the opportunity to gain more profit.
Pet-owners tend to move less
Moving with pets is a challenging task for many reasons. For starters, the majority of landlords still don't allow pets in their properties. Therefore, finding an ideal home isn't easy for pet owners. Even if that wasn't an issue, relocating with an animal can be highly stressful, and most people don't want their pets to go through that too often. Because of this, pet owners tend to stay longer in the properties they rent. This means you won't have to deal with screening new tenants every few months.
Additionally, you won't lose your time and money in between occupants. If you happen to stumble upon suitable and responsible tenants who stick around for a while, the profit will accumulate without you having to do much. Your only worry will be how to retain them. What more could a landlord want?
People who have pets are more responsible
It's undeniable that owning a pet requires a hefty dose of responsibility. While many people think living with an animal is all about pets and cuddles, this couldn't be further from the truth. Besides feeding and taking the dog out, there are vaccinations and vet visits to stay on top of, regular cleaning and grooming, socializing, etc. If a person can take good care of their pet, it's safe to say they will do the same when it comes to their living space. Naturally, exceptions to the rule exist but are much less likely to come across. Therefore, remember that you will attract more mature, loyal, and responsible tenants if you allow pets in your rental property.
You can charge higher rent
A pet-friendly policy means you will get the opportunity to earn more money. By requiring a pet deposit, pet fees, and a higher rent, you will ensure coverage for any potential damage. No matter how disciplined the animal and its humans are, accidents still happen, and some wear and tear is inevitable. Most tenants are more than happy to pay a bit extra if that means their furry family members are welcome. Additionally, since owning a pet can get a bit costly, pet owners tend to earn more money which means more peace of mind for you.
Cons of allowing pets in your rental property
It would be unfair to say that allowing pets in your property doesn't come with any drawbacks. Depending on the type of animal, its size, and age, the cons may vary. However, there are a few common ones to consider.
- Potential damage - This shouldn't be an issue with well-raised and disciplined animals, but you can never be 100% certain. As mentioned above, accidents happen. Luckily, most things are fixable and replaceable. By charging an appropriate pet deposit, you won't have to worry about covering the damage.
- Noise - Most people understand that apartment living comes with some rules, but this is harder to explain to animals. Dogs bark, cats play, birds sing - almost all pets make some noise. However, if the animal is well cared for and other residents don't mind an occasional woof, this shouldn't be a big issue.
- Smells and hair - Depending on the breed of dog or cat, more or less odor and hair might be present. If the tenants are diligent in cleaning, this should be brought to a minimum, but some smells might still linger. To take care of this, you can charge a cleaning fee that will cover the thorough sanitation of the property once vacated.
Screening tenants with pets
Screening potential tenants is a crucial part of being a landlord. The questions you ask and the documents you require can save you from a negative outcome. Screening tenants and their pets is a bit more complicated but still nothing to fret about. Besides asking fundamental questions about the animal's breed, age, personality, etc., remember to arrange a meeting as well. Nothing can beat meeting the pet face to face and seeing how they behave with your own eyes.
If this task seems like something you don't want to deal with, remember you can always hire a property management company. At Property Management Inc., pet owners are required to supply a photo, vaccination records, microchip information, and references for a PAW rating so you can rest assured your future occupants will be reliable and trustworthy people.
If you are debating whether to allow pets in your rental property that is currently your home, you will also need to deal with the moving process. To make it a bit easier on yourself, you might want to consider leaving as many tasks as possible to the professionals. While a property manager can help you deal with everything business-related, reliable residential movers can have your household transferred in no time. Using this kind of help, you will have more time and energy to choose tenants that won't give you headaches in the future.
Should you allow pets in your rental property? While the pros certainly outnumber the cons, this is still a decision you should make based on what you are comfortable with. A pet-friendly property requires more precaution, but it also brings more satisfaction in the long run. Therefore, if you feel you are ready to welcome animals and their humans, know that you most likely won't regret your decision!