More than half of US households own a pet. People decide to own a pet because it provides them with companionship.
The majority of pet owners consider their pets as members of the family. As a result, they don’t want to move homes if they can’t bring their pet.
Before you rent out your property, you’ll need to decide on the pet policy. Some landlords don’t accept tenants who own pets, as allowing pets means more risks to the property.
Below are a few disadvantages of allowing tenants with pets:
1. Property Damage
Pets can chew carpets and through doors. They can also scratch floors and damage the garden.
Some pets are indeed more well-behaved than others. Still, your property is at greater risk for damage when your tenant owns a pet.
2. Disturbance to Neighbors
Regardless of how well-trained a pet is, their behavior can be unpredictable. For example, they can make loud noises that can disturb neighbors’ sleep. They can also unexpectedly bite neighbors without reason.
3. Allergens Left in Air Ducts and Carpets
These allergens can stick to carpets and air ducts long after your tenant has moved out. When the new tenant moves in, they might experience an allergic reaction. As a result, they will not want to stay in your property.
Even though there are several disadvantages to allowing pets, there are still a lot of things to be gained.
Below are some of the benefits of renting to tenants with pets:
1. A Wider Tenant Pool
If you make your property pet-friendly, you’ll have a higher number of potential tenants. A broader audience increases your chances of finding high-quality tenants. According to one survey, 75% of tenants own a pet.
Moreover, 60% of these tenants have a difficult time looking for a pet-friendly property. Even though there are risks involved, you can choose to be flexible in your pet policy. When you advertise your pet-friendly property, these pet-owners will be the first to respond to the property listing.
2. Increased Lease Renewals
The vacancy rate is now decreasing nationwide, which makes it a highly competitive market for tenants looking to move. Because pet-friendly properties are scarce, a tenant who owns a pet will stay longer. Some pet-owners, especially those who own a dog, want to avoid stressing their pet by moving often.
Having a property with high tenant turnover and vacancy will negatively affect your rental revenue. However, if you offer a pet-friendly property, you will experience lower tenant vacancies. Plus, your tenants will be encouraged to renew their lease every year.
3. Earning More Money
You can consider collecting a monthly pet fee when you accept tenants with pets. This fee is different from a pet deposit, which is used for repairs when the pet damages the property.
These fees are non-refundable and additions to your rental income. For example, a $20 monthly pet fee will provide you with $240 additional income each year.
You can require your tenant to provide a monthly pet fee in addition to the pet deposit. It’s important, however, to check your local laws if you’re allowed to collect a pet deposit and pet fee.
4. Protection to Your Property
When you allow tenants with pets, the pet policy protects your property by requiring a pet deposit. The pet policy also provides coverage through the renter’s insurance, and clearly states the rules and regulations regarding pet behavior.
However, if you don’t allow pets, there is a risk that your tenant will sneak in an unauthorized pet. The unauthorized pet may cause damage to your property.
Additionally, it can cause potential harm to people inside the property. When the tenant moves out without bringing the unauthorized pet, the landlord must take responsibility for it.
Therefore, if you allow pets in your property under specific conditions, you’ll decrease the instances of having unauthorized pets. If it’s allowed in your state, you can require your tenants to give a pet deposit. The pet deposit will cover any pet-related damage.
When you collect a significant amount of pet deposit (ex. $200), tenants will be careful to prevent pet damage. They’ll try their best in this regard so that they can receive the pet deposit when they move out.
If you only collect a non-refundable pet fee, your tenants will not get any monetary incentive. Because of this, they will be less motivated to prevent their pets from causing damage.
5. Improvement of the Landlord’s Reputation
Properties that are pet-friendly gain support of the community because its pet policies save animals’ lives. In one CNN article, it stated that many pet owners abandon their pets because they can’t find pet-friendly properties.
There are valid reasons for landlords to decide not to allow pets. Though, landlords who provide pet-friendly properties have a positive effect on pet owners and their pets.
6. Better Quality Tenants
Pet Owners Have Higher Incomes
People who own pets generally have a high income, but the reason for this is unclear. There have been several studies that show pet owners have an above-average salary and better financial health.
This is great news for landlords. If a tenant has a good financial record, they will be less likely to make late payments. The tenant will also not suddenly move-out without paying rent.
Pet Owners Are Responsible
Overall, pet owners who own pets are responsible tenants. They choose to take care of a pet, while they take care of themselves as well. Aside from being responsible, they are more mature, which means they will take better care of your property.
Pet Owners Tend to be Happier
Pets help reduce stress, so tenants who own pets tend to be happier. Tenants who own pets tend to be more relaxed and will treat your property as their home. If your tenants are happy, you will also be a happy landlord.
Making your property pet-friendly involves some risks, but there are also many benefits to be gained. As a landlord, you need to decide if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Before you rent out your property, you need to decide on the pet policy, one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a landlord.