Did you know that 62% of Americans own a pet? More than half of this number consider their pet to be a family member.
Many pet owners have a hard time finding a rental property. This is because some properties have a strict no-pet policy. It is a major dilemma for tenants that value their pets and landlords looking for quality renters.
There are both pros and cons to allowing pets in a rental property. Read on to learn how to handle tenants with pets. Explore topics such as operating a pet-friendly rental property and how a property management company can help.
What Are the Pros of a Pet-Friendly Property?
There are many advantages to deciding to support animals and their owners. For starters, you can tap into a niche market of renters.
A good rule of business is to avoid policies that shrink your customer base. Allowing pets expands your pool of potential tenants. Many pet owners are high-quality renters who make monthly payments on time and care for their property.
A pet owner can fill your vacancy and restore a steady revenue stream for your property. You cannot run a successful property without tenants and pet owners can fill that need.
What Are the Disadvantages?
There are notable disadvantages to operating a pet-friendly property. Perhaps the most obvious is that pets can damage your home.
It is not uncommon for pets to urinate on or tear up a carpet. They may damage the sheetrock or chew on the corner of a cabinet.
Property damage increases your costs and reduces your profit margin. If the rental agreement does not provide protection for damage caused by pets, the landlord is going to bear those costs. There could be thousands of dollars of damage that needs repair if the flooring is destroyed.
Pets also present a liability issue. What if a tenant's dog gets out and bites a neighbor or other tenant? The victim of that assault could file a civil lawsuit against the property owner.
How to Add Protection to a Pet-Friendly Property?
There are ways to cover your basis at a pet-friendly property. The rental agreement is your legal vehicle to establish that protection.
For example, here you can make it clear that the tenant is responsible for any property damage caused by pets. You can also establish a schedule for routine property inspections. This allows the landlord to walk the premises and make sure the pet is living responsibly.
You can also put clauses in the rental agreement regarding pet care. An example of this would be a requirement to make sure the pet is always secure in the home and on a leash when outside.
If the pet is unleashed, it could result in penalties leading up to eviction. Some landlords require their tenants to carry insurance that would provide financial protection in the event of a bite or property damage.
Your Guide to Allowing Pets in a Rental Property
Clearly, there are both pros and cons to having a pet-friendly rental property. If something goes wrong, the landlord may incur additional costs and legal vulnerability.
At the same time, accepting tenants with pets may increase your revenue stream. If you want to learn more about how a property management company handles pets in a rental property, contact us today to speak with a professional.