As pet ownership is on steady rise, you need to think about how this affects your rental business. Are you open to allowing pets to live in your unit? There are many things to consider before making the decision.
This article will offer you perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of being a pet-welcoming rental unit.
Pros of a Pet-Friendly Rental
Gaining Prospective Tenants
Pet owners look for pet-friendly rentals. They don’t want to have to leave their pets behind and split from lifelong companions. Becoming a pet-friendly rental unit widens your pool of prospective tenants. By increasing the amount of people who are applying to your unit, you are more likely to find a tenant who fits your standards.
Financially Responsible Tenants
People who own pets need to have the financial resources to care for animals. Accepting renters who are pet owners opens the possibility that they have extra disposable financial income. You can conclude that this type of renter will be able to handle their payments each month. However, you still must carefully screen potential tenants.
Opportunities to Earn More
Having pet owners as tenants leads to additional income. You can collect additional fees like pet rent or deposit. You can also create extra revenue by catering to the needs of pet owners.
Offering to walk or feed animals for an extra price is a great way to not only earn extra money, but to get to know the pets in your units.
Longer Tenant Retention
Since there are fewer rentals open to pet owners, they tend to stick around longer. Aside from the hassle of moving, they want to avoid going through the motions of familiarizing their pets with a new environment. Thus, pet owners are more likely to renew and turn into long-term tenants than other renters.
More Responsible Tenants
Pet owners know that taking care of pets requires a lot of responsibility. Taking their pets to vet visits for vaccine shots, feeding them on time, and taking them for their daily exercise, owners are constantly dividing their time in order to properly care for pets. This ability to organize their life signifies that pet owners are more responsible and will likely take better care of your rental.
Increases in Rent
Since finding a place that accepts pets is difficult, those that accept them generally charge higher rent in order to cover probable damages. This is very common and higher rent for pet friendly units is not a shock to potential tenants.
Pets can bring a sense of comfort and reduce stresses of the tenants. In fact, people with disabilities generally own pets for their physical and mental health.
However it is important to be mindful that tenants with disabilities are protected under the Fair Housing Act. They have the right to the same housing and opportunities as anyone else. You are not allowed to charge pet fees for service animals.
Cons of a Pet-Friendly Rental
Higher Risk of Property Damage
If pets are undisciplined and unsupervised, they can be a source of property damage. They may ruin the carpets with urine and the furniture with frequent chewing. Floors and doors can also get destroyed with scratch marks. Pets often leave a smell if they have accidents that aren’t properly cleaned. If left unrepaired, they significantly decrease the value of your unit.
Greater Risk of Injuries
Occasionally, animals do attack if untrained, or provoked. The worst scenario would be them biting the tenants or neighbors in the vicinity. This can drive up your medical costs, and open up the possibility of lawsuits.
Complaints From Neighbors
Noise coming from pets can be aggravating especially at night. Sometimes they even disturb the neighbors residing nearby.
Again, this can lead to further conflicts not only between landlords and tenants, but between the tenants as well.
If pets have not been trained, they can have accidents around the home causing problems for other tenants especially in common areas. Additionally, this incur additional cleaning fees since you need to remove odors when preparing the unit for new renters.
Possibility of Tenant Loss
Some tenants can’t stand pets while others may be allergic to them. Therefore, it’s also worth considering that some of the tenants may move to other rentals that don’t welcome pets in order to avoid them.
Be Mindful of the Fair Housing Laws
A landlord must be aware of the Fair Housing Law to avoid breaking it. When screening tenants, if you don’t want people to have pets you cannot discriminate against those who need them. It’s the right of people with disabilities to own a service animal. As a landlord, even if you are not a pet-friendly rental, you still have to allow people with disabilities to bring in an assistance animal.
Create a Detailed Pet Policy in your Lease
In order to have the most control over what kind of animals are allowed in the rental and under what conditions, it is a good idea to make a pet addendum and attach it to your lease. This must also bear the signature of your renter to acknowledge agreement.
The pet policy sets conditions if you allow pets. It can dictate the type of breeds, animals, vaccines and training necessary before they’re allowed to bring in their pets home.
Being a pet-friendly rental is a smart financial idea, but there is still a lot to consider. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages and don’t forget to ensure that you’re compliant with the laws.
If you have any more questions about opening up your rental to pets, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Embark PM. We can help you find ways to litigate the associated risks while maximizing the advantages of being a pet-welcoming property.