Why Your Rental Should Allow Pets

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Why Your Rental Should Allow Pets

Over half of renters own pets and this number has only grown since COVID presented the perfect opportunity for WFH tenants to add a new four-legged family member. With more and more requests for pet-friendly apartments, many properties are updating their pet policies.

Should you consider allowing pets at your rental property? Navigating your pet-policy isn’t always easy, but it is important and can provide a plethora of benefits for both landlords and tenants alike.

 

All are welcome

As a landlord, offering pet-friendly living expands your reach in the pool of potential tenants. Most pet-owners consider their pets a part of their family and likely won’t even consider your facility if you cannot also accept their ‘fur-baby’.

Gaining quality tenants is just step one, pet-friendly policies can increase resident retention as well. Residents may stay in your apartment longer due to lack of other pet-friendly options, to reduce the stress of moving on pets, or because pet-owning tenants tend to view their apartments as more of a home. These residents are also just happier; animals help reduce stress, thus increasing resident satisfaction.

Adjusting your policies to be more pet-friendly can also improve your reputation. Lack of pet-friendly housing across the country has repeatedly led to landlords being blamed for animal abandonment. According to The Humane Society, housing problems are some of the main reasons that pets are given up to shelters.

Contrary to fears many landlords have about welcoming pets aboard, pet-owners tend to be incredibly responsible tenants. Taking care of pets requires a lot of time and attention, which can translate into how they take care of their rental home.

 

So why not?

Of course there can be downsides to permitting pets. They may damage your property: scratching, chewing, and, my gosh- the smell. Animals could harm or disturb other tenants. Many owners don’t realize how much their dogs bark when they’re not home. Common areas, especially outdoors, can pile up with pet waste if owners aren’t vigilant. All of these factors may push non-pet owners to move.

Although some owners allow their pets to cause damage, disturb neighbors, and generally give pet-owners a bad name, The Humane Society reminds us that these tenants are usually the exception. Most pet-owners deeply care about their pets and want the best for them, including a nice home.

 

How to make it work

After reading the risks you’re probably second guessing your decision to allow pets, but being proactive in creating your pet-policy can reduce most negative outcomes. Clearly outlining your pet-policy, rules, and fees can make a seamless transition for your management team.

First, define what you mean by ‘pet-friendly’. This phrase can take on several different definitions. Outline what types of pets and how many are allowed, as well as any restrictions on breed, age, or weight (although, we find these restrictions outdated).

Provide pet-related fees upfront. Renters want to live with their best friends and are willing to pay additional fees to do so. Pet fees serve a greater value than just additional profits; collecting a refundable pet security deposit can significantly help prevent damage, since renters have money on the line.

Establishing clear rules in your lease agreement sets expectations on pet behavior, especially regarding excessive noise and waste disposal. Your pet-policy can also protect you against most pet-related risks, including addressing liabilities by requiring renters insurance.

 

Establishing your pet-policy is an important process that can have significant positive impact for your entire property. With the benefits, risks, and potential solutions in hand, you’re ready to put your comprehensive pet-policy in place.

Tenants will be pawsitively thrilled with the option to adopt a new roommate and you’ll create residents that are as loyal to your property as their furry friends are to them.

 

Still apprehensive? Ask us about our experiences managing pet-friendly apartments!