People love their furry friends, with 70% of households owning a pet. As a landlord, pet ownership can become a tricky topic. While you might enjoy dogs, cats, and other types of pets, you might not want them living on your property.
Before you get started finding potential renters for your unit, you need to figure out if you're going to allow pets in a rental property. There are pros and cons to allowing your tenants to keep animals at your rental. Planning is key before searching for renters so you have a clear pet policy in place.
This guide will discuss everything you need to know about renting to tenants with pets. We'll also talk about what fees you should charge and how to screen potential tenants if you decide to be a pet-friendly rental.
The Benefits of Pets in a Rental
We too often hear horror stories of what happens when an irresponsible pet owner moves into a rental. Let's discuss the pros of allowing pets in a rental property.
Access More Renters
As we mentioned earlier, a lot of people own pets. You're missing out on a large pool of potential renters if you don't allow pets in your rental. You also run the risk of renting to someone who says they don't have a pet but tries to sneak one in.
Since it's challenging for pet owners to find rentals that allow pets, they're likely to stay in a unit that allows animals. Moving with a pet is also stressful for everyone involved, so they won't want to leave.
You can make more money by renting to tenants with pets. You can charge some of the following things:
- Pet rent
- Pet deposits
- Non-refundable fees
If there aren't any damages when the tenant moves out, you can keep the fees as additional income.
The Cons of Pets in a Rental
Everyone is more familiar with the reasons why you shouldn't let your renters have pets. It's important to be aware of the risks you might encounter if you allow pets.
Damage to Your Property
Cats and dogs can stain, scratch, and chew different areas in your rental. Aquariums can also leak, causing catastrophic water damage.
Disturbing Other People
Barking dogs can be a nuisance for everyone around. Nearby tenants and neighbors might also not want animals nearby for safety reasons.
Injuries to Others
The last thing you want is to get held liable for injuries your tenant's pets caused. Ensure that your renter has renters insurance that includes animal bites in the policy.
How to Find Good Tenants With Pets
The tenant screening process is key even if they don't have a pet. You'll want to screen their pet as well to ensure it's a good fit. Take the following steps before signing a lease agreement:
- Meet the animal
- Take its picture for your records
- Ask the tenant about the pet's personality
Figure Out if You Want Pets in a Rental Property
Deciding whether or not you want pets in a rental property is a personal choice. There are disadvantages and advantages of tenants with pets. Being thorough during your screening process will ensure you're selecting the right renter.
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