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Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental? The Pros and Cons

Everyone loves their pet. They are part of the family and most, if not everyone, would rather find a new apartment or house than give their pet away.

So, in the interest of reaching as many potential residents as possible, you may want to adopt a pet-friendly policy. However, pets do tend to increase cleaning and turnover costs as you prepare your properties for the next resident.

With these issues and more, how do you decide whether or not to adopt a pet-friendly policy? Here is some information to guide you to your decision.

The Pros

As stated above, listing your property as pet-friendly increases the pool of potential residents. With more potential residents, you can hopefully keep your property occupied for longer periods. Not only do you reach more potential residents but you also stand out from other properties, which increases your comparative competitive edge. You can usually charge a slightly higher premium for the property when you are pet-friendly, and you obviously would require a higher security deposit.

With that competitive advantage, you save money on advertisements, turn-around costs, and other expenses securing new residents.

Additionally, people with pets tend to stay longer at properties. You always want residents who are long-term to be a steady source of income.

In short, being a pet-friendly property has many advantages.

The Cons

However, leasing a pet-friendly property also increases your costs. For example, you will need to pay higher homeowners’ insurance because pets can cause injuries and damage the property.

Furthermore, pets will undoubtedly damage the property, be it a cat scratching the carpet or a dog messing itself in residence. The deposit typically covers this type of damage, but not always. Also, consider that some pets are noisy and can disturb your other residents.

Finally, some residents are uncomfortable living near animals. Many people are afraid of dogs or sensitive to cat dander, which can pose a problem to securing residents in your other units.

Adopting a Policy

Keep in mind that, even after a review of all the benefits and cons, it sometimes comes down to the character of your property. Some properties are naturally better suited for animals.

For example, if you are leasing a one-bedroom apartment or tiny studio that may not be an ideal situation for a dog. Dogs need space to run around and stretch their legs. However, a single bedroom apartment is more than sufficient for a fish or cat.

Also, consider a two-bedroom apartment. It is still likely too small for a medium or large dog, but it can probably accommodate smaller dogs. Conversely, a house with a backyard is far more accommodating to a large dog.

Mostly, you don’t need to adopt one-size fits all policy. Depending on your goals with the property, you can accommodate some pets over others. The flexibility allows you to reach more residents while still keeping out the most destructive pets.

Adapting Your Property to Accommodate Pets

If you do decide to be pet-friendly, there are a few things you can do to minimize the potential damage. For example, you could remove carpet and replace with tiles or linoleum which is far more durable. It is also much easier to clean than carpet, which is good for you and the resident.

Outdoor areas should be fenced off so that owners don’t need to worry if their pet runs outside.

If you install doggy-doors, you can increase the lease price. This also allows the pet to freely enter and exit, so you avoid scratching and paw marks on doors when they indicate they need to go outside.

Include pet-friendly clauses which apportion liability and responsibilities between you and the resident. Make clear that they need to pick up after them, their security deposit will go toward repairing damage caused by their pet, etc.

Questions to ask a property management company

It is possible to adopt a pet-friendly policy, even in apartment complexes. However, you may want the assistance of a property management company in San Diego. Pets dramatically increase the management costs and time spent on properties.

If you're not ready to handle the issues that this can raise with others in the neighborhood as well as your resident (particularly where the deposit is involved), consider consulting a property management company such as PropertyADVANTAGE. You can adopt a pet-friendly policy, and you can do it without increasing your stress and workload.

Topics: property management

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