Most landlords would prefer their tenants to have no pets. It makes sense, pets can be smelly. Although I have a few spoodles and a groodle and a few other dogs and their fur smells like a woolly jumper. I love burying my head into their tummies for a big sniff. When I think about it I might not be the best person to ask because I have 6 dogs, 6 cats, 7 goats, a few horse, 32 chickens and about 17 birds. True story.
I’ve had landlords say “No I don’t like dogs” or “Cats. I hate cats”. But it’s not really about their personal thoughts they need to look at this as investment as who is the best tenant and does that best tenant have a pet or not.
Should you allow a tenant with pets to rent your investment property?
Before you decide whether or not you should allow tenants with pets in your investment property, you should prepare a detailed pet policy in the first place. Considering certain demerits of allowing pets in your investment property for the tenants, the pet policy can safeguard you against all possible risks. At the same time, it is also important to note that there are certain positive points of allowing pets with the tenants in your investment property at the same time. In this post, we will help you unravel both the pros as well as cons of allowing a tenant with pets for your investment property.
Benefits of a Pet-friendly Rental Property
As we constantly keep hearing about the potential problems caused by pets to the landlords, you might not be aware of the common benefits that you might incur by allowing tenants with pets in your property. Here are some top reasons why you should allow tenants with pets in your property:
- Increased Pool of Prospective Tenants: As per a recent report, study reveals that around 50 percent of renters out there are known to own a pet. Therefore, when you would make the property pet-friendly for the tenants, you will get more prospective requests from the potential tenants to choose from.
- More Earning Potential: As per the reports from Practical Apartment Management, around 65 percent of the pet owners are known to earn over $50,000 per year. As a landlord, you can consider running a credit check for helping to determine if the given money would go towards paying the rent.
- Longer Tenancy: The tenants who are pet owners tend to stay for a longer period at a particular property. This is because it becomes difficult for them to come across other pet-friendly accommodation options quite easily.
- Responsible Tenants: Most of the pet owners are known to be responsible for their pets. When someone is capable of taking care of their pets in a responsible manner, it implies that the individual would handle other aspects of life responsibly as well. Therefore, with such responsible tenants, you can be assured that your property is in good hands.
- Possibility of Increased Rent: As a landlord, you can inspect the other areas in your neighborhood. If there is the absence of multiple pet-friendly accommodation options in the area, it is obvious that the tenants will have fewer options when it comes to finding a pet-friendly property. As such, you can look forward to charging slightly higher rents in comparison to other areas – especially when you are allowing tenants with pets. This is because of the overall increased demand for such unique properties.
- Content Tenants: Animals are known to help in reducing stress. Therefore, when you have a pet around in your property, it can make you feel happy while delivering contentment to the tenants as well.
Demerits of a Pet-friendly Property
As a landlord, you might be more familiar with the reasons why you should not allow tenants to have pets in the property. Some of the common problems that you can face while having pets in your investment property are:
- Damage to the Apartment: Animals are known to cause potential damage to the entire property. They might scratch the floors, damage the carpet area, or even cause significant damage to the walls & furniture in the property. This is one of the major reasons why most landlords refrain from keeping pets or tenants with pets in the given property.
- Disturbing Neighbors: The four-legged pets roaming around the property, birds squeaking, or continuous barking of the dogs – all of these make up for significant disturbance in the property. This might disturb the landlord and even the neighbors in the region.
- Increased Liability: With pets in the property, there is a potential risk that animals might bite the other people in the property or even the neighbors. With the fear of such cases in the property, most landlords avoid allowing tenants having pets in their properties.
- Loss of Other Potential Tenants: There might be other tenants who might be allergic to cats or dogs or other pets. Therefore, with tenants living with pets in your property, there are chances that you might lose on other tenants.
- Pet Odors: It is quite common to observe a specific odor in the property with pets in the house or apartment.
The danger for landlords is the damage pets can do, so let’s look at that.
Gardens & lawns
The wrong dog will dig up lawns, rip out plants and even dig through fences. Really active dogs will even wear lawn out by running around a certain course over and over. Their wee can kill grass, they can poo under the verandah too. So yes the wrong dog is a bad idea for certain gardens, Sure the tenant has to return the property in the same state they where given it but it’s better to not have to have that issue in the first place.
If a cat or dog wees on carpet. Nothing. I mean nothing will get that smell out. There is stuff that will mask the mess. However, nope that carpet will now stink for the rest of its life. So keep that in mind, a tenant with a pet that wees will be hard to convince they need to invest in new carpet. Of course landlord insurance may cover that but not all insurance so ensure you are with Terri Sheer for someone who covers it.
Dirt on walls. Dogs walk against walls. Over time, they will leave a mark on the walls that this the same height as them. But also dogs have a particular smell. Dogs inside will eventually make the carpets smell. The carpet would need to be professionally cleaned.
Scratches at the back of doors. I see this all the time. Nice dog. Place sells great. However, only when the owner are out. In such a case, the dog scratches at the back of the door to get out. Often these doors can’t repaired, so a new door is needed.
Holes in fly screens is a common issue with cats. Luckily an easy fix. Fly screens just need to be replaced.
So these are the main concerns. But should you allow a tenant with pets to rent your investment property?
Pets on Applicant
We like to advertise all our properties like this. Too often a landlord has said no pets. We have had the perfect applicant apply. However, they have a really small dog who is incredibly well-behaved with it’s own references. They have been the best tenants ever. In fact we have one right now. The tenant has two indoor cats and she keeps the property like a display home.
No Brainer pets
Fish and budgies are pets too. Fish are certainly no concern. The only small concern about a budgie is the seed may or may not attract mice. Even snakes are very non intrusive. It is only as long as they don’t have babies that escape in the ducted air. Babies should also not start breeding in the roof with plans to take over the neighbourhood.
Check the Insurance Coverage & Liability for Animals
Do you decide to go forward with the option of a pet-friendly property for the tenants? Then, you would like to check on the insurance policy as a landlord. This will help you in finding out the specific type of coverage you will have. You can also ask the insurance company in case there is any exclusion or limitation to the given coverage. For instance, if there is a list of dog breeds that can be considered as “dangerous breeds.”
Insurance against pets
I mentioned early certain companies lie Terri Sheer will insure you again pet damage. So at the very lease ensure you are with an insurer that will cover you.
So my advice is to advertise as Pets on application and see who applies. There are chances that a great tenant applies with no pets. Moreover, it is great you’ve dodge a bullet. However, if you get a great applicant that has a pet, I encourage you to look at their total situation. You should consider them, you may be glad you did.