Pets are everywhere. According to a 2019-2020 National Pets Survey, a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association(APPA), 67% of US households own a pet. That’s around 85 million families.
It is evident that locations are becoming more pet-friendly. For instance, some cafes and hotels have signs that welcome furry friends and new policies are made to be inclusive to pets.
As a property owner, it is important that you stay alert to trends so that you can maximize income-generating opportunities. If large businesses are catering to pet owners’ needs, then having an open pet policy may be profitable. However, this involves definite cautions, of course.
Here are the pros of being a pet-friendly rental.
More tenant applications.
As pet ownership is increasing, you are likely to acquire a wider range of tenants who are interested. This means filling those vacant units!
Opportunity to charge higher rates, pet fee or pet deposit.
Pet-friendly rentals are often more profitable, because extra fees can be included. Tenants often understand that maintenance is involved in owning a pet and are willing to pay a reasonable extra fee.
Higher chances of lease renewal.
Not all properties have an open pet policy. Due to this, pet owners are more likely to stay in the same property for longer to avoid the stress of looking for another accommodating property.
Pet owners are perceived as more responsible occupants.
Taking care of a pet requires a lot of responsibility. For instance, the pet owner must bring the pet to the vet for checkups, ensure they got all the vaccinations, regularly feed them and much more. Since pet owners are responsible, you can expect that they will treat your property with care.
Tenants will be happier.
Pets act as emotional support for many people. They enhance the warm feeling of home. By allowing your tenants to have a pet, their daily stress will be reduced.
Here are the cons of being a pet-friendly rental.
Potential for property damage.
Having an animal stay in your property increases the chances for destruction. Pets can chew on cloths, furnishings and wires. They can also scratch doors and dig up flowerbeds in the garden.
May cause injury to other tenants.
Dog bites can happen, particularly if a dog is untrained. You always need to be careful when allowing tenants with dogs to rent your property, and ensure that the dog is well-mannered and has a good disposition.
Possibility of being a noise nuisance.
Pets can create a lot of noise such as barking dogs, squawking birds and hyperactive cats. This can create potential conflict with other tenants and/or neighbors.
Air ducts and carpets will be filled with allergens.
Pets that shed can spread allergens through the air ducts and carpet. This also requires additional maintenance.
Ways to Balance the Risks
Screen the tenants
Calling previous landlords to inquire about the tenant’s pet’s behavior is a good option. You can also ask specific questions to determine whether the tenant and their pet is a good fit for your property.
Collect information from applicants with pets
Here are some of the things that you should be asking your tenant about their pet or pets:
- Number of pets owned
- Pet’s breed and size
- Length of time of pet ownership
- Pet’s training
- Pet’s vaccines
- Pet’s ability to get along with people and other animals
Check the pet owner’s sense of responsibility
A good pet owner is a responsible pet owner. If you want to make sure the tenant and their pet is a good fit, you should look for the following:
- The owner has a proper leash, treats and toys for his pet
- The love and care of the owner towards the pet is evident
- The pet is disciplined and well trained
- The owner knows how to enforce rules on his pet
Check the behavior of the pet before lease signing
- Observe if the pet is calm even when strangers approach.
- Don’t assume that certain breeds are more dangerous than others. Their behavior stems from the way they have been disciplined.
Clarify Your Pet Policy in The Lease
Specify these details in your pet clause:
- A non-refundable pet rent or pet deposit or pet fee must be paid
- A renter must have insurance for potential damages caused by a pet
- Create a personalized pet addendum with conditions such as pet’s waste disposal, pet maintenance conditions, etc.
Whether you have property in Buda, Kyle, Manor, or elsewhere in Texas, welcoming pets in your property will have both positive and negative effects. That said, if you make accommodations in your property and plan well before being a pet-friendly rental space, it will alleviate some of the risks.