dogs | renters with pets

Is It Good To Accept Renters With Pets?

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. households own a pet. This number will only continue to rise in the coming years as pets have become a staple for millions of Americans. Based on these statistics, landlords are now asking whether it is good to accept renters with pets. Before you make a decision, here are important points to consider.


Should You Accept Renters with Pets?

As a property owner, it is up to your discretion whether you will allow renters with pets or not. However, becoming a pet-friendly rental property can lead to attractive benefits. You just need to decide whether these pros outweigh the cons that also come with allowing pets in rental properties.


Pros of Accepting Renters with Pets

1. A Larger Pool of Prospective Tenants

Pet owners will immediately disregard a rental property once they see that there are no pets allowed. If you allow pets in your property, you can attract a larger percentage of prospective tenants. And since you have more applications to choose from, you can choose the cream of the crop.


2. Higher Rental Rates for Pet Owners

rates | tenants with petsIf you are one of the few pet-friendly rental properties in an area, landlords can choose to charge premium rental rates for tenants with pets. Or, you can charge non-refundable pet fees on top of the base rental rate. It’s also standard to collect a pet security deposit in the event of property damage. Pet owners will agree to higher rental rates due to a lack of other options.


3. Longer Tenancy Rates

Since pet-friendly rental properties are limited, renters are likely to renew their lease once it expires. Pet owners also avoid moving from place to place because this can create a lot of stress for their furry companions. This is beneficial for landlords because they will enjoy longer tenancy rates on their property.


4. Higher Quality of Tenants

More often than not, pet owners are the ones who turn out to be quality tenants. Caring for a pet means being able to pay for their food, medicines, and other expenses; ensuring that they get enough exercise each day; and taking care of them for the rest of their life. As tenants, these pet owners are more likely to be loyal, pay rent on time, and avoid property damage.


5. Decrease Liabilities Due to Unknown Pets

Some tenants will choose to sneak their pets into a rental property. If their pet causes damage, injury, or accidents, the landlord will be ill-prepared to handle the resulting liabilities. If you allow pets outright, you will be able to purchase insurance coverage for your property, implement pet rules for the safety of other tenants, and other helpful measures. You’ll also avoid having to pay for costly legal bills.


Cons of Accepting Renters with Pets

Though the benefits of accepting renters with pets are very appealing, keep in mind that there are also some drawbacks to this decision. Here are the cons of having a pet-friendly rental property.


1. More Property Damage

Even if your tenants have the most responsible pets, they can still scratch the walls, chew wood furniture and cables, leave bad odors and stains on the carpet, and so on. Make sure to consider whether your profits from charging pet owners higher rental rates are enough to cover the costs of the property damage caused by their pets


2. Excessive Noise or Nuisance to Other Tenants

noise | tenants with petsAt night, dogs’ barking and birds’ squawking can create excessive noise for other tenants in the building. In addition, cats’ proclivity to roam around the property can also be considered a nuisance by some. While allowing renters with pets allows you to fill a gap in the market, it shouldn’t be to the detriment of your other tenants.


3. Additional Cleaning Expenses

Landlords must remove the pet stains and odors left by a previous tenant in order to make it livable for the next tenant. Since these are difficult to remove, you may end up spending more on cleaning supplies and services. To protect your bottom line, make sure that the pet security deposit is enough to cover all these additional cleaning expenses.


4. Pets Can Trigger Allergies

Landlords must keep in mind that long-haired cats and dogs shed. Just like humans, pets are also known to shed skin cells. Shedded hair and pet dander are very potent triggers for people with allergies. These particles can spread through the air ducts, flow into your common areas, and trigger your allergy-prone tenants. If the problem becomes too much, you may end up with dissatisfied tenants.


5. Animal Liabilities

No matter how trained an animal is, there is still a risk that they may bite or cause injury to your other tenants. This will be a very costly problem if you do not have adequate liability insurance. If you choose to accept renters with pets, make sure that your rentals pet policy has safety protocols in place. Also, all parties involved must have animal liability coverage.


Some Reminders Before You Accept Renters with Pets

If after reading the pros and cons, you decide to accept renters with pets, here are some important reminders.

  • Amend Your Lease Agreement: Make sure that the new lease reflects the landlord pet policy. It should outline the rental rates and fees for tenants with pets, pet rules and regulations, safety protocols, and other requirements.
  • Have a Thorough Screening Process for Renters with Pets: Apart from performing a thorough background check on potential tenants, make the effort to meet their pets as well. You’ll be able to confirm whether the pets are trained and the owners can properly care for them.
  • Get Animal Liability Insurance: Don’t wait for accidents to happen. These will result in very costly lawsuits. Protect your property by having adequate insurance coverage against pet damage and injuries.
  • Consider Pet Restrictions: Florida does not have any pet restrictions in the Landlord-Tenant Law. Thus, property managers may choose to have restrictions on a pet’s size and/or breed. However, these restrictions do not apply to service animals. They must be allowed in compliance with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Decide if Allowing Renters with Pets Is a Worthwhile Endeavor 

Now that you are familiar with the pros and cons of accepting renters with pets, you will be able to make an informed decision. Some landlords will be persuaded by the attractive benefits, while some will may be discouraged by the disadvantages of being a pet-friendly rental property. Regardless, it is up to the landlord to decide whether accepting renters with pets is a worthwhile endeavor.

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