America is a nation of pet lovers. People who have pets consider them as part of their family. Such people won’t even entertain the thought of a rental property that would need them to give up their furry friend.
68% of US households include at least one pet, according to the APPA’s latest market research. As such, as a landlord, it would seem rather worthwhile to allow pets into your rental property. On the other hand, though, you may have concerns about pet damage.
So, before finding tenants for your California rental property, deciding on what your pet policy will be is critical. In today’s article, we will share with you 8 pros and cons of allowing pets into your rental unit.
Pros of Allowing Pets Into Your Rental Property
Pro #1: You may get responsible tenants.
Getting the right type of tenants is key to running a successful rental business. According to Rentalutions, you may just be able to increase the likelihood of landing responsible tenants by allowing pets into your property.
This is essentially because pet ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities. With a pet, one has to feed it, clean after it, give it the exercise it needs, train it to understand obedience, and so forth.
By renting to such tenants, there is a likelihood that such behavior will translate into the tenants treating your property with a similar level of energy and respect.
Pro #2: You have a larger pool of applicants to choose from.
As already mentioned, more than two-thirds of Americans own a pet. Moreover, this number could even be higher depending on the type of tenant you are targeting. This is especially true in the case of the millennial market.
In fact, according to Zillow, over 76% of millennial renters own pets.
In other words, what these figures mean is that by allowing pets into your property, you will be attracting a greater number of prospective renters to your rental.
Pro #3: You may enjoy longer tenancies.
Happy tenants are more likely to renew their tenancies than those who are not. Definitely, settling in with a furry friend can make the rental feel like a permanent residence.
What’s more, because there aren’t as many pet-friendly options, your tenant may end up staying longer. A lower tenant turnover can signify less property damage and lower cost to rent it again.
Pro #4: It may mean more profits.
In most cases, this is the #1 reason why many landlords opt to allow pets into their properties. By allowing them, particularly if there are very few properties that offer the same, it may enable you to charge more rent.
Cons of Allowing Pets Into Your Rental Property
Con #1: Offensive odors can build up.
Whether your tenant has a dog, a cat, or a bird, there is going to be some kind of odor. Pet urine can be particularly invasive, seeping into flooring and even the sub-flooring.
Con #2: Pets can be disruptive to neighbors.
Excessive barking from dogs can disrupt other neighbor’s quiet enjoyment of their homes.
This can be made worse if there are multiple animals on the property.
Con #3: Pets can cause damage to the property.
This is usually the #1 reason why some landlords don’t allow pets into their properties. Pets can:
- Destroy the landscaping
- Chew furniture
- Urinate on carpets
Con #4: Pets can cause injuries to other tenants.
Pets can also cause injuries to not only the owner but also to fellow neighbors as well.
How to Screen Prospective Tenants With Pets
If you do decide to allow pets into your rental property, make sure to screen the prospective tenant first. This may help you learn one or two things about whether the pet owner is responsible or not.
Aside from checking a potential tenant’s income, creditworthiness, and criminal and eviction backgrounds, it’s also important to check and verify their rental references as well. A reference check can enable you to know whether there has been trouble with their pets in the past.
When you get in touch with their previous landlord, it’s important to have a set of questions ready. Such questions may include:
For dog owners:
- How often do you treat your dog for fleas and ticks?
- Do you always make a point of immediately cleaning up after your dog?
- Do you keep your dog on a leash when you go for walks?
- Has your dog been sprayed or neutered?
For cat owners:
- How often do you treat your cat for fleas and ticks?
- Does your cat wear an identification tag and license tag?
- Does your cat use the litter box that you provide?
- Has your cat been sprayed or neutered?
Other screening questions:
- Do you agree to a pet security deposit of $…?
- Do you agree to a lease contingent on your pet’s behavior?
- Has there been any damage or complaints regarding your pet before?
- How long have you owned your pet?
How to Mitigate Against Pet Damage
The only way to reduce the risk of pet damage is by having a pet agreement and including it as part of your lease. This gives your tenants notice that their tenancy is dependent upon honoring those pet rules.
The following are some items that you should consider including in your pet policy.
- The types of pets allowed: Your policy should specify what types of pets are allowed. Common pets include small reptiles, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, birds, cats, and dogs.
- Number of pets allowed: You can also limit the number of pets a tenant can have in their unit.
- The weight of a pet: Some landlords also limit the weight of dogs. For example, you can state that you won’t allow pets exceeding 30 pounds.
The Bottom Line
There you have it. Pros and cons of renting to tenants with pets in Antelope Valley, California. If you have any questions, contact Doug Anderson Property Management.