We’re asked this question a lot, should you allow pets in your rental properties? There is no straightforward answer, and ultimately you need to decide what you’re comfortable with. Your decision can have a impact on your business, tenants, and your property’s condition, so it might make sense to interview other landlords and get their advice too!
Here are some pros and cons of allowing dogs in your rentals to help you make an informed choice.
Pros of Allowing Dogs in Your Rentals
- Attract a Larger Tenant Pool: Allowing dogs broadens your potential tenant pool. Many renters are pet owners, and by permitting dogs, you can make your rental property more appealing to a wider range of prospective tenants. This can help reduce vacancy periods and increase your rental income.
- Higher Rent and Pet Fees: You can charge higher rent or pet fees to tenants with dogs. This additional income can help offset any potential costs associated with accommodating dogs in your rental.
- Responsible Dog Owners: Many dog owners are responsible and will take good care of your property. These tenants are often willing to pay for any potential damages or cleaning required at the end of their lease.
Cons of Allowing Dogs in Your Rentals
- Property Damage: Dogs can cause damage to your property, such as scratched floors, chewed furniture, or soiled carpets. The cost of repairing or replacing these items can add up.
- Allergies and Noise: Some tenants may have allergies or simply dislike living near dogs due to the potential for noise disturbances. This could result in tenant turnover, potentially leading to more frequent vacancy periods.
- Liability: There’s a small risk of liability if a tenant’s dog injures another tenant or damages their property. You may need to consider additional insurance coverage to mitigate this risk.
- Cleaning and Maintenance: Rental units that allow dogs may require more frequent and intensive cleaning and maintenance to remove pet odors, dander, and other pet-related issues.
Finding a Balance
If you’re considering allowing dogs in your rentals, here are some strategies to help find a balance that works for both you and your tenants:
- Pet Policy: Create a clear and comprehensive pet policy. Outline rules and expectations for pet owners, including pet size restrictions, additional fees, and any restrictions on specific breeds.
- Security Deposits: Consider requiring a pet deposit or non-refundable pet fee to cover potential damages. This deposit should be in addition to the regular security deposit.
- Regular Inspections: Conduct regular property inspections to ensure that tenants with dogs are abiding by your pet policy and not causing excessive damage.
- Tenant Screening: Implement a thorough tenant screening process to ensure you’re renting to responsible pet owners who are more likely to take care of your property.
Deciding whether to allow dogs in your rentals is a significant choice that can impact your bottom line and tenant satisfaction. While there are pros and cons to consider, finding a balanced approach through a well-structured pet policy, security deposits, and tenant screening can help mitigate potential issues. Ultimately, your decision should align with your business goals and the needs of your local rental market.
If you want to connect with other landlords to hear what their pet policies are, fill out a form on our contact page. We’re happy to share our best practices!