Pros and Cons on having a Pet-Friendly Property

Property owners have to make some hard choices when they decide to establish rules for their rental units. If you use a Property Management company, they can help with this but there are still some decisions that fall to the landlord. For example, it always falls to the landlord to decide whether to allow or prohibit pets. Before deciding, it’s a good idea to carefully examine the pros and cons of running a pet-friendly rental property. Keep reading this blog if you need help deciding what to do.

Pros of a Pet-Friendly Property

Here are seven good reasons to allow pets on your property:

  1. Larger Prospective Tenant Pool- Firepaw.org states that almost 50% of renters own a pet. Therefore, if you make your property pet-friendly tenant as you will have a larger group to choose from.
  2. Pet Owners Make More Money- According to Practical Apartment Management, by Edward N Kelly, 65% of pet owners earn over £50,000 a year. You should run a credit check to help determine if this money will go toward paying the rent.
  3. Longer Tenancy- Pet owners typically stay in a rental longer because it can be harder for them to find other pet-friendly options.
  4. Responsible Pet Owners Are Responsible Tenants- If someone is mature enough to take good care of an animal, there is a good chance they will treat your property with the same respect.
  5. Charge Higher Rent- Look around your area. If there are not a lot of pet-friendly properties, tenants will have fewer options, and you may be able to charge slightly higher rents if you allow pets due to the increased demand.
  6. Happier Tenants- Animals can help reduce stress. Having a pet around can make your property feel more like a home for the tenant.
  7. Don’t Try to Sneak In Pets- If you allow pets, it will decrease the chances of tenants trying to sneak in pets that you have not approved.

Cons of a Pet-Friendly Property

Here are five of the most common problems pets cause are:

  1. Damage to Your Apartment- Animals can scratch the floors, chew up carpets and have accidents on the carpets or wood floors.
  2. Disturbing Neighbours- Dogs barking, birds squawking, and four-legged animals running around the apartment can disturb other tenants in the property, as well as outside neighbours.
  3. Liability- There is a risk of the animal biting other tenants or neighbours. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention state that dogs bite 4.7 million people a year, with 800,000 of those needing medical attention.
  4. Loss of Other Tenants- Other tenants may be allergic to dogs or cats. Tenants may move when an animal becomes disruptive.
  5. Pet Odours- Accidents inside the unit or in the building common areas will cause odour, as will animals that are not properly groomed or cleaned.

Before making any decisions make sure you check your Insurance Coverage and Liability for animals.

You will want to check your insurance policy to find out what type of coverage you have if you decide to have a pet-friendly property. Make sure you know the amount of liability coverage your policy includes. Ask your insurance company if there are any limitations or exclusions to this coverage, such as if they have a list of dog breeds they consider to be “dangerous breeds,” which will not be covered under the policy.

If you’ve now weighed up the pros and cons of allowing pets and decided to go ahead, these are some of the things to think about:

  • Remember to put ‘pets considered’ in the property description, on some websites property listings can be filtered according to whether rentals are pet-friendly. If you need help listing your property to find suitable tenants, why not hire a management company to do it for you? At J Property Management, we find tenants for your property at an extremely competitive rate. We can even fully manage your property for you too.
  • You may want to specify which types of pets are permitted in the property. A large dog may not be suitable for a small flat, while you may be happy with small dogs or cats.
  • You could arrange to meet the pet before you accept the tenant, to check that it’s friendly and well-behaved. If you decided to allow properties and instructed J Property Management to manage the property on your behalf, this is always a step we follow.
  • Adding a ‘pet clause’ to the tenancy agreement gives you the chance to set out the rules regarding pets. Go through this carefully with your tenant.
  • You may want to charge a higher deposit for tenants with pets. Remember that, as with all deposits, it will need to be protected under the deposit protection scheme.
  • You could consider charging your tenant a non-refundable ‘pet payment’ to cover the cost of professionally cleaning the property once they’ve moved out.
  • If there are pets living in the property, regular inspections may be even more important, but remember that you need to give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice. At J Property Management, we do property inspections every 2 months for properties with pets. If issues are found, we will re-visit the property again after 4 weeks.

The decision to make your property pet-friendly is not one that should be taken lightly. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of allowing pets so you can decide what is right for you and your property. Remember to adhere to the Fair Housing Laws and to adopt the same policies for all tenants so you will not be accused of discrimination.