We frequently have the discussion of whether pets should be allowed in a rental, owners and property managers could expand the number of potential tenants, increasing their odds in finding the best quality renters by making this allowance. With permitting pets on your rental property under certain conditions outlined in your lease and pet policy you decrease the occurrences of unauthorized pets and increase your potential applicant pool. Here are just a few reasons we feel having pet friendly rentals are a good idea. 

  • Tenants in their 30s, who constitute a large portion of the rental pool, own at least one pet. An enormous 75% of people in their 30s own a dog, while more than half own a cat.
  • 80 percent of residents in the United States have at least one pet.
  • Tenants stayed in pet-friendly units for nearly four years on average, while residents of properties that restrict pets stayed for only 18 months.
  • Pet-friendly owners can charge higher rents. The rent premium found was between 20% and 30% of the average rent. For example, using resident data, pet-friendly owners charged $222 more on average than owners with a policy of not accepting pets. 
  • On average, pet-friendly rental housing owners charge a separate pet fee or deposit. The average pet deposit was between 40% and 85% of the total monthly rent. In general, it should be noted that in addition to a separate pet deposit, the average total deposit was larger for pet-friendly housing.
  • Most renter’s insurance policies provide some form of pet liability. Therefore, if you do have a pet, renters’ insurance is a straightforward way to cover legal risk in case your pet causes injuries or property damage.
  • Happier Tenants: Animals can help reduce stress. Having a pet around can make your property feel more like a home for the tenant.

Having a clear expectation and a pet policy, outlined in your lease agreement will help minimize risk and establish clear boundaries about acceptable animal behavior in your rental property.  A good pet policy provides the foundation for charging more rent from all tenants, collecting a pet rent or an additional fee on top of the monthly rent, and asking for a pet deposit to cover any cleaning or damages.

With more potential applicants, it is even more important to screen your tenants.  Beyond a standard background and credit check for your tenants, landlords can do additional screening for pet owners.  Pet screening can include requiring applicants to submit references, vet records, obedience training certificates and proof of renter’s insurance with pet coverage.

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.

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