So you are a landlord and you are renting out apartments or a home. One question you need to ask yourself is: should I allow pets? And to what extent? Today we will discuss the pros and cons of allowing renters to own pets. Get the most out of your investment (especially when using any type of loan, like a Rehab Loan with us) by doing your research.
- Pets can cause damage. Large dogs, cats, and even birds or rodents can cause damage to floors, walls, electric units, plumbing, yards, and they can even leave dander and fur to irritate future tenants or even nearby tenants. Similarly, animals make noise. Tennant complaints can cause tension between everyone involved.
- Pets make messes. This can affect yards as well as flooring. Pet stains (and destructive behavior) can cause permanent damage to any type of flooring as well as walls. Yards can become covered in patches of grass that does not grow anymore and they can dig up plants, decreasing the physical value of the property you are renting out. You may end up paying more for the repairs than the deposit the tenants put down.
- Not everyone is honest about their pets. Most pet owners assume their pets are 100% perfect angels who would never cause damage to the property or annoy the neighbors. Additional screening on a case-to-case basis for allowing pets involves changing the lease, keeping up with the damage, and documenting the exact condition of the property before a pet enters.
- It is difficult to decide which animals are allowed and which aren’t. If you own an apartment building or a series of houses and your tenants find out that one unit is allowed to have a bird and another is allowed a de-clawed cat, they may argue that it’s not a large jump for you to allow them to bring in a Great Dane who has not been potty trained.
- Honestly, some people will try to sneak pets into a rented location anyway. The best way to handle this, should you choose to allow pets, is to have the renter sign the lease stating they are fully responsible for any repairs needed because of the pet ownership.
- Depending on the animal, pet ownership can help with the security of the building. Some people are interested in guard dogs (who just so happen to double as companions) and when they are trained properly, a guard dog or a dog who just so happens to be great at guarding, can decrease the risk of break-ins. Not all guard dogs need to be big, either. Some small dogs can bark and keep up with pit-bulls and mastiffs in attitude. In the dark, even a small dog can scare off potential thieves.
- People love their animals and so many landlords are afraid to allow pets. Some people will search for months for a place to live that allows their furry friend (even something small like a hamster). You may be the one who prevents that animal lover from choosing an overpriced apartment or a home on the wrong side of town. You also may not have vacancies nearly as long if you allow pets.
- You can always conduct screening and watch how the animal and owner interacts before renting to someone with pets. You can also put in the lease that it is up to your discretion if the animal (and maybe even tenant) can stay if problems arise.
In the end, whether or not you allow pets is your decision. It is always wise to weigh the options and take into account cost of repairs as well as happiness of your tenants. Read more here.