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Renting to Tenants with Pets: Tips to Follow

“Should I allow tenants with pets?” Nowadays, more and more landlords ask themselves this question. According to Pet Statistics, approximately 44% of all households in the US have a dog and 35% have a cat.

As you can tell, pet ownership is on the rise. It’s no secret that pets have become valued family members. Millennials think they’re a good way to practice building a family someday. Disabled individuals have certified theirs as assistance animals.

Therefore, as a landlord, not allowing pets can be a huge loss on your part. Imagine attracting a larger prospective tenant pool by making your rental property pet-friendly. But first, let’s explore some reasons why renters with pets can be a positive thing: 

  • Responsible pet owners are usually responsible tenants.
  • Tenants enjoy staying in your rental and will be there for a longer period of time because they feel more at home. This means a decrease in rental vacancy rates.
  • You can charge higher rent. Also, recent studies show that pet owners tend to have an above-the-average salary.

Letting Renters with Pets In

Many landlords are concerned that pets may cause potential damage to the unit. They may also cause a lot of noise or allergies to other tenants. Here are ways to rent your property to tenants with furry friends.

1. Don’t shy away from charging a higher rent.

Preserving the beauty and functionality of your unit even with pets around can be done by letting tenants pay a few extra dollars per month. However, also be careful not to charge excessively. A financial compensation is always a practical way to resolve pet-related issues.

2. Add a pet clause in the lease agreement.

If you want to get the best out of renting to tenants with pets, don’t use a standard lease copy. Include a separate pet agreement and be clear about your expectations. For example, you need to state that tenants should clean up after their pets or else they’ll get fined. Include aspects such as noise and vaccinations.

3. Make your property easier to clean.

You can minimize the chances for property damage to occur by pet-proofing your furniture. For example, using covers for the couch. Or, maybe invest in fabrics that don’t attract fur. Fencing areas to prevent pets from escaping or accessing places they shouldn’t is also a good idea.

4. Do a pet interview.

To get to know the pet of a potential tenant, conduct a pet interview. This allows you to have a feel for the dog’s personality. How does it behave around strangers? Is it well-mannered? Don’t simply rely on an individual’s or family’s description of the pet. While there is breed bias, it’s good to keep in mind that a dog’s personality matters more. Giants can be gentle and small breeds can cause injury. The opposite is also true.

5. Ask your insurance company.

Before renting to people with pets, call your insurance company and ask whether they have restrictions or disclaimers. You have to consider whether you’ll be insured in case injuries happen in the rental unit. Talk to tenants about getting renters insurance as well. 

Read More: Renter’s Insurance: How It Benefits Landlords

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