Having a rental property comes with many decisions. With the increased popularity of pet-friendly rentals, many landlords are considering welcoming pets into their rental properties. Having a pet friendly policy can provide great advantages when it comes to maximizing your income. Yet, there are certain drawbacks that come with making this decision.
For you to make a fitting choice in the matter, you’ll first need to understand how this decision would affect your real estate business. In this article, we discuss some of the pros and cons of allowing pets into your rental property. We also take a look at some of the measures you’ll need to take, should you decide to adopt a pet-friendly policy.
The Benefits of Renting to Pet Owners
Pets play a major role in the lives of their owners. Most pet owners wouldn’t consider moving into a new home if it meant parting ways with their furry friends. Allowing pets into your rental property can thus present a number of opportunities, such as:
1. Earning a Higher Income
There are a number of expenses that come with pet ownership. From regular visits to the vet, vaccinations as well as pet food, taking care of them requires a good amount of income. A landlord can also charge a reasonable pet fee to cover the risk of damage to their property.
2. Happier Tenants
When it comes to tenant management, landlords find pet owners to be calm and much easier to deal with. Pets have the ability to create a peaceful and comforting environment which keeps your tenants happy.
By allowing pets on your property, you help to facilitate this environment thus lowering the tenant turnover rate.
3. An Increase in Prospective Tenants
In most cases, pet owners don’t have as many options in the rental market. Thus, adopting a pet friendly policy can significantly increase the interest in your rental property.
Increased interest in your property means you’ll have more rental applicants to choose from. Your property will therefore have a higher occupancy rate and a more stable rental income.
4. Long-Term Lease Agreements
Pet-owning tenants tend to stay in a rental property much longer than the other tenants. Pets need stability and some familiarity with their environment. In addition, most pet owners don’t wish to go through the trouble of finding another pet-friendly rental.
You’re likely to have longer lease periods when you rent to pet owners, as compared to other tenants. This will stabilize your rental income and thus increase the value of your investment.
5. Having Responsible Tenants
Living with a pet requires a great deal of care and attention. It is a major commitment to care for their health, comfort and overall well-being. Pets not only require food and healthcare, but they also need training and regular exercise.
Individuals that spend time taking care of their pets display a high level of responsibility. If a tenant can dedicate this much time and attention to their pets, you can rest assured that they’ll take good care of your property.
6. An Increase in Rental Prices
As a landlord, you can increase your rent prices when you allow pets into your property. It is acceptable for landlords to raise their rental fee to cover for the risk of damage to the premise.
This can provide a good opportunity for you to maximize your income. However, you should only raise the rent by a reasonable amount, in accordance with the local and state rental laws.
The Drawbacks of Allowing Pets on Your Property
Having a pet-friendly rental can pose a number of risks to a landlord. It is important to consider both the pros and cons to ensure you make the best decision for your rental property. Some of the challenges you might face include:
1. Damage to Your Rental Property
Pets can cause damage when they get bored or out of playfulness. They may scratch and chew on carpets, furniture and even wooden doors. This may increase your overall spending on property repairs and maintenance.
2. Noise on the Property
Pets can cause a disturbance on the property which may potentially cause friction with the other tenants. Pets such as dogs may bark at late hours and disrupt the neighbors. You may also receive complaints on the commotion caused by pets running around on the premises.
Compliance with the Fair Housing Laws
Though you may not prefer having tenants with pets, the Fair Housing Laws require landlords to allow assistance animals for people with disabilities. Assistance animals are not considered as pets, but as helpers for the individuals who require their assistance.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
If you’re considering welcoming tenants with pets, it is practical to review your insurance. With the possibility of damage or injury, it is necessary to confirm whether your insurance provider covers for such liabilities. Some companies may not cover for damage caused by certain pets, resulting in you paying for the expenses out of pocket.
Include a Pet Policy in Your Lease Agreement
It is important for landlords to include a written pet policy in their lease agreements when preparing to rent their property. This policy should define the terms of pet ownership on your property to avoid confusion. It should also include the pet fee and the resulting implications for violating the agreed terms.
Allowing pets on your property can provide you with great benefits as a landlord. However, you should be prepared to manage disagreements between tenants from time to time. You should also get adequate insurance coverage to cater for possible damage or injury.
At Limehouse Property Management, we can help you navigate the challenges of property ownership so you can get the best returns on investment. Contact us today for more information on our property management services in Virginia Beach.