Animals are man’s best friend. But what if that man happens to be a landlord? It’s understandable why property owners would choose to adopt a pet-free policy; there are many horror stories out there chronicling tenants who had unruly and destructive pets. However, allowing pets on properties can have great benefits, too. Check out the list of pros and cons below if you’re wondering whether or not a pro-pet policy is right for your property.
More Prospective Tenants
Rental data search from Zillow shows that only 27% of U.S. rental properties advertise themselves as “Pets OK.” Comparatively, it has been estimated that anywhere between 50-75% of renters are pet owners. Since there is a shortage of apartments that allow animals, a pet-friendly policy can increase your number of prospective tenants.
Tenants Stay Longer
Due to the shortage of pet-friendly apartments, tenants are wary to leave apartments that allow them to live alongside their furry friends. You will benefit from their desire to stay put since you won’t have to market the apartment or spend too much on repairs. You’ll also have a steady flow of income and low rates of turnover.
Increase Your Revenue
Many seasoned landlords claim that even if they were once staunch believers that rentals should not allow pets, they have now changed their ways. Why? Because they see the value pet-friendly properties possess. Not only can you charge a pet security deposit and monthly fees, you can also increase the rent. Pet-friendly housing usually boasts a rent premium 20% to 30% more than those who are pet-free.
Damage to Property
Animals can be a bit destructive, especially puppies and kittens. There is potential for pets to damage an apartment. If the owners are not responsible and curb these behaviors, repairs can be quite costly. Furthermore, accidents can ruin carpets and furniture, leading to odors and stains.
Nuisance to Neighbors
Not everyone likes animals and many people have severe allergies to pet dander. Adopting a pet-friendly policy may be at the detriment to those without pets. Good tenants may leave if they find that their neighbors pets are a nuisance.
Each year, 800,000 dog bites need medical attention. If one of your tenants or property staff gets bitten by another tenant’s dog, you may be liable for any damages caused. However, establishing clear pet policies can protect you in case of an attack.
Whether or not you choose to allow pets on your multi-family property, remember that it is unlawful to deny residence to prospective tenants with service dogs (including emotional support animals). If you are reported to have denied an applicant because of their service pet, you can face costly legal ramifications.
Like almost all decisions in real estate, researching the local market is key. Talk to landlords and property owners who have pet-friendly policies and suss out their experience. Determine what is best for your investment and your tenants. Furthermore, make sure to screen prospective tenants and their animals before renting the apartment to them. Doing so can seriously hinder any pet-related problems in the future.