Should I Allow Pets in My Rental Property?

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A question we get fairly often from Landlords is: “Should I Allow Pets?”

Generally, we recommend that our Owners open their property to pets. And there are a few reasons for that.

Benefits of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

• Market Appeal: First and probably most importantly, you want to open your home up to the largest demographic possible. According to recent surveys 75% of renters own a pet. If you choose not to allow pets, you are drastically reducing your potential Tenant base.

• Higher Rent Rate: Tenants expect to pay monthly pet fees each month. So, over the course of the Lease, expect a few hundred in returns on a 12-month

• Happier Tenants: In some cases, a pets adds some level of security to your property, which could make your Tenant feel safer and happier and possibly translate into a higher renewal rate.

Now, clearly, there are some risks to allowing pets at your property:

Risks When Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

• Pet Damage: Yes, pets can clearly cause additional damage to the home. Most of this damage, however, can be traced back to an irresponsible Tenant. So, it’s important that your Tenant is thoroughly screened. Responsible Tenants are generally responsible pet owners. In our experience, a highly qualified Tenant will almost always keep a pet from damaging a home.

• Aggressive Breed Dogs: There are certain breeds that you should not allow. If one of these dogs were to injure someone, your insurance may not cover it. So, you need to be careful to avoid this risk.

cat-649164_1920.jpgObviously, your Tenants have signed a contract that stipulates damages that occur in the home are their own responsibility which gives you a legal right to charge/retrieve funds in most cases. Charging the extra rent, and getting a full month’s security deposit, should create more than enough extra security for taking on the risk.

Responsible Tenants are Generally Responsible Pet Owners

In closing, we find that responsible renters will take care of your property as if they own it. To offset risk, we recommend charging pet fees, a full month’s security deposit and also having breed restrictions.

All things considered, allowing pets on your property is a sure fire way to make additional rental income and attracting the widest market for your rental home.

About the Author

Jeremy Tallman

Jeremy is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Broker for T&H Realty Services. He has been active in the Central Indiana real estate market since 2000 and leads one of the most successful single-family property management companies in the state.

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