A whopping 70 percent of American families have at least one pet. Whether they've got a hamster, a hound, or a horse, that animal becomes their companion — and they need to consider their pet's needs when renting a home.
But as a landlord, you're not so sure there about allowing pets in a rental property. There are clearly pros, but there are cons, too. So, what should you do?
This round-up might just help you decide.
Pro: The Tenant Pool is Larger
As we mentioned already, the majority of American families have a pet. So, if you don't allow cats or dogs in rental properties, then you're cutting down your applicant pool by a large proportion.
Con: You Could Lose Non-Animal-Lovers
You're not the only one tenant screening — potential renters will screen you, too. And some without pets might not like the idea of living in a place that was once inhabited by a family with animals.
On top of that, renters already in place might not like living alongside another family with pets. For example, a dog that barks all night won't be very impressive to its new neighbors. This could push current tenants to move.
Pro: Pet Owners are Responsible
Someone who is responsible enough to have a pet will likely be a responsible tenant, too. They're likely to take good care of your property, just as they do the other things in their lives.
This may be compounded by the fact that it's a bit harder for pet owners to find rentals. So, your tenants will be grateful to you and, therefore, happy to maintain your property to the utmost.
Con: Your Property Could Sustain Damage
Even the most responsible pet owner might not be able to prevent their pet from damaging your property. They can handle little things, such as carpet stains. But if a pet scratches wood floors with its nails or chews through electrical wiring, you could be faced with an expensive repair.
You can, of course, ask for money to cover such damages. But if you'd like a faster, smoother handover between tenants, then you might want to keep your renters' list to pet-free people only.
Pro: Tenants Stay Longer
Now, we did say that those who don't like animals might move out from your property. However, you should also keep in mind that pet owners tend to stay in one place for longer. After all, it's hard to find pet-friendly housing, so it will take a lot for a tenant to leave.
As a landlord, you know how expensive and time-consuming it can be to find new renters. So, the promise of a longer-staying tenant may help sway you to open up your property to those with pets.
Should I Allow Pets in a Rental Property?
It's up to you to decide if you'll allow pets in a rental property. Weigh these and other pros and cons, then go with your instinct.
And, of course, we're here to help if you need a hand in managing your rental properties. Click here to contact us today and we can help you make the biggest decisions regarding your rental units.