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Landlords: Should you allow pets?

PMI Central Kentucky - Saturday, April 29, 2017
Property Management Blog

Almost every landlord has had a tenant that owned a pet. From chihuahuas, to kittens, to enormous Great Danes, pets are part of the family to those who raise them.

That’s a problem, isn’t it? If you allow pets, there will be damage. If you don’t allow pets, there will probably be damage anyways. Herein lies the root of the pet policy issue: there are benefits and downsides on both sides. So what do you do?

First off, we need to know the ups and downs of allowing pets:

BenefitsRisks
More possible tenantsPossible physical injury to neighbors or tenant
Increased income due to pet feesLikely damage to the property Higher tenant satisfactionPossible noise annoyance Less loss from damagesPet dander getting caught in air ducts

With a better idea of the results of a pet-allowing policy, we can guess what would happen if pets were to be allowed.

Likely Damage and Contamination to the Property

When you think of why animals wouldn’t be good to have in your rental property, you think primarily of the damage they can do. Often times, you’ll find chewed up cabinet corners and scratched doors. Pets such as dogs and cats can cause a noticeable amount of damage to the property, which will cost money to fix.

Any pet with fur or feathers will also release allergens and dander. Dander are the flakes of skin in an animal’s fur, which can create worse air quality within the property if they get into the air duct.

Possible Noise Problems and Physical Harm

Pets such as dogs are very common among society, with 40-47% of households owning at least one dog. Unless the dog had no vocal chords, they’d most likely make a lot of noise. To neighbors, this can get very annoying. As well as noise, there is also a chance that the neighbors or owner of the pet can be harmed by their dog. This doesn’t only apply to dogs, as cats and birds can also cause harm to people.

Increased Income and Less Loss

With a policy that doesn’t allow pets, there can be many complications. Tenants may agree with the policy, but still house their pets. This can result in damages you were not prepared for, and with no damage deposit to help pay it, you lose money. However, with a policy that allows pets, you can include a statement that makes it the tenant’s responsibility, keeping damages a less expensive fix for you.

Not only that, but through pet fees, you can earn more money. Along with the regular monthly rent to pay, tenants that own pets will also pay extra money to put fido’s name on the lease.

More Tenants with Better Enjoyment

If you allow pets in your rental property, then you’ll have a bigger selection of tenants to pick from. According to the American Public Power Association (APPA), around 45% of households in the U.S. have a dog, and around 35% of households have a cat. By opening up your property to pets, you just allowed yourself more choices to choose from. Regardless of who you rent out the property to, they’ll be much more satisfied than if the property didn’t allow pets.

Overview

After looking at the benefits and the risks of allowing pets, we can now make a reasonable and logical decision. If you do allow pets, there will be more noise and a small chance of injury, as well as possible damage and contamination to the property. However, with policies that allow pets, with the addition of a few regulations, you can earn more money and make the possible damage less expensive to fix. As well as that, you’ll have more tenants to choose from and pick which one will work best with you.

All in all, a pet-allowing policy will benefit you if you play your cards right. With enough leniency, as well as a fair amount of restrictions and regulations, you’ll get more tenant satisfaction without compromising benefits on your end.

Now you decide: Do you want to allow pets? Contact PMI to find out more about the pros and cons of pets!