Should I Allow Pets?
Pets can potentially cause damage to a property; however over 60% of renters have them. If you want to avoid the hassle of worrying over pet damages, it may take you longer to find a renter for your property. Here are some of the pros and cons to help make the right decision for your property.
Pros of Allowing Pets
A survey conducted by the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare (FIREPAW) found the worst damage reported by landlords averaged $430. The average damage was $362 for tenants with pets, and $323 for tenants without pets. According to the survey, properties that allowed pets were able to charge 20 to 30 percent more rent than those that didn’t allow pets. Simply allowing pets does not guarantee you’ll be able to charge more in rent, however it does increase your tenant pool and you will likely have more demand allowing for potentially higher rent prices and lower vacancy rates.
Additionally, a tenant with a pet is more likely to stay, because it is harder to find another pet friendly landlord. The FIREPAW survey saw tenants in pet-friendly rentals stayed an average of 46 months, compared to only 18 months for those in rentals prohibiting pets.
Cons of Allowing Pets
However, there is a reason property owners decide not to allow pets. Pets that have not been toilet trained can cause stains and odors. They may claw or bite carpeting, cabinets, furniture or blinds. Barking, meowing, or other pet sounds can lead to noise complaints from neighbors. Some pets can even be a safety hazard if not controlled or left unleashed as they may bite people or other animals.
Much of the risk of pet damage can be reduced by properly screening tenants, and performing periodic property inspections. To help prevent damage, if an owner decides to allow pets, we recommend a limit of 2 pets with weight restrictions based on the size of the property. We also suggest $300 to $500 per pet additional deposit. Our inspection process always includes a thorough search for pet damage and smell. We have found through years of screening potential tenants that pets typically match their owners. Good, clean people have good, clean pets.
For more information on allowing pets or to read the FIREPAW survey in its entirety go to http://www.firepaw.org/CompanionAnimalRentersPetFriendly.pdf