Pets or No Pets - This is "THE" question!
There are a variety of rules that you will set for your rental, one of which is whether or not to allow your tenant to have pets. This can be a hard decision, because allowing pets could damage your property, but will also attract more potential renters. This short blog entry may help you make that decision, but, if you still can’t make up your mind, please consult with a Wright Property Management Group, LLC Property Manager to have them explain the pros and cons of pets. Please note that registered service animal (such as a seeing-eye dog) are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act and cannot be declined occupancy.
The pros of allowing pets in your rental property include things like:
Having a broader pool of tenants to choose from
Being able to charge more for rent
Being able to charge non-refundable pet fee
However, there can be cons to allowing your tenants to have pets, such as:
Damage resulting from animals chewing on carpet or scratching floors
Stains and odors left behind by pets who are not properly housebroken
Noise from animals that may disturb other nearby tenants
Liability exposure if the tenants dog bites someone
You will have to weigh the benefits and detriments to come up with a decision on your own. However, if you do decide to allow pets, here are some tips for reducing the risks associated with them: Limit the types of animals you permit. You probably will not want your tenant to keep an alligator, so come up with a list of animals that you are comfortable having on your property, like dogs, cats, small reptiles, or birds. You also may restrict the animals allowed to certain weights and breeds, in the case of dogs.
Some dog breeds are considered violent and/or high risk and may not be covered under some homeowners insurance policies. Assign Responsibility to the Pet Owners Obviously, the pet owners will be responsible for their pets’ needs, but you should draw up an agreement so that the liability for anything the pet does falls on its owner (the tenant), and not on you, as the owner of the property. Pet related lawsuits are not that uncommon and you do not want to be the person being sued.
Pet Fee Charging a pet fee helps you recoup the costs involved with any additional wear and tear repairs needed from a pet residing in your property. Bear in mind that it is illegal to charge a fee for a service animal. Also, remember to keep the fee reasonable. Otherwise, a judge has the ability to not enforce it. Inspections If you allow your tenant to have pets, it is important that you do frequent inspections of the interior of the property to ensure the pet is not damaging your home.
While this is an important practice even if the tenants do not have pets, it is even more of a priority when they do. The Wright Property Management Group, LLC full service property management option included an inspection every six months. By following these tips, you should be able to avoid some of the horror stories you may hear from other landlords concerning pets and rentals.