Today we’re talking about pets and whether an owner should allow them in a rental property. Many owners are concerned about the potential for damage and liability when a pet is permitted to move into the home. However, we’re going to share some things you can do that will help you minimize that risk.
Service and Companion Animals
One thing you need to know is that service animals and companion animals are protected pets. If you have an applicant who needs one of these animals, you have to allow it. This is legally required by law.
The majority of tenants looking for rental properties have at least one pet. Therefore, when you agree to have a pet on your rental property, you are opening yourself up to a much bigger applicant pool. This is a huge benefit because it means shorter vacancy times.
Write up rules and regulations for the tenant to follow when pets are permitted. It’s more likely that your tenants will follow these rules when they are included in the lease. Therefore, make sure you have a pet policy as part of your lease or as an addendum.
If you’re worried about damage to your property, there are some financial moves you can make to ensure you minimize that risk. For example, you can increase the tenant’s security deposit amount when they move in with a pet. You can also require pet insurance. These financial considerations will help you take care of your property when there are pets in place.
Inspecting the property periodically will also give you the peace of mind that your tenant is taking good care of the place and the pets aren’t doing any damage. You can do this inspection yourself and you can also establish good relationships with your vendors so that they are the eyes and ears of your property. They can notify you if it looks like a cat or dog is chewing up a front door.
These are some of the ways you can protect yourself if you’re worried about allowing a pet in your rental property. If you have any questions about pets or what we recommend to include in your pet policy, please contact us at Smooth Sailing Realty and Property Management, and we’d be happy to tell you more.