Should you or should you not allow pets in your rental?

VA Loan Texas
October 07 2022 | By Elevation Construction

It’s no secret that most pet owners treat their pets like family, so when it comes time to find a new home, these renters will be looking for pet-friendly rentals. This begs the question, should you allow pets in your rental property? If this question is weighing on your mind, you’re in the right place. It’s true that allowing pets in your rental gives you access to a larger pool of interested renters, but this decision also comes with a few risks.

Benefits of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

Benefits of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

  1. Make more in rental fees

By allowing pets in your rental property, you are essentially adding another tenant (or a few, if you allow). Although this furry tenant won’t be responsible for splitting the rent, their presence will require some additional payments. Pet fees, pet deposits, and pet rent are a few of the ways you can make more in rental fees by allowing pets.

You will collect a non-refundable pet fee from your pet-owning tenant before or on move-in day. You can also collect a pet deposit at the same time in addition to the pet fee. The only difference is the pet deposit is refundable and will be returned to the tenant in full if there are no pet-related damages to the unit, including soiled carpet, chewed blinds, or scratches on the floor, walls, and moldings. Pet rent is a fee that renters will pay once a month in addition to their base rent.

Increase your lease renewal rates2. Increase your lease renewal rates

Not every rental allows pets, so if you choose to allow them, your tenants may be incentivized to renew their lease. Many renters will feel more comfortable in a pet-friendly rental, even if they haven’t committed to a furry friend of their own just yet. It gives them the option to do so in the future. If your rental is not pet friendly, and your tenant decides they want a pet, they will have to wait until their lease is up or potentially break their lease early, leaving you to find a new tenant once they’re gone.

  1. Expand your list of potential tenants

If you choose not to allow pets in your rental, you risk losing some potentially great tenants simply because they are pet owners. Your list of potential tenants will expand immediately if you list your rental as pet friendly.

Risks of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

Allowing pets in your rental is a great way to show tenants your flexibility, but it’s important to consider the following risks before you proceed:

  1. Increased chances of property damage

It’s common for pet damage to occur in pet-friendly rentals, even if it only involves minor issues. Soiled carpets, scratched floors and walls, and chewed blinds are just a few examples of common pet damage. Accidents happen, especially with younger pets, but if your tenant isn’t a responsible pet owner, small issues may become bigger problems over time. If a pet is continuously left home alone or not properly taken care of, the damage will likely occur.

Potential noise complaints

  1. Potential noise complaints

Pets left alone for several hours at a time, even during normal work or school hours, can be a problem. Incessant barking, howling, or meowing can lead to frustrated neighbors and subsequent noise complaints. In some situations, pet owners may be trying their best to deal with a pet’s separation anxiety, while others may be unaware of the problem.

  1. Abandoned pets Abandoned pets

Even worse than a howling pet left home alone is an abandoned pet. By allowing pets in your rental, you run the risk of having a tenant who not only abandons their lease and your unit but their pet as well. If the pet is left alone for a lengthy period of time, there could be severe damage to your property. Dealing with an abandoned pet and potential damage to your property can be upsetting for both you and the pet.

A great compromise is to create a pet agreement that outlines your requirements, including:

  • Pet fees, pet deposits, and pet rent
  • Number of pets allowed per unit
  • Type, breed, and size of the pet

In the agreement, you can also detail your expectations. For example, explain that tenants are required to pick up after pets outdoors, specify cleaning instructions to avoid any leftover pet dander, smell, or damage after your tenant moves out, and reiterate community quiet hours.

Different type of petsAlthough you are not required to allow pets in your rental property, you have a much better chance of finding a potentially great, long-term tenant in a timely manner if you are flexible with your rental policies and rent to tenants with pets.