Most inquires into available rentals consist of a few basic questions. Price, security deposit, and the most important of all, pets. As many as 72% of tenants currently own a pet of some kind. Most owners don’t like the thought of allowing pets in their unit, but with the percetage that high-… perhaps it is time to take another look at the question. 

Assistance Animals:

Remember, assistance animals are not pets. A landlord that treats an assistance animal as a pet is guaranteed to sooner or later, and probably sooner, find themselves standing in front of a judge. 

Reasons to Allow Pets in Your Rental:

With 72% percent of tenants owning pets, you risk excluding a majority of the population by refusing pets. More and more landlords are allowing pets but pet owners still have a notoriously hard time finding a property that accepts their animals. You are more likely to enjoy a lower vacancy rate due to the lack of inventory. 

Some tenants do allow their pets to run wild – but would you rent to those tenants? If you screen properly, you will be renting to a responsible tenant that will control their animal. They know their deposit is on the line, and they won’t allow their pet to destroy your property. 

However, there are still some drawbacks you can’t mitigate completely. 

Drawbacks to Pet-Friendly Rentals: 

Pets are fluffy balls of fun or they are the living embodiment of mischief, and sometimes they are both. A few of the cons are:

  • Barking. All dogs bark and some breeds are more prone to it than others. 
  • Additional wear and tear on your rental.
      • Dog’s nails can be hard on flooring, especially hardwood.
      • Cats are prone to scratching, and sometimes there isn’t much the owner can do to break the habit.
      • Damage to the yard: dogs are dogs, and part of that is rolling, playing, and sometimes digging in the grass and flowerbeds. 

In addition, if the tenant is not responsible, their pet can cause trouble.

  • A dog may threaten, annoy, and sometimes bite neighbors. 
  • If the renter doesn’t clean up after their pets or properly control them, they can cause odors and damage the home. 

Allowing a pet is a reasonable risk in most cases. All business carries risk, and our job is to manage it properly. You can manage this risk by:

  • Limiting the size and number of pets allowed;
  • Charging an increased deposit and pet rent; and, 
  • Screening your tenants properly.

The current universal policy at Empire, blanketing all our properties unless overrode in individual cases by the owner, is:

  • Dogs of any dangerous breed are not allowed.
  • Farm Animals are prohibited without special permission from the Owner.
  • We do not allow any animal as a pet that has previously caused harm or bitten a person or another animal.
  • Exotic animals are prohibited.
  • No more than two pets are allowed.
  • An increased security deposit of $300 and $20 increased monthly rent for each pet.

There are pros and cons to both sides and no two properties are the same. Landlords must research the question, weigh the risk and benefits, and make an informed decision. Do you have questions or want to alter your current pet policy? Talk to your Property Manager!

As always, Happy Landlording!