Half of the inquiries on available rentals consist of one simple question. Do you allow pets? For the majority of prospective applicants, that is the deciding factor. Our culture is one that views pets as a part of the family, not to be left behind during a move. It is unthinkable.
It is important to remember that assistance animals are not pets. To the law, the assistance animal is not really an animal at all, but more of a wheelchair. If a landlord treats an assistance animal as a pet, they are almost guaranteed to find themselves standing before a judge one day.
Drawbacks to the Pet-Friendly Rental:
Sometimes, or most of the time, pets have a tendency to make a little mischief. Landlords and Property Manager can be opening the door to a bit of trouble when they allow pets. A few of the cons are:
- A dog may threaten, annoy, and sometimes bite neighbors
- If the renter doesn’t clean up after their pets or properly control them, the pet may cause odors and/or damage the home.
- Barking. Dogs love barking, and some of them do it all the time.
- Cats love scratching, and they just may choose to do so on the door jams of your rental.
- The cat also believes that its litterbox is in the corner of the living room.
- Additional wear and tear on your rental.
Bonuses to Allowing Pets:
Over 68% of American households have pets. That is over half. By excluding pets from your rental, you are excluding a large portion of the population, limiting the pool from which you can attract renters. Also, pet owners 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.
While some tenants do allow their pets to run wild and behave as they will, they are in the minority. A reasonable tenant knows that their deposit is on the line, and they keep their animals in check.
Allowing a pet can be a reasonable risk in most cases. There are certain steps you can take to minimize that risk as well.
- Limit the size and number of the pets allowed
- Charge an increased deposit
- Charge pet rent
- Screen your tenants well
- Tenants with perfect rental history are most likely not going to permit their animals to destroy your rental.
Here at Empire-
The current policy regarding pets at Empire 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 for each pet
- $20 increased monthly rent for each pet
That is the universal policy, blanketing all of our properties unless overrode in individual cases by the owner. For more information, view our policy in full.
As nothing is perfect, and life is anything but simple, it is difficult to say for certain which side trumps the other. Landlords have to research it, weight the risk and benefits, and make an informed decision.