The thought of allowing pets in a rental property can be very unsettling to investment owners. From chewed up carpet to damaged landscaping, there are all sorts of ways pets can be a nuisance. It usually just takes one bad tenant/pet to ruin it for everyone. However, in some cases allowing pets might not be all that bad. As with anything, it’s always best to look at the pros and cons of a situation before making a decision, especially when it can impact one of your investments.
Pros of allowing pets in your rental property
- Extra Income
While you may not be super excited about allowing pets, you have to remember that your rental property is an investment. As such, its job is to make you money. Allowing pets is an opportunity for you to increase your monthly income by charging either a one-time pet fee or monthly pet rent. Tenants who are serious about their pets won’t bat an eye at the extra cost because they consider their pets to be family. It’s a win-win for both sides.
2. Increases Your Applicant Pool
Rental properties that allow pets are hard to find, usually because it just takes one person to ruin it for everyone by allowing their pet to cause damage to a property. By allowing pets, you will increase the number of applicants looking at your rental property, which means there is a greater chance you finding a qualified tenant quickly.
3. Your Tenant Will Be Happy
Pets can offer a variety of benefits to their owners and can be a great source of companionship and comfort for people, especially those who live alone. Allowing your tenant to have a pet, knowing that few places make this accommodation, will surely mean a lot to them.
4. Home Protection
Depending on the type of pet a tenant has, you may be adding a built-in home protection service to your property. While I wouldn’t expect cats to do much, most dogs, regardless of size, will at least bark when they hear a noise or when a stranger comes to the door. This could help to eliminate the possibility of your home being the target of a crime.
Cons of allowing pets in your rental property
- Costly Damage
If pet owners are not mindful of their pets behavior, they can really do some damage. Carpets can be chewed and stained, floors can be scratched, doors and baseboards can be chewed and screens can be torn…just to name a few. Thankfully these things are all repairable, but if it’s not caught early on and/or if the pet is allowed to stay, the damage can cost more than what the tenant provided as a security deposit, meaning repairs will come out of your pocket.
2. Time Consuming Damage
The only thing worse than costly repairs are issues that take time to be resolved. For example, a pet that is not housebroken may leave carpet stains, which can be removed, but the pet odor is not always as easy to get rid of. Likewise, a furry pet may leave an abundance of fur or pet hair that lingers no matter how many times a house is cleaned.
3. A Nuisance to Your Neighbors
The extra income you make in pet rent might not be worth it if you end up with tenants whose pet is a nuisance. Whether it’s constant barking, destructive behavior, or a lack of picking up after the pet, you could be fined by an HOA for repeat offenses by your tenant.
4. Liability Issues
Most people think larger, more aggressive dogs are the ones to be concerned about in terms of liability issues. While it is certainly a possibility, smaller dogs and other animals can also be a problem. There could be issues from a liability standpoint if the pet gets loose and attacks a neighbor or guest while on your property or even if it’s the pet of your tenant.
Each property and situation is unique and all options should be considered thoroughly before making a decision. If you have a rental property in Placer or Nevada County and you need assistance finding a qualified renter, we’d be happy to help you. We can advise you of some of the additional benefits of allowing pets and help you understand how we screen tenants with pets thoroughly. If you would like us to help you place a tenant without pets, we can do that, as well. We use a third party screening company to assist us in the process and to help ensure your investment is protected.