There are a lot of decisions involved when listing your home for rent. From determining the rental amount to what type of restrictions you’re going to have. A majority of these decisions will determine how quickly your home will rent. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not you should allow pets. It is easy to assume that allowing pets in your rental is a bad idea. They can cause damage to the home which may not be covered by the pet deposit. This may increase the hassle you face and reduce your earnings.
However, there are actually many reasons to allow pets, including better income. We go through the benefits of providing a pet-friendly rental to tenants.
Pets Causing Damage
While it’s generally true, a rental with pets will suffer more damage, it isn’t much worse than normal tenant stays. A study into the damage done by pets in rentals by Firepaw, Inc., seems to show that the expenses landlords face aren’t much more.
The study shows that while pets do cause more damage, it amounts to less than $40 more than non-pet owning tenants. With such a small difference and the possibility of charging more for your rental, it certainly makes the case for allowing pets.
If you are going to allow pets in your rental, you should create a pet policy. The pet policy should state what is and isn’t allowed. It should also outline any extra charges associated with keeping a pet in the home. Plus, what responsibilities you expect from your tenants. It’s a good idea to add a frequent inspection schedule so the property can be inspected during the course of the lease. This way if there is any damage it can be dealt with before it gets too serious.Should I Allow Pets in My Rental Property?
More Protection for You
If you have a pet policy, there is less chance of your renter bringing in a pet without your knowledge. If you decide to charge a pet deposit, the renter will be encouraged to make sure their animal doesn’t cause damage to the home as they want the money back.
As long as a pet deposit is allowed in your state, this will act as motivation for the renter to follow the rules within your pet policy. This policy should be included in the lease agreement so that they understand what is expected of them and their pets.
An extra deposit makes sure that you don’t have to seek payment to cover additional expenses due to damage caused by the pet. This could be cleaning costs or damage repairs, but once the renter has moved out, it can be challenging to track them down for payment. Renter’s insurance can also be added to cover your property. While this can be included even if your renters don’t have pets, it is especially useful if they do.
Reducing Vacancy Period
A majority of landlords don’t want pets, so in some areas, there are far more homes available to rent that don’t allow pets than do. But there are believed to be more potential renters with pets than not. Understandably, these renters have more difficulty finding a pet-friendly rental home. By allowing pets you’ll be opening up your property to a wider market. In turn, you will be able to find a tenant a lot easier.
With a pet-friendly rental more difficult to come by, your tenants are more motivated to continue to stay in your property. This will reduce your vacancy time with renewals more likely, and increase your earnings.
While you could charge a pet deposit to cover the additional costs of repairing damage to the home, there is an additional option. You could choose to charge a monthly fee on top of the normal rent, to allow a pet in the property. This fee would be non-refundable and could be as much as $50 per month depending on your area.
With fewer landlords willing to allow pets, potential tenants will be happy to pay additional rent to bring their pet with them. Most renters will expect extra costs for renting in these circumstances anyway.
The longer your rental is waiting for a tenant, the less money you earn. Allowing your renters to bring their animals, gives you a better chance of making more money on the rental.
Creating a pet policy will add protection for you and extra charges can earn you more. You will need to make sure such an agreement is legal in your state. It’s also a good idea to have it checked over by an attorney.
Even if you don’t want to allow pets in your property, there are some circumstances where you won’t have a choice. If the renter has a service animal, you are expected to allow them to rent your property. You won’t be able to charge additional fees either. However, they will have to give you the correct documentation for their pet. So why not open up your options and allow pets?
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About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Should I Allow Pets in My Rental Property?”
Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.
Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more.