Almost 70% of US households have a pet. That statistic is from before the pandemic, so we're willing to bet the figure is even higher now.
Those are a lot of furry friends! Around 40% of Americans rent instead of own, so it's likely that the people applying to your properties have a pet.
This begs the question, should you allow pets in a rental? What are the benefits of opening up your property to pet owners in Utah? What are the downfalls? We're going over that and what stipulations you should make if you do decide to allow pets in your rental below.
Are There Benefits to Renting to Pet Owners?
Yes, allowing fur moms and dads to apply for your rental is beneficial to you. First, it allows you to advertise to a larger pool of applicants. Remembering the 70% statistic above, not allowing pets limits you to 30% of the population, who aren't all renters.
You can also charge more rent to pet owners, as both a pet deposit and monthly "pet rent" fee are expected in this day and age. Some people think that pet owners are better long-term renters since they won't want to pay a pet deposit again somewhere else.
Finally, there's scientific proof that having pets in the home makes people happier, and no one wants their tenant to be a Karen.
What are the Pitfalls to Allowing Pets in a Rental Property?
Of course, nothing is totally black and white. Allowing pets in rentals has some negatives that worry property owners. First, a rental with a pet is more likely to have damage, even if that's just dirtier carpets. Second, if you own multiple units in a row, you're opening yourself up to complaints about barking, pet waste, and other tenants wanting to get a pet.
If your units share a vent system, the dander/hair can flow through to other units, which will lead to complaints if your other tenants have pet-related allergies.
Allowing Pets: Good Stipulations to Add to Your Contract
If you decide to allow renters with pets, it's customary to have a list of rules they must follow. First, decide on what your want your pet deposit and any pet rent to be.
A good rule of thumb for the pet deposit is whatever it would cost to replace the carpet in the high-traffic areas of the home. Pet rent can go towards that too.
Second, you'll want to make renters submit proof of vaccination from their vet to be updated every year on the renewal of their lease.
Finally, you may want to ask pet owners to show proof of pet insurance since emergency vet bills can almost match human ones. This will reduce the chance of a pet emergency eating up your renters' rent budget and ensure you get paid on time. Talk to your local vet to see what they think is a reasonable coverage amount.
Renters With Pets: It's Up to You
There is no law that states landlords have to allow pets other than certified support animal laws. If you have a tenant with one of those, make sure to get your lawyer on board with any decision you make.
Other than that, deciding if you want to allow pets in a rental property is up to you. Weigh the pros and cons, along with the number of applicants you get. Or, let our property management company do that for you. All we'll need is a yes or a no to pets, along with your stipulations if yes. We'll take it from there!
To talk to a rental property manager to establish services or get advice on this topic, contact us here.