Almost all owners have heard the horror stories of allowing tenants to have pets in their rental property – from kitty litter clogging the pipes to a dog soiling and ruining the carpet. While many owners would claim that allowing pets is more trouble than it is worth, I would argue that it is an opportunity that more owners should take advantage of.
You may be asking yourself, “How is allowing pets an opportunity?” Instead of focusing on the potential issues and damage caused by pets, I would implore an owner to focus on the opportunity and money saved by renting the unit very quickly. With more than 60% of potential tenants having a pet of some kind, you are hindering yourself by classifying this demographic as “not welcome”.
As I stated earlier, I believe that an owner can actually save money by allowing pets. On average, an owner that allows pets will rent his/her property within 2-8 weeks, compared to 4-16 weeks by not allowing pets (since your applicant pool is increased by 60%). If an owner rents his/her property for $900 a month and is able to find a tenant with a pet in 1 month, compared to a tenant without a pet in 3 months, the owner has saved $1,800 that would otherwise have been lost to vacancy. Even if the owner experiences damages from the pets, I would argue that the damages incurred would not be greater than the money saved.
In addition, owners that allow pets are typically able to rent properties for 20-30% higher. Since many owners will not rent to tenants with pets, the owners that are willing to allow pets are more scarce. Because of this, the tenant is willing to pay a premium to accommodate his/her request.
Once you have decided that you will allow pets in your rental property, you may be wondering how to mitigate the risk associated with this. Many owners will set guidelines under which they will allow pets in their property. An example of this would be only allowing a pet if it weighs less than 25 pounds or only allowing certain dog breeds (since many breeds are more aggressive than others). In addition, it is always a good idea to require an additional security deposit for allowing the pet. More often than not, the tenant will not have a problem with this, as they realize the risk of damage.
If you would like help in creating a pet policy or if you would like assistance in managing your investment, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of.