Should You Allow Pets at Your Rental Property?

Property Management, Property Manager

When I am first onboarding a new property to manage, one of the conversations that I have with the owner of the property is if they will allow pets.  My answer is always the same – YES!

The most important reason that I advise allowing pets is that it heavily strengthens your tenant pool.  Apartments.com conducted a survey and found that over 75% of renters have a pet.  That’s a lot of potential renters with pets and a lot of people that you’re missing out on if you’re excluding renters with pets.  

Tenants with pets also tend to stay longer. They may be thinking about moving, but then can’t find another pet-friendly home to rent, so they end up staying in your rental for longer.  Vacancy is the biggest profit sucker of owning a rental property, so anything to keep tenants in longer is good.  

And want to know something else?  The risk of major pet damage is actually really low.  You have an entire security deposit, which is typically equal to the amount of the monthly rent, that you can withhold pet damage from.  FIREPAW, Inc. did a study and found that 85% of landlords who allowed pets reported some sort of pet-related damage.  HOWEVER, in most cases, the deposit more than covered the cost of repairing the damage.  In this same study, FIREPAW, Inc. found that the biggest difference in damage from tenants with pets vs those without pets was under $40, with an average of $323 in damage for tenants without pets and $362 for tenants with pets.  

So, what if you just want to try listing first saying no pets allowed, and then if it takes a while to find a pet-less tenant, we can open the home up to “pets allowed”.  Not a good idea.  All of the people with pets have already seen your listing that says “no pets allowed”, so they aren’t going to even look at it again and see that you’ve revised your pet policy.  You’ve missed out on those people.  If you’re going to allow pets, allow them upfront, not later.  

And, just because you allow pets doesn’t mean it’s a complete free for all.  Our general guideline is to allow up to two pets, but if you only want to allow up to one, that is totally ok.  

We have many policies and restrictions in place to help mitigate any potential pet damage and extra expenses for you, the landlord.   We have a list of restricted animals and breeds, and anyone with an animal must pass our pet screening application as well.  We also have a very solid pet contract that is signed along with the lease, that thoroughly outlines the tenant responsibilities.  

All of this being said, as a property management client, you also get to take advantage of our Pet Guarantee, meaning that if there were to be any pet damage that would exceed the amount of the security deposit, we will cover up to $1000 in damages.  

I hope this helps to shed some light on why it’s recommended to allow pets.  As always, call or email with any questions.