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Should I allow pets in my rental?
This is a question that we’re often asked by investors, landlords, that are either managing on their own or they want to hire it out, and they’re curious. The answer’s not just straightforward, yes or no. There’s different things to consider that I want to explore with you today.
The first one would be the type of property that you have. Is a single family home, a condo, multifamily property? Because the answer could be different for the different type of property and the different type of tenant that you want to have renting the home. There are also associations and restrictions with cities that you need to take into consideration. Maybe they don’t allow pets or different types of pets.
You may also want to consider the type of pets, which is a second item here. Most tenants that have pets typically have either a dog or a cat, or a mix of the two. But, there are other types of pets and you can contact us for our restricted breeds and types of pets that we do not allow. But, you may want to look at restricting the size of the dog, or the type of animal. For example, cats that could cause some additional types of problems. Types of pet is an important thing to consider here with what you want to allow and what you can allow with the property.
One example with the type of property is multifamily properties typically don’t do great with dogs. Where there’s shared walls a dog could be problematic where, if left in the house, be barking, be a nuisance for neighbors. That’s one thing to consider.
The third area is what the target tenant is looking for. If you’re looking to rent a single family home, just consider that about 70% of the tenants that you’ll be trying to advertise to and target will come with a pet. So, if you say absolutely no to pets, you will be restricting your renter pool down to about 30%. If you’re okay with that, and you’re okay with having a little bit more vacancy time, less people to choose from, then that’s, of course, your choice. But, opening it up even slightly can dramatically increase your chances of renting it quicker and to possibly even a better tenant.
The thing is, to consider, is if you’re protected. Do you have the proper lease agreement that has a pet addendum with indemnification clauses and what ifs. “If this happens, then …” type clauses. As well as a deposits and fees to protect you and increase your income, increase the amount that the tenant is having held to cover damages and things like that.
Also, fair housing. You’ve got to keep in mind that there is a protected class, which is disability, folks with a handicap, where it could be a service animal or even an emotional support companion animal. These are not pets and you cannot treat them like pets. You can’t charge fees. You can’t charge deposits. You can, of course, verify that it’s an actual companion or service animal. We have a video that talks about that, we can go to a little bit more depth. But, you’ve got to take that into consideration. A lot of people we’ve talked to have said, “Absolutely not. We won’t allow pets, or even animals in our rentals.” We have to remind them that there may be a situation where they will need to allow it.
I hope this is helpful. In answering the question for you if you should allow pets, in our opinion there are situations where you really should allow different types of pets. Coming up with that list, some of the requirements, and answering some of these questions will be helpful for you to answer this question for yourself.