It's safe to say that most of us here in the U.S. love our furry friends. According to the Insurance Information Institute, seventy percent of U.S. households own at least one pet. The majority of these are dogs and cats, though fish and birds each make up around ten percent of the pet population.
Considering how popular these beloved creatures are, it's worth considering whether your leases should include a pet policy. Allowing pets in a rental property has its pros and cons, however, so you'll want to weigh both sides before you make your decision. Here's what to know about letting your tenants keep pets.
Pros of Allowing Pets in a Rental Property
There are several benefits of having a pet-rental property:
Larger Pool of Applicants
As mentioned above, pet ownership is very popular in the U.S. This means that properties that allow pets will be able to draw from a larger pool of applicants. This is especially true if you're marketing toward Millennial or Gen X audiences, both of which have high pet ownership rates.
Pet owners tend to move less frequently than other tenants. This is because it can be difficult to find other pet-friendly apartments. In addition, moving to a new environment can be disruptive to animals, so owners don't take moves lightly.
Better Tenants Overall
One of the biggest benefits of tenants with pets is that they often have more financial stability. Several studies have found that pet owners are more affluent than those who don't own pets.
In addition, you may find that pet owners are more responsible than other tenants. The sense of responsibility they feel for their pets often translates to high levels of responsibility in other areas of life as well, including your property and their rental agreement.
Cons of Allowing Pets in a Rental Property
On the flip side of the coin, there are a few disadvantages to tenants with pets, though they can often be minimized with proper planning:
This is often landlords' biggest fear when accepting tenants with pets. Small animals may urinate on carpets, destroy landscaping, or claw walls or floors. Apartments with pets also tend to have lingering odors, though this isn't a direct form of damage.
Animals may annoy, frighten, or disturb your other tenants. If your current tenants have allergies, they may be upset that animals are now allowed on the property. In the worst-case scenario, pets may even cause injuries like dog bites.
If an animal becomes too disruptive, your current tenants may move. This can cost you money and time, especially if you don't have a property management company to help fill the vacancy fast.
Reconsider Your Pet Policy
Allowing pets in a rental policy should never be a snap decision. Talking to your current tenants and analyzing the market are crucial steps before you make changes. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons above before you change your policy.
Montgomery property owners who worry about managing pet-friendly rentals should consider working with our team! We're happy to help you consider your options and make the necessary changes before you put a new policy into effect. Contact us about your property to learn more.