Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

As a new Dothan rental property owner, you have a lot of decisions to make. You'll have to decide how much to charge in rent, what rules to enforce through your lease, and how to create a maintenance strategy.

You've got another decision that may not seem like a big one but that actually has some serious ripple effects. You have to decide if you're operating a pet-friendly rental.

There are plenty of reasons to allow pets in a rental property and just as many not to. Read on to learn the pros and cons and make an informed choice.

Pro: A Wider Applicant Pool

According to the humane society, almost three-quarters of all renters own at least one pet. While some of those pets may be animals you wouldn't think to exclude, like fish or hamsters, many of them are cats and dogs.

In other words, you're excluding a huge number of potential applicants when you don't allow pets in your rental. Whether or not you struggle to find tenants, allowing pets will give you more tenants to choose from.

Con: Potential Property Damage

One of the biggest reasons landlords decide not to allow pets is the potential for property damage. Both dogs and cats can chew or scratch things like baseboards, tear up carpets, and destroy blinds.

There is, however, some protection against this kind of damage. Most landlords who allow pets will collect a non-refundable pet fee to cover potential property maintenance necessitated by pets. (Keep in mind that you can't charge a pet fee of any kind for registered assistance animals, which aren't considered pets.)

Pro: Reduced Evictions

When almost 75% of renters own a pet but a huge chunk of landlords don't allow pets, something doesn't quite add up. Where are all the pet owners living and how are landlords that don't allow pets keeping low vacancy rates? Chances are, some tenants are breaking the rules of their tenancy agreement.

When tenants start breaking the rules of your lease, you open the door to potential evictions. With a more flexible lease that allows pets, you reduce the chances of violations while maintaining specific rules.

Con: Extra Cleaning Costs

If you allow pets in your rental, won't you have to deal with things like dander, odors, and urine when the tenant moves out? This isn't a guarantee, but it can happen. If it does, you do have recourse.

Once again, pet fees are designed to cover extra maintenance costs related to pets. Plus, tenants should leave your unit clean, and excess cleaning costs can come out of their security deposit.

Will You Allow Pets in a Rental Property?

When you allow pets in a rental property, you do take on a few extra risks. However, the pros are hard to ignore. Will you run a pet-friendly rental?

At PMI Wiregrass, our property managers are used to tough questions like these. Our customizable services make it easy for you to enlist our expert help, from our tenant placement system to our day-to-day tenant relations service. Contact us to learn more and decide if property management is right for you.