TMR BLOG: Pros and Cons of Allowing Tenants with Pets

For many landlords, framing a pet policy and deciding on whether to allow tenants to have pets is a huge challenge. There are both pros and cons of having a pet-friendly property. Being aware of both will help you make an informed decision.

Pros of allowing tenants to have pets

Here are some of the advantages of having a pet-friendly property:

  • Larger pool of prospective tenants: While some surveys reveal that close to 50 percent of renters in the U.S. own a pet, other surveys reveal that 68 percent of renters are pet owners. On the other hand, only 55 percent of landlords permit renters to own a pet. Making your rental property pet-friendly will help ensure you get a larger pool of renters to choose from.
  • Pet owners earn more: Pet parents do not only spend a lot of money on their pets but also earn more. A recent survey showed that pet owners are happier, fitter, and earn more money as compared to those who do not own a pet. Pet owners, according to this survey, also have jobs they love. As compared to those who do not have pets, 10 percent more pet parents said they were truly happy in their job role. This can signal better credit rating as well as stability of income, which is good news for landlords.
  • Longer period of tenancy:  Pet owners tend to stay for a longer time in a rental property because it is harder to find pet-friendly options.
  • Pet parents are responsible tenants: A pet owner who is mature and responsible towards their pet is also likely to be responsible and respectful towards your property.
  • You can charge more: Pet-friendly properties generate a higher rental income because of pet rents and fees. A FIREPAW, Inc. study found that there was a significant difference in terms of rent between non-pet friendly and pet-friendly rental properties. The rent premium for pet-friendly rentals was 20 to 30 percent more as compared to the average rent.  Another analysis found that in San Francisco, pet-friendly rentals cost 12 percent more than housing that did not allow pets.
  • Reduces chances of tenants having pets illegally: When you allow pets, the chances of your tenants sneaking in pets illegally is reduced.

The Cons of your property being pet-friendly 

While the ‘pros’ of having a pet-friendly rental are many, there are a few cons to consider:

  • Damage to property: Animals can chew up carpets and scratch the floors or sofa while accidents can occur on wood flooring or carpets.
  • Disturb neighbors: Squawking birds, barking dogs, or cats running around in the building can disturb neighbors and other tenants in the vicinity.
  • Liability: Dog bites are quite common, and there is a risk of tenants or neighbors getting bitten or injured as a result of pets, which raises the landlord’s liability risk.
  • Loss of tenants: Other tenants who are allergic or intensely dislike cats, dogs, or other pets may not take up a rental near a pet-friendly property or may decide to move out in case the pet is disruptive.
  • Pet odors: Accidents in common areas or within the property can cause foul odors.

While considering the pros and cons of the pet-friendly rental, you also need to be aware of the Fair Housing Law provisions for pets. Under this law, housing rights cannot be ignored for those disabled who need assistance and service animals for their wellbeing. Animals provide emotional support for those who are depressed or have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There is no wrong or right answer in terms of accepting pets in your rental property. It is important to use your discretion while considering each case separately while accepting pets. If you are confident that the tenant is responsible, professional, and clean, it may be easy for you to accept pets. 

-The Multifamily Team

Hi, my name is Michael Avent. I founded The Multifamily Review in June 2020. I’m a Commercial Agent at Northcap Multifamily located in Las Vegas, Nevada. My vision for The Multifamily Review is to be the most trusted resource for all Multifamily Investors and Industry Professionals. We strive to offer the best and most up to date content to our readers and are always open for suggestions. Make sure you sign up to join our newsletter to stay up to date on our latest blog, ebook, and more exclusive content that’s coming your way! The Multifamily Review team and I look forward to building a deeper relationship with you!

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