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Allowing Pets in a Rental Property: Good or Bad Idea?

Every landlord faces this question at some point or another: “Should I allow pets in my rental property?”

Of course, there’s no clear cut answer and there probably never will be. No matter which conclusion you come to, there’s bound to be some pros and cons. In this article, we’ll be reviewing both sides of this argument so that you can come to your own conclusion about what to do with your property.

Reasons to Be Pet-Friendly

The best reason to be pet-friendly is this: by doing so, you’re widening your net. As the owner of a small multi-family property, consider how you’re competing with large apartment complexes and high rises. In many ways, these properties can be tough to match in terms of amenities – especially when they’re offering pools, gyms, common spaces, and all of the like.

One way that you can top many apartment complexes is by being pet-friendly. Many buildings either cannot or will not offer pet-friendly living spaces, and by offering them yourself you can give yourself a unique advantage and an opportunity to work with a market segment that’s needs are often unmet.

A recent study proved that many millennials are considering buying homes so that their dogs can have yards to play in. It might sound unbelievable, but consider how a property with a yard can be used to generate additional revenue.

While ideas like additional pet rent can help you to generate extra revenue, many rental property owners worry that the potential damage caused by pets can outweigh the revenue that’s earned in the meantime.

The key to ensuring that this isn’t the case is collecting a reasonable pet deposit at the beginning of new tenant’s lease. By doing this, you’ll incentivize your tenant to keep damage at a minimum when possible and at the same time, you’ll have built-in protection against any damage that is caused.

Reasons to Have a Pet-Free Property

While there are certainly benefits to allowing pets in your rental, there are some downsides to the idea as well. It might not be surprising to anyone that with pets comes a potential for horrific damage to your property. While most pets are essentially harmless, others can cause damage that’s hard to reverse.

As much as you’d like to believe that the pets entering your property are harmless, the truth is that it can be hard to know.

Being pet-free might reduce your client pool a little bit, but the truth is that most tenants already expect the majority of rental properties to be pet-free anyway. Along with that, the loss of potential revenue could be considered as a worthy sacrifice in trade for dealing with the risk associated with allowing pets.

More Information on This

If you’re still undecided on the pet issue for your property, consider watching this short video where we covered the subject and our perspective on it.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to buy or sell a multi-family property, we’d love to work with you to help you achieve your goals.


Also published on Medium.

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