Pet Policies for Rental Properties
Many landlords default to saying no to pets. They imagine worst-case scenarios: the cat who sprays plaster walls, the mastiff who chews that vintage woodwork all day, or the bird that keeps every neighbor within a three house radius awake.
However, allowing pets in your rental can actually be a great way to find and retain stable, happy tenants. The reasons are fourfold.
Finding a Tenant
First, it's a great bargaining chip when finding a great tenant initially. Even in a hot rental market, it can be a challenge to find a qualified tenant. Allowing pets not only expands your market of potential renters, but it can make your listing stand out amongst a sea of pet-restricted listings. Once you have potential renters interested in the property, it is an extra draw if your unit is pet-friendly, even to many tenants who don't currently have pets! People like to keep their options open, and potential renters may be extra fond of a rental that would allow them to someday get a pet if they wish.
Second, pet owners will be especially appreciative that you are renting to them. This might sound like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in how renters treat your property. Of course there is the occasional pet owner who takes advantage of their landlord and doesn't take care of the unit. But for each of these, there are many responsible pet owners who, in acknowledgement of the fact that you are allowing them to keep their pet in the unit, will treat the home with even greater respect and go out of their way to prevent their pet from doing damage.
Third, pet owners are often some of the most stable tenants. Adopting a pet is a big step, and not one most people take lightly. Most people are in a stable position before they make the leap and adopt an animal, and stable, reliable tenants are the kind you want as an owner! Partly because of the fact that it is more difficult to find a pet-friendly rental, pet owners are often more likely to renew their lease and save you the hassle of finding a new tenant after the lease period.
Lastly, you can often command a larger rent if you allow pets. Pet owners are familiar with pet rents and pet deposits, and will often not only agree but expect to pay extra for the right to have their furry friend live with them.
Even though there are many benefits to allowing pets in your rental unit, It is still crucial to have a good pet policy. Rent the District has carefully crafted a pet policy that protects the owners we work with, and we often will insist on meeting the pets, just as we would any other renters, before the lease is signed. Just like people, pets are individuals, and allowances must be made on a case-by-case basis. By protecting yourself as an owner you can reap the benefits of allowing pets in your rental property.