How to Rent to Tenants With Pets

Deciding on whether or not to rent to tenants with pets is difficult for all landlords. Many landlords, however, determine that offering pet-friendly apartments will help their properties be more competitive.

Managing pet-friendly apartments requires landlords to learn how to rent to tenants with pets. Do you know what policies and procedures you should have to make this rental relationship as smooth as possible?

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Pet-Friendly Rentals: The Pros and Cons

One of the first things that you should become familiar with as a pet-friendly landlord is the list of pros and cons of renting to tenants with pets. After investing in a property, it’s vital to balance these pros and cons to ensure you are making the right choice to allow tenants with pets to rent your units.

Pros:

  • Can charge more rent
  • Can collect pet fees to minimize risk and cover damages
  • The potential pool of renters is much bigger
  • Tenants with pets tend to renew leases, reducing vacancies
  • Tenants who can keep their pets will be happy you offer this

Cons:

  • Pets can cause damage
  • Pets increase the risk of injuries on your property
  • Pets can cause noise complaints and issues between neighbors

How to Rent to Tenants With Pets

Now that you’ve reviewed the potential benefits and drawbacks of renting to pets, learn how to move forward. Here’s a simple step-by-step approach to getting you started.

Step 1: Write Your Pet Policies and Lease Addendums

Your lease agreement needs to be updated with specific terms to cover what types of pets you allow, what kind of pet rent will be charged, and how any pet-related problems will be handled. You may also require that pets be trained and up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations to prevent any pet illness from spreading throughout your rentals.

At this point, you can also include any restrictions on the number of pets, specific types of pets, and any other pet restrictions you plan to have in place. Having these policies in the lease agreement and included in any conversations had with potential tenants will ensure they legally agree to those terms.

Step 2: Screen Tenants and Pets

Just as you would when filling any vacancy, you will want to make sure that you thoroughly screen tenants with pets. Ensure that they are being honest about their pets, the number of pets, and all the usual topics that you cover.

Set up a pet interview with potential tenants and their pets. During this interview, you can get to know both of them and see how the owner manages their pet. This should give you a better idea of whether or not they will be a safe pet to live in a rental.

Step 3: Collect Pet Deposit and Pet Rent

Most landlords agree that collecting a pet deposit on top of the usual security deposit is essential when renting to pet parents. This is because pet damage can be very costly to repair, and you want to be sure that money is available.

Additionally, you may consider charging monthly pet rent to cover other incidentals, such as increased carpet cleaning in common areas, outdoor areas, and other things utilized more by pet owners than the standard tenant.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Want to learn more ways to maximize your status and profits as a pet-friendly landlord?

Here are a few more ideas from experienced landlords on how to advertise, manage, and grow your business:

  • Reach out to mobile vets in your area to forge a symbiotic relationship: advertise your apartments with their clientele and services to your renters.
  • Gather coupons from local pet centers to share with new renters as part of their “welcome” package when they move in.
  • Make your pet policy clear but not unnecessarily harsh; if you genuinely welcome pets, they should be just as welcome as the humans!
  • Set up “pet cleanup areas” if you have any common shared outdoor space, making everyone happier to use the space.

Step Forward With Confidence

As an investor, it’s essential to calculate potential profit, risk level, and more. By learning more about how to rent to tenants with pets, you can do so confidently. This will improve your management skills while also maximizing your profit, which is key to your business’s long-term success!

Are you ready to implement these pet-friendly policies on your first pet-friendly property? Remember that you can always make adjustments moving forward. You’ve got what it takes to get started right now.