Are you looking to expand your tenant pool? Consider renting to tenants who have pets!
Pet owners consider their four-legged friends as part of their family and treat them as such. And it would be unfair to require a pet owner to give up their pet just to live in your rental property.
That said, landlords choose whether or not they allow pets in their rental properties for multiple reasons. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of renting to tenants with pets to help you make this important decision.
The Benefits of Being a Pet-Friendly Landlord
1. A Larger Tenant Pool
It’s every landlord's goal to land long-term tenants and reduce vacancy rates. With that in mind, if a majority of people already own a pet and you have a ‘no pets policy, you’ll be effectively locking out a majority of prospects from renting your property.
Needless to say, that can be detrimental to your bottom line as a vacant unit not only doesn’t generate passive income, it still incurs costs.
2. Long-term Tenants
Even with so many benefits of accepting tenants with pets, the majority of landlords remain skeptical of allowing them into their rental properties. They are also less likely to want to continuously change their pet's living environment.
For this reason, once accepted, pet owners are likely to rent for longer periods as they have limited options.
3. More Financially Responsible
Having a pet is a major financial commitment that most people don’t take lightly.
What does this mean to you as a landlord? It simply means you’re less likely to experience late or missed rent payments when you rent to a tenant with a pet. This is therefore another reason to consider making your rental property pet-friendly if you haven’t already.
4. Generally More Responsible
In general, pet owners tend to be very responsible. After all, looking after a pet isn’t a simple job. Owners have to ensure that their pets are healthy, well-fed, and getting the care and attention they need.
What does this mean to you as a landlord? It simply means that tenants with pets will be more likely to take their rental responsibilities more seriously than those without.
5. Pay Higher Rent
More often than not, tenants with pets will agree to pay more rent than those without pets. And this is often due to the limited options they have when it comes to renting a home.
They also understand that there’s a higher risk of property damage if a pet is with them. So with the limited options, pet owners may be forced to place a higher bid.
6. Reduced Chances of Lease Violations
With so many people having pets in the country, chances are your “no pets” policy is bound to be broken at some point.
You see, when you allow pets, at least you’re able to put in place mitigation factors to protect your investment. But when you have no idea, you lose control over such a situation.
7. Happier Tenants
Studies have shown that pet owners are happier than people without pets. And how is this beneficial to you as a landlord? See, it’s easier to do business with happy and relaxed people. As the landlord, you’ll also feel more at ease interacting with your tenants.
The Disadvantages of Being a Pet-Friendly Landlord
1. Increased risk of damages
Accepting pets into your rental property can mean increased wear and tear to your property. Pets are more likely to destroy hardwood floors, chew on carpets, and damage the drywall.
But of course, pets aren’t created equal. Some will be more well-behaved than others. But as a general rule, expect more wear and tear in your rental when you accept pets.
2. Disruptive to Neighbours
Regardless of how responsible your tenant is, it doesn’t mean that their four-legged companion will be on their best behavior at all times. Problems will still occur from time to time.
Their pet could end up, for instance, barking or causing damage to their property.
3. Lingering Odours and More Cleaning
As much as pet owners love sharing their home with their furry friends, pet odors are often an unfortunate side effect. That isn’t to say, however, that homes of pet owners smell bad. Matter of fact, pet odor might not be present at all.
As a landlord, however, you cannot rule out such any possibility with your future tenants. So it’s best to have a plan in place to get ahead of the issue.
4. Allergens Throughout the Rental
Some tenants are allergic to pets. Allergens tend to get in air ducts, stick to walls and carpets, and stay there for quite some time. This means that even if current tenants don’t get affected, you might get a tenant in the future who is.
And remember, as a landlord, you have a responsibility to abide by the local, provincial and federal health and safety codes. Consider having a cleaning plan in place, or contact a vendor that specializes in cleaning away allergens.
As you can see, there are more benefits of allowing pets into your rental property than not. As for the few cons, you can mitigate them by having a solid pet clause in your rental property’s lease agreement. For example, you can put restrictions on the amount, size, and breed of pets your tenant can keep.