As a landlord, one of the toughest decisions that you can make is deciding whether or not you want to allow tenants to have pets in your rental property. On one hand, you may want to allow them; it will be easier for you to find tenants if you allow pets, and many tenants will be willing to stay longer due to limited rental options that do allow dogs and cats. On the other hand, however, you might be worried about the damages that can come from allowing pets in your unit.
There are ways that you can allow pets while protecting yourself, however. If you follow these three tips, you should be able to cut down on problems.
1. Carefully Screen Your Tenants
Responsible tenants are more likely to be responsible pet owners, so carefully screen your tenants. Look out for things on your potential tenants' credit reports that might indicate problems with their pets, such as judgments for damage to the property.
2. Pet-Proof Your Rental
It isn't advisable to put beautiful white carpet in your rental if you plan on allowing pets. In some cases, it is best to avoid remodeling your property if you are planning on allowing dogs and cats. If you do choose to make improvements, choose things that will be more difficult to damage; for example, thick linoleum or tile can be a good alternative to carpet because it can be more easily and effectively cleaned of pet stains.
3. Charge a Pet Deposit
It's always smart to charge an additional pet deposit on top of the regular deposit if you are going to allow pets. Then, you will have extra money on hand to help you pay for any damages that the pets might do to your property. In many states, the pet deposit can be nonrefundable, so you could end up with an additional profit if the pet does not do any damage to your unit. Check your state laws to determine the maximum pet deposit that you can charge. You can also opt to charge a monthly pet fee in many states.
Allowing tenants to have pets in your rentals can be a smart business decision. You can attract far more renters by allowing pets, and you can often maintain your renters for longer periods of time without worrying about the cost of tenant turnover. To help protect yourself, however, it is a good idea to follow these four tips. If you need help, you can always hire a property management company to assist you.
Talk to experts like Harland Property Management for more information.