Why I Allow Pets in My Rental Properties
I’m a fan of pets. I like animals in general. In fact, I have a cat with me on my desk right now as I write this. Pets can evoke some pretty strong emotions, both for and against.
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No matter what your feelings are on pets, should you as a landlord allow pets in your properties? I know landlords that would shout a hearty “Hell No!” back at me to that question. I however tend to see advantages to allowing pets, so I do allow them, but with restrictions.
By allowing pets we open our properties up to a large segment of the market. According to the American Pet Products Association, 62% of American households own pets. That is a sizable chunk of the population. If you do not allow pets, you have just cut yourself off from that large market segment.
Further, pets can be a money maker. We charge extra monthly rent and a non-refundable pet deposit. These two things really can add up. But, people say, pets will tear up your properties and cost you so much more in repairs on the back end. My only response is that that has not been my experience.
Perhaps the above is because we screen our tenants and their pets pretty thoroughly. Yes, at times we will ask to “interview” the pet. Plus, just because we allow pets does not mean we allow all pets. We have a defined pet policy. And you should have one too if you plan to allow pets. Some breeds of dogs are off limits due to insurance limitations. We also frown on larger dogs, but will allow them with a large fee and an “interview”. Large fish tanks are out as are insects, snakes and birds.
So I think pets are great. You open your self up to a much larger market segment. You can make extra income and you come off as the nice guy who likes animals. Well some of them anyway.
Till next time, happy investing!
Photo: Mosman Council