4 Things to Check Before Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

4 Things to Check Before Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

3 min read
Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney is a value investor and portfolio holder of residential and commercial units. Marcus has been named the “Equity King” for his impressive ability to find real estate opportunities with massive amounts of equity.

Experience
Marcus, a high school dropout, went from G.E.D. to M.B.A. Although his education has a major impact on his investment philosophy, the real impact came from his upbringing.

Marcus thrives on completing successful transactions. As a young kid, his parents and grandparents faced many challenges; as a result, it made him think of ways he could help. His mother and grandmother were avid investors—not in the market but in people. Marcus was a recipient of those investments. And his early years were hard work growing up on a farm.

Marcus was a strategist at an early age. To relieve the burden of his family buying him clothes when it was time to return to school, he decided to make a small investment that paid big dividends. Marcus decided to purchase a small piglet at the beginning of summer, feed it until it became fat, and then sell it to a local farmers’ auction before the school year started. This was one of his first transactions and the beginning of his adventure of finding equity in every opportunity.

Marcus’ hard work continues today: He has completed over $3.3 million in wholesale transactions. Currently, Marcus is a licensed agent who wholesales virtually in multiple states while building his investment portfolio. Although wholesaling provides great money, he saw the opportunity to buy some of the deals he found and convert them into cash flowing rentals.

Marcus currently holds seven rentals, two of which are commercial units. He’s also done the unimaginable and purchased a school, which was converted to a daycare center. Again, he turns what is a marginal profit into a significant equity position. He leverages the equity by using the BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) strategy to increase his portfolio without any money out of pocket.

Marcus has been featured on numerous podcasts, such as the Louisville Gal Podcast, the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever podcast, FlippingJunkie, and many others. He’s currently a featured blogger for BiggerPockets, the largest community of real estate investors in the world.

Along with completing transactions and working to build his portfolio, he provides mentorship to aspiring investors. This is done through one-on-one interactions and through his successful YouTube channel and blog.

Marcus does utilize his M.B.A. for more than real estate. As a consultant for a successful non-profit institution south of Chicago, he uses his expertise in the development of human capital. His philanthropic efforts help existing stakeholders develop in their capacity to serve those in need of assistance.

Education
Marcus completed his M.B.A. in 2011 from Olivet Nazarene University.

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Allowing pets in your rental can be a hassle.

There are many things a landlord must consider before they approve or deny the tenant to bring their family member (Brutus) along. We have incorporated 4 things to check before approving the rental of your property to a pet lover.

I have always had an open mind about tenants and pets. I have a pet myself (Rocco) and I understand how your animal is a family member, especially if you have kids. Many landlords have had negative experiences with pets and thus tenant that have pets are immediately eliminated from the candidate pool.

I have found that pets are a great way to attract long-term tenants, due to the lack of non-pet-friendly rental units. Once a tenant and his pet find a home they are there for years. On the other side there are some horrible tenant-pet relationships which can cost a landlord thousands of dollars in repairs.

Here are 4 Things to Check before Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property:

Below are the 4 things you need to consider before letting pets in. If you don’t handle these 4 things, you may find yourself in a world of hurt.

1. Pet Interview

This may sound extremely crazy but I love to meet the pet when I meet the prospective tenant.

This is done to evaluate the behavior and mannerisms of the pet. This is more for dogs because normally these are the pets that we find can do the most damage, beside a tenant with a 1000 cats. My property manager or myself always like to see how the tenant engages with his/her pet and vice-versa.

We are looking to see who is in charge. If the owner is having difficulties controlling the pet during the initial meeting there is a strong likelihood that the animal is in charge and not the owner. This can translate into a disobedient pet who can not be trusted alone.

Related: Why Pets Are a “Head-Scratcher” (Hey-Oh!) for Landlords!

2. Longevity of the Relationship

Along with the pet interview we ask detailed questions to gauge how long the owner has had the pet and how much do they have vested in the pet. We ask the questions such as:

  • How long have they had the animal?
  • Are the shot records current?
  • Have your pet been spayed or neutered?
  • Who is the animals veterinarian?
  • Have there been any incidents with previous landlords or neighbors?

By taking all of this information into account it lets the landlord know how the animal is treated by the tenant, and the relationship they have with their pet. The longer the tenant owned the pet the better the animal is treated (generally).

A quick side note: Normally, a pet that have not been spayed or neutered is a hazard, animals are animals and they will multiply if the tenant is not watchful. This is how a tenant can go from 1 pet to 4 very quickly.

3. Veterinarian Follow Up

Verifying this information is essential and this is usually done by speaking to the animal’s veterinarian.

A quick 5 min conversation will give you all the information you need about how the relationship of the owner and the pet, as well as the pets mannerisms and overall health. Some people may think this is a bit excessive but you will not think that way if you visit your property and floor boards and based boards are chewed up, or there is a strong urine odor because the animal is in heat.

4. Property Protection

make sure you have a strong policy about pets.

It is great to incorporate an additional pet deposit, cleaning deposit, and always conduct a walk-through with the tenant prior to moving in. Another thing that is important is to find out for dog owners, is if their dog is strictly an outside animal or inside. If the dog is always outside you have to be aware of what this will do to the lawn “Kill It”.

Related: Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Property?

Also check with your insurance company about loss coverage for animal damage. Many insurance companies are very particular on what items are covered and what is not regarding pet damage. You do not want to find yourself making costly repairs because your insurance policy does not cover certain damages.

Conclusion

It is essential to ensure all information is outlined with the tenants and that you are ready to accept the challenges if any arise.

I welcome pet owners. Good pet owners are responsible, and they will manage your rental and their pet. By following these 4 simple screening techniques will assist you in finding a long-term tenant that’s a pet lover.

Is there any information that you have in your pet policy that I have not discussed please share.