Landlording & Rental Properties

Why I Will Always Allow Pets in My Rental Property

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties
17 Articles Written
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I used to be a strict pet-free landlord. I followed the same logic any investor might when deciding if my renters would be allowed to keep pets: Pets cause damage. They increase wear and tear, which could negatively affect my bottom line. Therefore, I simply would not allow pets at my properties.

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But after 15 years of real estate investing, I’ve had a change of heart. And no, it’s not from those puppy dog eyes (pet or human!); it’s because I have come to see pets as a potential income source for my properties.

In this article, I will break down the income-producing incentives that tipped the scale toward making my rentals pet-friendly properties.

Reduced Vacancy Time

Time is money in rental management, and the longer my property sits vacant, the less money it makes. The majority of rental properties are advertised as “no pets,” according to rental search data from Zillow. (1)  This correlates with rental search data from my own software’s database, which found that 27 percent of rental properties in the U.S. advertise “pets OK,” compared with 73 percent advertised as “no pets”—based on a sample size of 61,790 units. (2

The easiest statistic to find regarding pet ownership among renters comes from a 2014 survey published by Apartments.com. (3) It claims that 72 percent of renters own pets. More recently, Zillow released its 2017 Consumer Housing Trends Report stating that only 32 percent of renters have pets. (4)

This research indicates that there is a shortage of pet-friendly properties compared to the number of renters seeking pet-friendly housing. By allowing pets at your rental, you open your tenant pool and increase the desirability of your rental. This leads to shorter vacancy times between tenants.

Spend Less Time Seeking Funds to Repair Damage

If your state allows it, you have the option to charge an additional pet deposit on top of a standard security deposit from your pet-owning renters. Pet deposits can be used for cleaning a property or repairing damage caused by a pet.

Pet deposits offer additional security and allow you to have available funds to cover the cost of pet damage or excessive cleaning. If you only collect a standard security deposit and a pet causes more damage than the deposit will cover, you have to invoice the tenant to cover the cost of cleaning (or repairs) beyond the security deposit. You will then be actively seeking payment from a renter who has moved, and they—or the money—might be hard to track down.

Related: 3 Reasons Landlords Should Blacklist Certain Dog Breeds

If this bill goes unpaid, you can either move forward with collections or sue the tenant as your state laws allow. Or, you could eat the cost to avoid prolonging the issue.

Regardless, you will either have to spend time or funds dealing with chasing down additional payments for pet-caused damages. Having an additional security deposit limits the possibility of requiring additional money from your tenant.

Pet Rent

Another option for pet-friendly properties comes in the form of a monthly pet rent. Pet rent is collected along with your tenant’s standard monthly rent and can run anywhere from $10 to $50 a month per pet. Over the course of a year, this pet rent can add an additional $120 to $600 to your rental income.

In areas where vacancy rates are low and availability of pet-friendly rentals is even lower, most tenants expect to pay extra to live with their furry roommates. (5)

Increased Renewal Rates

In general, your pet-owning tenants are more likely to become long-term renters, due to the fact that pet-friendly rentals are more difficult to find. When you build routine rent increases into your lease agreements, these long-term, pet-owning renters are the cream of the crop for an investor.

For every renewal, I also find it important to perform regular inspections. This helps identify any pet damage or problem areas that should be addressed before they become more expensive down the line.  

Related: An Emotional Support Peacock—Really?! How to Navigate the Murky Waters of ESAs as a Landlord

The Legality of Pet-Friendly Properties

Make sure to check your state and local laws about increasing deposits and the legality of non-refundable fees. Your lease should have clear language about the types of pets acceptable at the property and what additional rent, fees, or deposits are associated with a pet-friendly rental. (Just remember to get it checked out by a trusted attorney before anyone signs on the dotted line.) I also find it valuable to require renter’s insurance for all tenants, especially for your pet-owning renters.

A Special Note About Service Animals, Emotional-Support Animals, and Therapy Animals

Your tenants who have service animals or emotional-support animals (ESAs) are protected by the American Disabilities Act (ADA). As a housing provider, you’re required to make reasonable accommodation for these renters and their animals.

Renters with a service animal or an emotional-support animal are exempt from paying an additional pet deposit, pet fee, or monthly pet rent. They will, however, need to provide proper documentation regarding the need for such an animal, as required by the ADA and Fair Housing Laws.

Sources

  1. https://www.zillow.com/or/pet-friendly/
  2. Data provided by Rentec Direct
  3. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/apartmentscom-survey-reveals-pet-ownership-among-renters-at-all-time-high-270864521.html
  4. https://www.zillow.com/report/2017/renters/typical-american-renter/
  5. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/07/17/how-much-should-you-pay-for-a-pet-deposit

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Do you allow pets in your rentals? Have you had a good experience overall?

Share your thoughts below!

Aside from being a landlord and real estate investor himself, Nathan founded Rentec Direct, a software company that serves the rental industry. Today he works with over 13,000 landlords and property managers by providing them automation software and education to effectively manage their rentals.

    Christopher Smith investor from brentwood, california
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I prefer tenants not to have pets, but almost all do especially in my tenant class (upper middle income types). So if you try to exclude them you’re cutting to deeply into your prospective tenant pool and it’s costing you money. So I let them have pets, and simply up the damage deposit accodingly.
    Dave Rav from Summerville, SC
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Just scanned the article but I would guess, if structured correctly and limitations on types of pets are set, this could be profitable. You can 1) increase overall rent, 2) have a non-refundable pet fee, and also a 3) pet cleaning deposit. This mitigates your risk. I have never done all three. But theoretically, dependent on your area and situation the spike in rent could be $30-40/mo, non-ref fee $100, and deposit of $400. Just gotta make sure these monies cover the potential max of damage the pet could do. (It isn’t always just carpet…I once saw an REO where the idiot residents apparently chained the animal in a room and the corner of the wall/trim was literally stripped away! I’m talking like 3 inches of drywall and part of the wood stud was cut away due to the friction of the chain rubbing! You never know what people are capable of. I also like your point about reducing vacancy rates.
    Patrick Liska investor from Verona, New Jersey
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Nathan, You bring up good points, as far as income from having pets, I have a couple of properties that I have allowed pets and charge $25/m for them, I do like what you said about having a cleaning fee and may have my PM include that. My wife and I have a dog and have had other dogs through the years so I am not adverse to pets, but some people just do not know how to take care of them. I had one tenant that we had to evict, for non payment of rent, but the dog they had ruined the hardwood floors in one of the bedrooms by urinating all over it, we had to rip up and install all new hardwood in that room because there was no way to sand it out. Had to put the past tenant to collection, this was 6 months ago, the good news is they are actually paying back slowly ( even the collector get a cut of it) I can hopefully recoup my $2000 cost. Bottom line is to make sure everything is in writing and to let them know they are responsible for any damages caused by the animal – service animal or not.
    Teresia Sayler investor from Snohomish, Washington
    Replied over 1 year ago
    If I allow a pet it’s a minimum $500 pet deposit over and above the regular damage deposit. I also make it mandatory as part of the screening to ask the prior landlords for a reference on the pet as well. I recently had to replace living room carpet entirely. Not due to soiling but it appears that the “well-behaved cat” was behind bedroom doors and didn’t like it so he scratched up the carpet down to the nap. If pet urine gets into subflooring at all it is nearly impossible to get out. So you either have to seal it, replace it, or do your best to deodorize. There are also carpet manufacturers that line the back of their carpet to avoid this but I am not sure that it works. In all likelihood new tenants that are pet owners, will be the only ones not to wrinkle their noses up at potential pet smells no matter how strong. On occasion I also add$25 per month to rent in addition to the pet deposit. Hefty deposits are the main way to mitigate hiring professionals to repair the damages. I believe most renters understand that now. I’ve even asked to meet the pet first. Also remember to look at your insurance policy or call your agent regarding coverage if you happen to rent to someone with a dangerous dog breed. There could be a long list of them that you would never think would be on the list but you don’t want to find that out when making a claim or when getting sued. Ask them to provide a picture of their lab mix, or whatever it is as it could easily be a pitbull or Rottweiler mix which are the two top breeds for lawsuits.
    Wilson Churchill from Madison Heights, Michigan
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I wouldn’t allow pets in any home that has hardwood flooring. I once had a tenant that thought it would be a good idea to “rescue” six dogs and three cats. I’m not going to describe what I saw and smelled when I visited the property, but you can probably imagine. Fortunately, the house has a slab foundation. I removed all of the existing flooring and put down cheap ceramic throughout. That is the only house in which I still allow pets.
    Aris Mantalvanos rental_property_investor from Raleigh-Durham, NC
    Replied 18 days ago
    Mannington Adura Max flooring. Indedstructible.
    Tony
    Replied over 1 year ago
    $25 a month extra rent sure isn’t enough money to allow pets. And what about the added turnover time it takes to replace carpeting and or deodorize when they move out? Not to mention when a dog ruins your lawn and landscaping. I’m still not convinced to allow pets after reading this.
    Christopher Smith investor from brentwood, california
    Replied over 1 year ago
    You can take most of that out of their pet enhanced security deposit, my managers also tell me it takes no added time on turnover, they can pull a carpet and have it replaced in a few hours. Plus in my tenant class at least 2 out of 3 have a dog or cat. By accepting pets I’ve kept my overal turnover to less than 2 percent. I guess there is no way to know for sure what it would otherwise have been, but I know it would have been consuderably higher and at an average rental rate of about 2,700 per month dead time is a killer.
    Amy A. from Portland, Maine
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I no longer allow dogs in my multi-units because the barking bothers the neighbors. Also, there’s often one tenant who doesn’t pick up after their dog and if there are multiple dogs I can’t tell who it is. I once had a tenant get so sick of the mess that she scooped it all up and dumped it in front of the door of the tenant she thought was the offender. It turned out to be the wrong tenant!
    Wilson Churchill from Madison Heights, Michigan
    Replied over 1 year ago
    “I no longer allow dogs in my multi-units because the barking bothers the neighbors. Also, there’s often one tenant who doesn’t pick up after their dog and if there are multiple dogs I can’t tell who it is.” If dog poop isn’t picked up, it can attract mice and roaches. The mice can also bring bedbugs..
    Kathleen Price
    Replied over 1 year ago
    My apartment complex that I currently live in did a dna swab test for each dog living on the property. If one poops on the premises it is collected, sent out for testing, and then a fine of $500 is given to the owner. It has prevented this problem!
    Michael McCarthy rental_property_investor from Oswego, NY
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I NEVER Use a pet deposit, I will charge a pet fee upfront and $25 a month per pet. Allowing pets not only do I get more tenants to choose from but I always get at least one high quality tenant that makes my life easier
    Lyndsey Sass real_estate_agent from Detroit, MI
    Replied 17 days ago
    I have always been under the impression that a deposit is preferred to a non-refundable fee because the tenant will want their deposit back if the pet does not cause damage, and theoretically will maintain the property better. What do you charge for a non-refundable fee?
    Susan Maneck investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Something to keep in mind, is you need to check your insurance to see which they might not cover or you could end up losing your house to a dog bite! I don’t allow aggressive breeds like bit bulls. Any other dog, I want a deposit for. Extra rent for bets is not done here, near as i can tell. But this may surprise you. I no longer require a pet deposit for cats, the reason being whatever damage the cat might do is far cheaper than what I’ve had to pay for rodent control. I had one house that I paid $1700 to seal from varmints with little success. I persuaded my tenants to take care of my cat when I went on vacation, and wallah the next complaint I get is over the dead mice left on the doorstep. Sorry, that’s what cats do. But rodent problem solved.
    Steve Ryan from Hazleton, PA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Just thinking out loud… Considering there are more tenants who have pets than landlords who allow them, if you do, you’re effectively targeting pet owners. What if you simply set your rent $50 above market and advertise it as “pet-friendly, no extra charges or deposits” or something along those lines? I mean, have it right there in the title of your Craigslist ad so no one misses it. That’s sure to have a big halo effect on their subsequent impression. If it’s a year lease, you just made an extra $600. If they stay longer (which pet owners statistically do)–well, the math is pretty simple. In terms of damage, the regular deposit can of course be used for pet damages too, and anything over that can legally (theoretically) be collected. There’s almost no limit to the amount of damage a bad actor can do, especially once they know their deposit is shot. But if the deposit covers your deductible, the added risk seems pretty minimal. Here’s the real kicker: If you’re in a 5-cap market, that extra rent just boosted your property value by $12,000, which could be a big help if you’re BRRRR-ing. The biggest downside I see is if you’re in a competitive market, people might never see your ad because their price limit is just under. But right now on Craigslist, there are only six dog-friendly rentals (out of 33) within 10 miles of my town of about 20,000, so I don’t imagine people are being too strict with their parameters. Again, just spit-balling here. I’m sure there are factors I’ve neglected or under-weighted. I’d love to hear other peoples’ experiences, or at least better-educated guesses!
    Matt Lawrence investor from Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I like that logic Steve, I was thinking on the same line. Wish I had some concrete numbers but I feel that when people see the price listed on anything not just rentals, they have an immediate impression & skip the details; “fine print” hence the importance of, as you specified, having no pet deposit or extra fees in the listing title. I’ve listed 1 house for about 3 years where I increased the rent ($30) to compensate for the paid security system I had covered. So instead of $1100 I had $1130 & put paid security alarm included but in the description, not title (zillow). I feel I got substantially more calls when I had the $1100 listing price. I need a bigger sample size though to see what connects with potential tenants best. Anyway I’m becoming more pro pets than I was before, numbers don’t lie so thanks for the article.
    Michael Bishop from Austin, Texas
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I couldn’t agree more with your first point. This is especially true for markets that are more pet friendly in general or household pets are more common, such as Austin, TX; by excluding pets, you’re dramatically reducing your potential tenant pool. You also might be surprised by how many landlords aren’t aware of the ADA and try to fight tenants on ESAs, only making the inevitable more difficult
    Alexandra Page from Southborough, Massachusetts
    Replied over 1 year ago
    We’re beginning to see abuse of the “service animal” “therapy animal” designation. We received a letter from a doctor out in CA (we’re in MA & so was the tenant) justifying a therapy animal for a 1 bedroom apt. under 500 SF in a building with no green space. We do income verification for these same people & know they’re not home all day long. I don’t object to allowing pets in theory & my husband and I are animal lovers with pets of our own but I do take issue with the concept of getting a dog because you want one without regard for the circumstances wherein you live.
    Margaret DelColle
    Replied over 1 year ago
    We allow pets. One cat or dog until we see how responsible the tenants are. We charge a $300. per pet however will give a break on a second pet if they are responsible. (charge $500 for the two.) It seems everybody has a cat or dog. We have a $300.00 cleaning fee to be determined by the landlord in our leases so that could be for damage the pet makes or the tenants. If there are wooden floors we ask the tenants to install rug runners along where a dog would walk. Also if it’s a cat have them put the litter box in the basement (we only have houses for rent) and put the litter box in a hard plastic kids pool. (litter gets out of the box and we’ve had smell problems from that in one of our rentals) We only allow dogs under 35lbs however we upped the rent amount for one tenant that had two large long haired dogs. That house was so clean and beautiful it looked like something out of a Better Homes magazine. So I guess it all depends on the pet owners. It would be good to go see the pet in the potential tenant’s house and check their housekeeping…
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I allow pets and charge $250 per pet unless it is a service animal. Never had a big problem and about 70% of renters have a pet. It’s all about the bottom line and happy renters pay.
    Andrew Syrios from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied over 1 year ago
    We always allow pets in our houses, although we charge a pet deposit ($250) and pet rent ($25/pet) and don’t allow dangerous breeds of dogs. A lot of people want to rent a house particularly because they want to bring their pets, so it’s a big advantage to allow them IMO.
    Jody C.
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I deal with a specific niche market with my rentals in that my rentals are horse property. Horse owners are always dog owners, therefore I do allow dogs. I charge extra for each horse as well as dogs. Since rental horse property is extremely difficult to find in this area, I never have a problem with vacancy and tenants keep the property very well as they know how hard it is to find. Also, I am a good landlord. I fix problems immediately and always check in with them to see if everything is ok as I find they are usually hesitant to complain if something is not working right. My biggest problem is when I do have a change in tenant, trying to decide on which applicant to pick. I typically have dozens to choose from with most of them offering “bribes” to get the property such as paying more in rent, paying two months in advance, or monetary gift to gain favor in consideration.
    Nancy E. rental_property_investor from Charlotte, NC
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Hello Nathan, Thanks for the advice. However, the article should have also addressed the property insurance requirements. Since insurance companies can stipulate the type and weight of the pet. Liability insurance should be researched before landlords automatically agree to allow pets. Just a FYI for those landlords considering changing their no pet practice. From Nancy
    Cesar Gomez
    Replied 18 days ago
    We just decided not to allow pets. We are fully rented.
    Kristen Robinson
    Replied 18 days ago
    Appreciate your perspective, but one thing doesn't add up for me. When searching for landlord insurance, one of the questions is always, "Do you allow pets?" I have always said no, but I know the cost of insurance is higher for "pets allowed" properties. I just don't see how the numbers would add up in my favor, espcially when damage risk is factored in.
    Ammon Hoover from Aurora, CO
    Replied 18 days ago
    Why is this article dated as yesterday and there are comments from a year ago?
    Brad Shepherd from Austin, TX
    Replied 18 days ago
    I'll never understand someone who rents and has pets. I know it's common, but I just don't get that mentality. Wanting to bring an animal into someone else's property, with all the accompanying nuisance and potential damage, just strikes me as someone who feels entitled. Or someone who thinks animals are equal to humans. I haven't allowed pets yet, even in a dog crazed city like Austin, and so far we haven't had any problem keeping our rentals full. I like to think it even makes it easier since lots of people appreciate moving into houses that haven't had pets before.
    Jason Oberweis from Atlanta
    Replied 18 days ago
    Leaving pet deposits ;)
    David Stunja
    Replied 18 days ago
    Great read, Nathan! One innovative thing we're seeing property owners and managers do is opening / lifting their breed restrictions. It sounds drastic, and it takes some insurance shopping, but it's possible. One reason why you would do that is to differentiate your listings. It's really difficult to find a place to live with a large or 'dangerous-breed' animal. Yes, this could be more risk, but there are tons of pets out there! To account for this risk, you could vary your pet deposits and rents based on each scenario -- similar to human screening. This could also reduce the number of accommodation requests for assistance animals.
    Katie Stone investor from Spanish Fork, Utah
    Replied 18 days ago
    We don't allow pets, and the contract says they will be evicted if they get one. We had one tenant who snuck a dog and cat in, and apparently never let them out. They were evicted when we found them with a routine inspection (granted we only inspected every 6 months- but that was long enough to cause considerable damage). The stench was overwhelming. It ended up costing us about $10,000 and a whole lot of time to fix the damage. The flooring and subfloors were saturated with urine. I don't know how an additional $500 would have helped. Not worth the hassle to me after this experience. Our units are always rented and we have a large pool to choose from even not allowing pets. When housing is at a shortage, like it is in Utah, there is no reason in my book to go down that road.
    Clifford Timpson from Evans
    Replied 18 days ago
    Mr. Miller, I enjoyed reading this article. I joined BiggerPocket attempting to expand my knowledge when it comes to property management and real estate and my network throughout the United States. I would like to work along side realtors showing each how they can possibly earn after sale residual income on any home sold. First concept, under our program, you can sell a home or commercial security system. If the buyer qualifies; you receive a $300 bonus, #2 a monthly residual from the company, and #3 reach set milestones and receive additional monthly bonus. Second concept, this article is about pets, we have CBD pet treats. Display information on our Pet Treats, Tenants order from you and receive a monthly residual. There are other monthly bonus we help pass onto the ownership. There are no gommicks...all legal and valid above table marketing programs. Mr. Miller, thank you for posting and setting my mind in motion.
    Elise Hazzard property_manager from Saint Petersburg, FL
    Replied 18 days ago
    Sorry I am not familiar with the author or the properties they own; Maybe C- or D class? Property managers have long recognized the most important decision in renting is the tenant selection. If a tenant comes with a potentially (and all are) destructive pet, you many never recoup the loss no matter how much monthly or deposit you collect. Also, not sure I saw any comment here re: who is paying for the bite policy? another sticky wicket. If you have a good propery, in a good area, you can afford to be selective and maximize returns by not having losses. Just one investors perspective.
    Bryan Cumin wholesaler from Matthews, North Carolina
    Replied 18 days ago
    This is going to be a moot point in the long run. . . Here is my take on all of this. Tenants are exploiting the law and ease of obtaining "emotional" support certificates. With the ease of obtaining "emotional support" animal certification from website for a nominal fee, you will not have the ability to say "no pets allowed" or charge any extra for pets. We had a scenario where prospective tenant came in and did not indicate they had pets. After signing the lease, we found out they had two dogs. Because they are "emotional" support animals, they did not have to list them on the application. The only thing we could do at that point was get verification (which was a certificate from one of those websites) and proof the dogs were up to date on their shots. I have also heard tenants getting the emotional support certificate after they move in and the landlord had give back money and/or reduce rent in reference the animal being a pet. The only thing Landlords can hope for (at this point) is the laws to be changed. Also note: The number of people that live in the rental is the max number of emotional support animals. So you have 4 people renting a house, they can have up to 4 dogs. -b
    Mary A. from Texas
    Replied 6 days ago
    It is surprising to hear that the tenants you mentioned did not have to list their animals on the application because they were emotional support animals. Having a service animal or ESA is a reasonable accommodation request. If that request was not made, having those animals without prior declaration would seem to have no legal basis. Not questioning you, Bryan, but the processes we are expected to abide by.
    Adam Skay from Winter Haven, Florida
    Replied 18 days ago
    I don’t understand how anyone can allow pets in their rentals 1% responsible is 100% liable. Any benefit you receive puts you in the pet business and failing to provide adequate protection to prevent a dog bite in your pet business isn’t a hard sell to a jury
    Rebecca Cochran
    Replied 18 days ago
    Perhaps one could also profit by offering an outside kennel? I would also think that an owner could put just about anything in a lease (check with your attorney) in order to cover damages.
    Doug Hill
    Replied 18 days ago
    This is all good information for most tenants that have a pet, and the added pet rent and pet deposits plus pet cleaning will help defray landlord cost down the road, but being Doug Downer, I can recall that one time in '96 when the tenant got a puppy after they moved in and over the course of one year did $25000 damage to the once all new remodel job. I guess that if the tenant's application states what breed and age of pet they have, you still have some options.
    Randall Prosise rental_property_investor from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied 18 days ago
    I love the pet rent! Now, if we could only charge extra for each kid…..:)
    William McAttee
    Replied 18 days ago
    We have 100 units in Tampa. Lord have pets become something else. When we bought it there were 15 dogs running around in the yard in the middle of day. Instantly one of our too priorities was to figure out who owned them or and call the dog catcher. We have advertised PET FREE for 4 hrs. Now we still have some tenants that had them when we bought the place. Emotional pets is going to be the end of additional fees for pets. FL has changed the law 3 times already on it. In favor of the landlord. But it is still a huge problem. We rent to a lot of veterans because that is kind of the cause we support but they take advantage of the emotional pets laws. Now we do loosen our position on pets for elderly who need them. People who look responsible and so on. We charge monthly $50. Non-refundable let fee depends on size of the pet. Require renters insurance with us added as additional insured. In the end with all that added up if the pet tears up the place the $$$ isn't going to cover it - period. But if everything goes right and your gut says they will take care of your unit it is a money maker. Always do a pet interview first. Last but not least every single time the pest control goes in or a work order is done in a pet unit require them to update you on the condition of the unit. If it smells or is getting torn up. We make them sign a pet agreement and in that it should cover smell and torn up - EVICT THEM if they don't take care of it promptly as written in the agreement. Hope y'all the best and make that money!!
    Jerry Rien investor from Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    Replied 18 days ago
    I wish I could show pictures of the damage that pets have caused to my rentals. And even though I charged a pet fee and pet deposit, it never made up for the loses I incurred, in ruined carpet, padding, sub floor, and the scratches or chewing damage. Plus every tenant that had a pet who is trained for a litter box, and or doggie pads, always missed the mark, and even though they promised, to pick up outdoor droppings. None, I repeat none, ever did. If your rentals have the yard, kennels or pet area to accommodate them fine. But my niche is 4-8 plexes that don't have the accomodations for pets. And once I instituted pet deposits of 1000.00, I don't have anyone who decided to come up with the pet deposits. Ive lost thousands from pet damage, and I can still keep my apts. rented without the pet headache anymore. Glad that you allow them, they can rent from you. This was my number one headache, problem, until I quit allowing them. Now I can truly enjoy a mostly passive income without the damages.
    Roy Johnson
    Replied 17 days ago
    On top of securty deposit and extra rent fee how bout mandatory renters insurance for pet.
    Henry Kaldenbaugh from Verde Valley Arizona USA
    Replied 17 days ago
    Your tenants who have service animals or emotional-support animals (ESAs) are protected by the American Disabilities Act (ADA). As a housing provider, you’re required to make reasonable accommodation for these renters and their animals. Renters with a service animal or an emotional-support animal are exempt from paying an additional pet deposit, pet fee, or monthly pet rent. They will, however, need to provide proper documentation regarding the need for such an animal, as required by the ADA and Fair Housing Laws. I have looked and have seen no ADA regulation regarding "Emotional Support Animals." In fact, the Arizona Landlord Act states that it allows only two service animals, dogs and miniature horses. Service animals must perform work that directly aids the specific disability of the owner. We have seen the emotional support animal argument abused by renters regularly. Aren't all pets emotional support animals. I would love some feedback on this issue.
    Mary A. from Texas
    Replied 6 days ago
    ESA's in housing may be covered under FHA regs. Service animals have specialty training. ESA's don't.
    Frank Holmes rental_property_investor from Omaha, NE
    Replied 9 days ago
    I agree with you Henry. Plus, a tenant can purchase a certificate online to show that their pet is Esa or qualifies it as an ADA animal
    Fleming Schutrumpf
    Replied 17 days ago
    I don't think it's nearly as clear cut. Pet damage is often hard to quantify, and easily adds up to many multiples of a typical security deposit. Couple that with a fact that a pet fee and pet rent uplift doesn't really work anymore when anyone with an internet connection can get an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) letter for as low as $99, which is significantly cheaper than the $350 one time pet fee and $25/month pet rent I charge. So the article above essentially loses traction in today's environment: ESA eligibility is for all, and that means that traditional pet policies no longer work to provide additional income, or even just simple damage control to us landlords. Personally, I have found that this year, I have had 2 people pay the normal pet fees that I charge, and 5 pull the ESA stunt on me. I google the provider of the ESA letter, and there's a lot of Internet ESA letter mills out there. These are psychologists that figured out they can make $99 or $198 issuing a form letter based on inputs provided by the tenant on a webform, instead of making $99 hearing a person's woes for an entire hour.... One of those ESA tricksters just moved out, breaking his lease. His security deposit was $1100, his completely untrained ESA dog did about $1400 in damage, which leaves no money to pay for the broken lease etc. Had this tenant not had a dog, the damage would have been on the order of $300... I find this to be fairly consistent. To have income, you need to work. That, for many tenants, means 9-11 hour days away from the house, which is cruel on the pet and hard on my unit where the pet does what it does. Here's what I've seen with pet damage: * Reduced furnace life of 2-7 years - due to pet hair and dust clogging up filters and internal components, especially with tenants who can't bother to change filters even with monthly reminders. * Permanently smelly subfloors due to dog and especially cat urine. This is a smell you literally cannot get out, unless you actually change the building envelope (new subfloor) * Ruined carpet: one tenant, herself a landlord with a rental property somewhere out of state, kept her dog in a kennel during her 13 hour days at work (very cruel to the dog). Yet, the mesh kennel sat on carpet. That area of carpet was destroyed, beyond destroyed, it was a contender for the world's worst carpet award. The whole room of carpeting, of course, had to be replaced. * Scratched doors are common for households with dogs that aren't perfectly trained. This is par for the course, and a crying shame if you have a nice solid natural wood $600 entry door where those scratches simply cannot be properly hidden unless you paint the beautiful clear wood with non transparent paint. * Landscaping: Pets can be rough on yards. I had one yard where after a tenant move out (She somehow accumulated 3 large bulldogs), we removed 3 60 gallon trashcans of dog shit. This is 180 gallons of essentially toxic waste. Good luck getting your local dump to happily accept that... This can be $200 in dump fees. * Legal liability: if your tenant's pitbull bites the little 3 year old neighbor girl's face off, lawyers will sue all and any parties to this, which includes the landlord. This is a real risk. Especially on extremely hot days, when everyone is a bit on edge, some dogs can get extremely aggressive and not the normal loving amazing creatures that they are at other times.
    Fleming Schutrumpf
    Replied 17 days ago
    One other important factor that I see consistently is that tenants with cockroaches, bedbugs and other pest infestations are consistently, almost always pet owners. Pets need food and water. Cockroaches, mice, rats and other pests need the same. Once pet owning tenants have these types of pests, they are that much harder to eradicate because pets will generally splatter enough tiny amounts of water and food to feed pests. Non pest owners will be able to curtail infestations in one or two treatments, with pet owners, it is that much harder because of the ongoing food source and the impossibility of creating a less hospitable environment for pests. This is more of a lower category of tenant issue. However, in dense and urban housing, this is an ongoing issue. Neighbors will have a massive infestation of mice, roaches, bedbugs and whatnot. That (slum)lord will finally hire an exterminator. The roaches/mice/bugs flee the 20 feet to the neighboring property (mine). If my tenants have pets, it's that much harder to get rid of those traveling pests.
    Alan DeRossett investor from Thousand Oaks, California
    Replied 15 days ago
    in One Building we've not allowed pets and have not had any vacancies in 8 years. thinking of telling all-new renters it's an allergy-free building. have bought other properties where people had Cats or smoked and always had to gut the insides replacing carpets and flooring to get rid of stench from cats mostly. all cat owners I've every rented too in apartments are off the market for a month to paint and re-carpet at minimum to rent. In many cases, security deposits were not enough as people with cats seemed to move more frequently. So far no one has asked to keep Dogs unless its a house as our Apartments do not have private yards. when someone calls and asks if we take pets I always say no as costs are too great.
    Gary William Clark
    Replied 1 day ago
    I have 11 single family small homes. If rent is going for $1,100 in the area, I advertise with the headline- "Wolf! Yes! You pet is family!" I then advertise the home for $1,250 including one pet. This covers people that have emotional pets, etc. where you can not charge extra for this kind of service animal. I do a pre-qualifying interview over the phone. Only then do I send out an application. When I have 3 pre-qualified applicants within 18-24 hours, then I pull the ad and then decide which of the three pre-qualified candidates I am going to accept. Here is the section in my contract referring to animals (pets) 10. ANIMALS. Tenant shall be entitled to keep no more than (2) domestic animals. One approved animal is included in the lease (picture must be submitted with lease agreement). The second approved animal is $40 per month (picture must be submitted with lease agreement). Adding an Animal: Submit a contract adjustment in writing along with a photo of the animal. If approved, the above fee applies. A replacement animal will not incur extra fees. No temporary animals, animal sitting, or visiting animals allowed. Fine for violation: $20 per day, per animal, per occurrence, retroactive to the start of the lease. This has worked for me increasing my income by at least $1,200 a year per lease. So, $100 more income per property and allowing $50 a month for the pet damages that might occur.11 properties times $1,200 = equals real income value. Also, I use all industrial tile in most of my properties allowing for very little floor damage. I find most of my tenants use their own throw rugs. I hope this info helps you understand where the market is going with emotional pets, etc.