Best Pet Proofing Tips/Recommendations for Rentals

8 Replies

I know the best approach to pet-proofing is not allowing pets, but based on a recent discussion with my new property manager new tenant laws may require that Landlords allow "comfort" pets.  So that being said, I plan to go with Vinyl Plank flooring through out my units whenever I have replace carpet. For those of you with experience renting to pet owners do you think Vinyl Plank is the best option? Any other suggestions?

@Amad Osman

I have Vinyl Plank Flooring (Allure Waterproof version) and it works great. One of my tenants has a cat and we have not had any problems - knock on wood. If you do go with the Vinyl Flooring make sure it is waterproof. 

The best sort of flooring for pets in my opinion, assuming it is conducive to your area and market, is tile flooring. Tile can take a huge beating and you can pressure wash it with the right tools. I have tile in my primary residence and it cleans up great year to year (we have a dog). 

Bottom line stay away from carpet or anything that will require any sort of constant MX. And get a large pet deposit or charge a monthly pet fee... 

Best of luck. 

Pet urine will seep thru the cracks in the flooring, and saturate the under layment.

Ceramic tile, the grout gets soaked the urine seeps thru and saturates the under layment.

Concrete the urine saturates into the cement and it's terrible.

You will never win and damages may not appear for a period of time.   

only thing that is possibly pet resistant is sheet good vinyl flooring where it's a solid surface no seams ...

Well if we as landlords are forced to accept pets, we’ll have to figure out ways to manage the risk associated with pets. Some thoughts .. 

1- Perhaps 6 month leases with inspections prior to renewal.

2- pet Insurance to protect against property damage?

3- any way to seal underpayment with Killz or something similar?

4- weight and age limits?

Sorry if any of these suggestions sound stupid. I’m a newbie.

Unfortunately, when you say "comfort" pets, you are likely talking about service or emotional support animals, and you are already required to allow them without any additional pet deposit or pet fee as they are considered medically necessary,  like a ramp for a wheelchair must be accommodated.  I have raised my standard security deposit over the last several years for all new tenants as it is the only way to protect yourself against the internet letters where a tenant can pay $75, fill out a form, and receive an "emotional support" certificate for their pet, allowing them access to no-pet rentals or no pet deposit and pet rent on the rentals that allow pets.  As far as your suggestions, if they have an "emotional support" letter from a medical professional, you cannot force them to produce pet insurance, no weight or age limits, and even breed restrictions are difficult, although you can possibly deny them if no insurance will cover you with that breed.  You have to have some special hardship to deny them.  They are supposed to be responsible for all damage the pet causes, just like they would be responsible for removing the wheelchair ramp and returning property to original condition (minus normal wear and tear) but it can be extremely difficult to collect if they don't pay.  

The best way I have found to pet-proof a house is to screen the tenants and pet,  charge a non-refundable pet security deposit and extra monthly rent to cover the cost of the repairs needed. I have noticed in my higher end rentals the people that have pets usually take care of them and I run into fewer issues. The lower end units that have pets usually have poorly behaved/trained pets and renters don't care about cleaning up after them. 

Vinyl plank flooring will help but that won't stop a poorly trained dog with bad owners from causing damage. 

@Amad Osman

In order for you to be obligated to house a pet, you first must be obligated to house the pet's owner by them passing the application process.  Just because one has a 'comfort' pet doesn't mean they have 3x income, verifiable rental history (with positive feedback) or credit with no negative remarks.

Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback and tips.

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