Should I choose the one with pets or with kids?

3 Replies


We are taking applications for our first rental home. We have two strong candidates right now and would love your thoughts on this.

First, it is a higher-end rental ($2350/month for a small 3 BR, 2 BA single family home.) We've just put $100k into a huge renovation, and the house has all new kitchens and baths, hardwood floors, etc. 

Both applicants have good jobs, professional, well-dressed, well-kept cars, etc. Have not run credit checks yet but assuming all is well there.

One is a single man, local business owner, with two dogs (boxers). He has offered up front to have the floors refinished when he leaves. (we'd write a dog security deposit equal to that cost into the lease.) So that takes care of the floors... but the painted kitchen cabinets? Doors? 

The other is a professional couple relocating from out of state. 3 young kids.

In your experience (especially with responsible higher-end tenants like these) which is a greater risk for damage, kids or pets?

Any input welcome! Thanks!

@Stacey Collins In my opinion with higher end renters you shouldn't have a huge problem with either. I would rather have a pet fee and a higher deposit for the pets rather than a promise to refinish the floors. The floors shouldn't need to be refinished from normal pet wear and tear.

I personally would run the credit reports and see which one has the best credit and income and make sure there are no surprises.

As John said, I would run the screening reports to determine who will be the best tenant. Pick the applicant with the better report results. In addition, I agree that accepting a promise to refinish the flooring in the unit may not be a good idea. Pets can do much more damage than just scratching up floors (i.e. peeing on carpet, eating blinds, chewing on molding, etc.). Get a pet deposit and charge a monthly pet rent in order to maximize profits and make sure your covered in case the pet does end up damaging the property!