Should I Allow Pets in a Rental Property?

Should I Allow Pets in a Rental Property?

Are you buying your first investment property? As a new landlord, you have a lot to think about.

How are you going to manage your property? How will you screen your tenants and collect rent? Should you allow pets in a rental property?

We want to help you with that last problem. Read on to learn all about what to consider before allowing (or disallowing) pets.

Support and Service Animals

Whenever we discuss pets in rental properties, we need to talk about support and service animals. 

Depending on the type of animal, these aren't technically "pets." They're animals with jobs. You need to look into laws and regulations before you make any decisions. 

When it comes to service animals, the Fair Housing Act requires you to allow them. They count as reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. You do have some leeway if the animal will be a serious burden for you, but it's best to allow it without question.

Support animals are different. While people can have doctor's or therapist's notes for their animals, you don't have to allow those animals. That said, it's often in your favor to do so.

Pros of Allowing Pets

Allowing pets in a rental property comes with several benefits.

First, it may help you gain more high-quality tenants. If you miss out on a tenant with a strong rental history, great income, and great references because they have a pet, you're making room for a problematic tenant. 

You'll gain a reputation as a better property owner. When your tenants do move out, you'll have an easier time finding new ones. 67% of U.S. households own a pet, and many of those pet owners are renters.

Cons of Allowing Pets

While it benefits you to allow pets on your property, there are a few problems to consider.

First, pets may cause property damage. While most pets are well-behaved, there will be the occasional tenant with young animals or animals that are destructive. That said, the tenant is responsible for that damage (though they won't always pay).

If other tenants hate pets, they may not want to live in your building anymore. 

The Middle Ground

If you're on the fence about allowing pets, there is a middle ground that you can try.

First, collect pet rent or charge a pet fee. This should cover some of the potential damage from pets and it will encourage responsible pet owners to move into your rental. 

You can limit the types of pets that you allow. You may have breed or weight restrictions. While this will limit your tenants, you can also handle it on a case-by-case basis. 

You don't have to allow all pets.

Will You Allow Pets in a Rental Property? 

At the end of the day, it's the landlord's choice as to whether or not they want to allow pets in a rental property. There are pros and cons to either option. We suggest talking with a professional or a property management company with plenty of experience for more advice. 

Lucky for you, Inheritance Realty Group is here to help. We can handle all of your property management needs so you can relax. Contact us to learn more about our services.