Landlords tend to be divided on whether to allow pets in their rentals. 

Some welcome their tenants’ furry friends, while others prohibit them due to damage costs. It’s true that pets introduce some challenges and require some thought. For instance, if you allow pets in your rentals, you’ll have to decide whether to charge pet fees or pet rent, or increase the security deposit.

In many states, laws regulate how much you can increase a security deposit due to pets.

Despite these considerations, you might be missing out if you don’t already allow pets in your rentals. Pets bring many benefits to their owners and your rental business.

Here are four benefits of implementing a pet-friendly policy in your rentals. 

1. Attract More Renters

Pet owners make up a majority of renters. According to recent data, 70% of U.S. households own pets. A recent survey from Apartments.com indicated that up to 90% of renters own pets or want to adopt a pet soon.

Advertising your rentals as pet-friendly is a sure way to draw an influx of new applicants. You can also market any pet amenities you offer, such as walking trails or dog parks.

What’s more, pet owners will almost never compromise when it comes to their pets. They will rule out a rental with a “no pets” policy almost immediately. If you prohibit pets, you’re missing out on a larger, more varied applicant pool. 

Pet owners also tend to be more responsible renters. They want what’s best for their pet and willingly shoulder the responsibilities of caring for it. Such good habits easily transfer to on-time rent payments, healthy communication, and reliable tenancies.

If most renters own or want pets, it just makes financial and practical sense to allow them.

2. Tenant Wellness

Pets improve mental health, provide companionship, and reduce stress. They make your tenants happy—and the happier your tenants, the more likely they are to renew their leases.

Animals are so good at improving mental health, they commonly serve as emotional support animals or ESAs (which you cannot deny a renter, regardless of your pet policies). 

Allowing pets makes your rentals more inclusive, and that will be appreciated by all your tenants—not just those with service animals or ESAs.

3. Increase Gross Rental Income

No matter how inclusive your policies are, it’s still your right as a landlord to seek financial protection against risks.

Pets can be messy. They may destroy furniture, shed profusely, make claw marks on flooring, or leave unpleasant odors. In rare cases, pets may also be a danger to others—particularly loud or aggressive dogs, for example, could disturb and alarm other tenants. It’s your responsibility to protect yourself from legal and financial trouble in case of any of these circumstances.

Most landlords who allow pets charge pet rent, pet fees, or a pet security deposit, which may or may not be refundable. These fees increase your gross rental income and give you money to work with should repairs be required.

Just keep in mind that pet fees are regulated differently in different states. Many states limit how much you can charge on top of the max security deposit amount typically required. Be sure to find out the specific pet laws that apply in your state. 

4. Longer Tenancies

Pet owners tend to stick around longer. This is because pets are difficult to move, and many other rentals are off limits to pet owners due to strict pet policies. Once a tenant with pets finds you, they are less likely to leave.

This means renewed leases, longer tenancies, and greater income over time. You’ll avoid unnecessary tenant turnover and benefit from long-term financial security. 

If you’re looking for loyal, reliable tenants, pet owners are a great place to start. 

Conclusion

As a landlord, allowing pets is one of the most lucrative decisions you can make for your business. As long as you’re prepared to follow state pet laws and handle the possible risks, pets are a positive addition to any rental property business. You, your tenants, and their pets will be grateful for your pet-friendly policy.

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