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Five Things to Consider When Deciding if You Should Allow Pets in Your Rental Property

May 13, 2016

Some property owners have a strict no-pet policy. Whether they got burned, or just don’t want to take a chance, they have decided pets are not allowed in their rental property. Not everyone is so opposed to a furry friend, but it’s a good idea to think it over before you allow tenants to have pets.

  1. Pets usually cause more wear-and-tear. It’s a good idea to raise the security deposit if you’re going to allow pets. A cat that misses the litter box or a dog that scratches the flooring is going to mean more work to get the unit ready for the next tenant.
  2. Some dog breeds are high-risk. You are, by law, allowed to discriminate against certain dogs, especially those that have a tendency to be violent. Some insurance companies won’t cover liability issues if certain breeds are living on the premises.
  3. Consider the size of the house and yard. A large dog that needs to run in a small apartment with no yard is just asking for trouble. Sometimes saying no is best for you and the tenant.
  4. Do tenants have a track record for being neat and tidy? Check references to see if the tenant is likely to clean up after their pet, or if you’re going to have a yard full of dog droppings and an apartment that smells like a guinea pig cage that never gets cleaned.
  5. Update the lease agreement. Be very clear about what pets are allowed, and how many. Also specify that the tenant’s pets are the only ones allowed so you don’t end up with a renter who starts a pet-sitting business. Require all pets to be up-to-date on vaccines and licensing. Reserve the right to change the pet policy with a 30 day warning.

Allowing pets in a rental property does widen your pool of renters, but it can also bring some headaches with it. Think carefully about the advantages and disadvantages of both sides before you decide on this issue.

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