It is undoubtedly a landlord’s market, with U.S. households that rent rather than own at a 50-year high. Whether you invest in single family rentals (SFRs) or multi-dwelling units (MDUs), you can have your pick of tenants. But does that mean you should exclude people with pets?
When you consider the benefits of renting to tenants with pets, you may consider not just welcoming pet owners, but offering amenities—such as dog parks within MDUs or gated communities—to attract pet owners.
Raise Rent Without More Work or Capital Improvements
Pet owners are used to paying a surcharge for apartments. Whether you add a fee for animals or simply increase the overall rent price, most tenants are happy to find a well-kept place that will welcome their furry family members. If you want to earn more rent without expensive upgrades to the home, consider allowing pets.
Pet Owners Can Be Stable, Responsible Tenants
It is not always easy to rent an apartment if you have a large dog or multiple cats. Once pet owners find an apartment or SFR they like, they are not inclined to move on a whim. In addition, people who own pets, especially higher maintenance dogs, tend to be more responsible. Having stable, responsible tenants could be worth paying a little extra for clean-up when they do finally move on.
Having Dogs on the Property Could Be a Theft Deterrent
Is the sound of a dog barking enough to keep thieves away? It could be. Approximately 34 percent of convicted burglars said they would not break into a home with a dog inside. That means about 66 percent would still burglarize the house, but it is a deterrent in some cases.
People with pets are also less likely to leave their home unoccupied for an extended length of time. Boarding pets is expensive. If tenants leave their dog home alone while they go away, they will often have a friend or neighbor come by to feed and walk the dog, which means the house is not left vacant for days, decreasing the risk of theft.
A dog is not a substitute for a security alarm, but can provide an added security benefit for pet owners and their landlords.
Pets and Rentals: Think Before You Welcome Animals
Of course, whether to permit pets or not in your rentals is a personal decision that should be decided on a case-by-case basis. Check with your insurance broker to obtain a list of dog breeds that may be determined as a risk, as you may want to prohibit specific breeds, so your insurance rates don’t rise.
Consider increasing the security deposit, in addition to charging more rent, for pet owners to cover any damage that may have to be repaired when they move out.
If you want to attract pet owners, think about making your space more pet-friendly, including a fenced-in yard, easy-to-clean ceramic tile floors, or even a dog park in common areas.
As the rental market continues to grow, you may be able to increase profits by permitting pet owners in your properties when appropriate.
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