Many people think of their pets as part of their family. With over 90 million people owning a domesticated animal, this feeling is quite common. Although many of these animals live in houses, some live in apartments.
If you’re getting ready to rent out your apartments, permitting pets can be a big decision to make. Apartments that allow pets have to have different policies than ones that ban furry friends.
If you are thinking about allowing pets into your apartment, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll look at what to expect as an apartment landlord if you decide to allow pets at your properties.
Benefits of Allowing Pets
There are several major benefits to allowing pets in your apartment building. You may see a bigger demand for the property, more money, and great tenants.
Bigger Applicant Pool
The types of apartments that allow pets often have a bigger pool of applicants wanting to get into the building. Allowing pets isn’t something that all landlords do, so you’ll have a more desirable property to rent.
If you do decide to allow pets, you will likely be able to get more money for rent. There are certain fees associated with pets in an apartment. Some include the following:
- Pet rent
- Non-refundable or refundable pet fees
- Pet deposits
Depending on how many units are in your apartment, allowing pets could bring you a significant amount of money each month.
People with pets are usually more responsible than people who don’t have pets. Pet owners have to put time and effort into training their pets and taking care of them. These habits transfer into other areas of their lives.
Negatives of Allowing Pets
Although there are some benefits to allowing pets, there are some drawbacks too. Pets can cause damage, noise, and even injury.
One of the biggest reasons landlords aren’t willing to have pets in their apartments is due to the damage they can cause. If a pet isn’t well-trained, it could wreak havoc on your apartment.
Pets can scratch or chew wood in your apartment. They can leave odors that are difficult to get out. They can also tear up any landscaping that you have on the outside of your building.
Allergies are another problem that comes with pets. If a pet sheds a lot, the hair can get into common areas and impact other tenants.
Dogs who like to bark can be very disruptive to other tenants. If you do allow dogs, it’s not a bad idea to ask about the dog’s barking habits so you know you won’t get complaints.
A serious risk of having pets in your apartment buildings is the risk of injury to other tenants. If a pet does injure a tenant, you could be the one liable for the injuries that happen.
Screening Tenants With Pets
Before allowing pets into your apartment building, it’s a good idea to screen them along with their owners. The first step to screening your tenant with a pet is to make sure the owner is someone you want to approve. You can gauge responsibility from their application and references, and by talking to their previous landlord.
A good next step is to ask to meet your tenant with their pet. You can see how they interact with the pet and how the pet behaves. This also allows you to see if the pet is noisy, untrained, or un-groomed.
You can ask your prospective tenant questions about the pet’s obedience training. Don’t forget to ask if the pet is spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all their vaccines.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Another place you’ll want to check before allowing pets into your apartment is your insurance coverage. You should understand how much liability coverage the policy has.
It’s a good idea to call your insurance company to see if there are limitations to the coverage. For example, they may not cover you if you allow certain dog breeds in your apartment that they consider dangerous.
Developing a Pet Policy
If you do decide to allow pets into your apartments, you should come up with a pet policy. Create a pet addendum that each of your tenants will sign.
The pet policy should cover any deposits or monthly fees required with the pet. You should also have a rental lease that outlines the rules and regulations of having a pet inside and outside of your apartment building.
If you decide to allow pets in your home, there are a few decisions that you should keep in mind. Make sure to consider the number of pets you’ll allow and decide if you have any breed restrictions.
Amount of Pets
When finalizing your pet policy, you’ll have to nail down how many pets you’re going to allow per tenant. Some landlords allow several pets while others only want you to have one. Once you know how many pets you will allow, make sure to clearly define it in your pet policy.
Sometimes landlords will have a dog policy that only allows certain sized animals or deny certain breeds of animals in their apartments. Often the animals that are most restricted are larger mixed-breed dogs. These animals are the ones who have the label of being the most aggressive.
While you may need to restrict certain breeds due to your insurance coverage, this move could limit your application pool. Meeting the dog and getting references from previous landlords may be a more positive approach to take.
Learn All You Can About Apartments That Allow Pets
Deciding to have pets in your apartment is not one to take lightly. Although apartments that allow pets can see some significant benefits, there are some potentially scary drawbacks. It is up to you to determine what is right for you and your tenants before making the final decision.
If you are a landlord looking for unrivaled property management services, Reedy & Company is here to help. We’ve been helping people with their management needs since 2002. Contact us today to get the process started.