Landlords are often pressured to allow pets in their rental properties. With more than 68 percent of American households containing a pet, it’s hard to put this limitation on your Katy rental. Still, only 55 percent of landlords allow pets. That number is growing, since many landlords don’t want to lose potentially good tenants just because they have a pet.
The decision of whether or not to allow pets in your rental is personal, but for many landlords, dealing with pet-owning tenants is an absolute nightmare! You wouldn’t believe some of the stories that circulate the landlord community.
There are many stories of rental communities that have pets and live joyfully and respectfully in your unit. But many stories are simply horrible. In certain circumstances, pets can do a real number on your Katy property, and it might be better to avoid them out altogether.
Here are some bad things that can happen if you allow pets.
There’s high risk for property damage.
This is probably the biggest reason landlords choose not to allow pets in their rentals. There are too many cases of carpets being ripped to shreds, clawed-up windowsills needing replaced, urine-stained hardwood floors starting to rot, and more.
Many landlords require an additional fee in the security deposit to help offset these costs, but oftentimes, it’s not enough to cover repairs.
It’s very difficult to clean up after tenants with pets.
When you’re turning over a pet apartment, there’s always extra cleaning involved. You’ll have to shampoo the carpets, dust everything multiple times, clean out air filters, and more. It’s difficult to sell a property that hasn’t been properly cleaned after a tenant who owned a pet lived there.
You’ll get noise complaints all the time.
Pets can be very noisy, especially dogs. They howl at other dogs in the night, they complain when their owners are at work, they bark when people come to the door, or they growl at passing postal workers. Unless properly trained (which few are), dogs in apartments will always yield noise complaints, and if you can’t handle it, the police will get involved.
Your liability as a landlord increases with pets.
There are about 4.7 million dog bites every year in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. If a person is attacked by a dog, they have the right to sue the owner of the pet. It depends on the case, but if you’re the owner of the property, you might be facing a lawsuit as well, since things that are under your roof are considered your responsibility. Usually, you can avoid being on the hook for medical bills since the pet is ultimately the responsibility of the owner, but you may have to pay legal fees.
In most cases, it’s easier to simply disallow any pets on the property and avoid potential lawsuits from the get-go.
Your landscaping bills will rise.
Along with having to hire someone (or do it yourself) to pick up pet feces off of your lawn, you’ll also have to deal with the detriment on your grass. Pet feces and urine kill grass and plants, and you’ll pay a premium to prevent your lawn from going brown.
It may cause allergy problems for your other tenants.
Tenants with longstanding pet allergies know not to rent a place where pets are allowed. But if you suddenly allow pets when they weren’t previously part of the contract, it could cause problems with your other tenants who may be allergic. You could be violating your lease agreement to provide a livable space for tenants with severe pet allergies.
An additional rent charge might not be enough.
Many landlords allow pets if they pay an additional $100-$200 per month in rent fees and/or a higher security deposit. In many cases, this will cover the cleanup after your tenant moves out, but other times, the damages are in the thousands, and you simply won’t recoup enough value from your tenants’ payments to pay for the damage.
You never know what pets your tenants will bring.
When you say that pets are allowed, you probably think of dogs or cats, maybe a goldfish. But that’s not always what the tenant has in mind. Can you imagine a tenant moving in with pet pythons that get loose and slither into other units in the complex? It’s a horror story that’s actually happened, and you don’t want it to happen in yours!
If you are going to allow pets, make sure you specify which ones are okay.
You’ll probably start having pest problems.
Pets attract pests, the most common of which are fleas. Fleas love the warm, fur-covered bodies of pets, and when they enter a home on the backs of pets, they often decide to stay. They’ll live in couches and carpets, and infestations are very, very difficult to extinguish!
Along with calling in pest control, the tenant will have to vacuum daily and treat their pets for fleas. Constant vigilance is required to prevent a new infestation, and your tenant may not be as on board as you want them to be. You have to ensure that the unit is flea-free before the next tenant moves in, as well.
Tenants might abandon their pets after an eviction.
It’s not unheard of for landlords to walk into an abandoned rental to find an abandoned pet there as well. The animal would likely be starving and perhaps diseased. Sometimes landlords find dead animals in apartments that have been abandoned.
These things happen, even in the best of neighborhoods, but they’re often avoided simply by banning pets from the start.
Let Green Residential Help with Your Pet Policy
These are just a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to allow pets in your rental. There may be other reasons that you should allow them, though, so weigh the pros and cons before writing your pet policy.
Whether or not you plan to allow pets in your rentals, we can help you create the contracts and set the policy. We’ve seen our fair share of rentals that allow pets, and we can answer any questions and help you achieve the best balance for your needs.
We can also manage your properties for you, helping to mitigate some of the risks of pet owners. For more information about our services, contact us today!