Did you know that 58.2% — around six in 10 — Texas households’ own pets? What does this mean to you as a rental property owner? The reality is that many of the people who apply to become tenants at investment properties have cats, dogs, and other pets.
The good news is that landlords in Texas have the right to create their own rules about pets and can add stipulations to their leases. So, whether you don’t want any pets in your rental units or you welcome them with open arms, you have the right to do as you wish on that front.
In the lease, you can outright prohibit pets, allow for only specific types or breeds, permit pets after the pet owners register the animals with management and pay deposits, or allow all pets. One notable exception is an assistance or service animal. If someone needs a dog, for instance, for emotional support or to maintain some independence, you can’t usually deny the applicant.
Are you open to pets but realize that not all dogs are suitable? You can screen pets to ensure that the ones on your property will be well-behaved and won’t terrorize people and other animals. During the screening process, you can request references, obedience training certificates, proof of vaccinations, and proof of rental insurance with pet coverage. You can also have applicants bring their pets to the in-person interviews. You can see how well the animals are properly groomed and observe if they’re well-behaved.
Consider these seven reasons why you should consider accepting tenants who have pets.
1. More Potential Tenants to Choose From
Remember the statistics about homeowners with pets? The fact is that opening up your rental property to people with pets will mean more applications. Having a bigger pool of possible tenants is a good thing. You’ll have options.
You can bet that renters want to find accommodations where their pets are welcome. Unfortunately, many landlords don’t want pets. That can put renters in a bind. You’ll miss out on many quality tenants if you don’t allow pets. When you advertise that yours is a pet-friendly rental unit, you’ll significantly increase the number of potential tenants.
2. Charge More for Your Rental Units
Another reason to consider allowing tenants with pets is that you can charge more for your rental units. Remember that landlords in Texas have the right to make their own pet rules, so you can request a pet deposit and request extra money as part of the monthly rent. You might want to charge an additional $20 or $30 per month. That extra money can add up.
And requiring a deposit means you won’t have to worry about cleanup if a pet-owning tenant leaves at the end of their lease. The pet deposit means you’ll have funds for whatever might be needed, such as a professional carpet cleaning service.
When considering the extra money you can make by renting to someone with a pet, you might come to prefer renting to them. The amount of extra money you bring in monthly or yearly will add up over time, especially if you have a multi-unit rental property.
3. Pet Owners Tend to Be More Responsible
You can ask pet owners to take special measures whenever they’ll be away — so that their pets don’t make a mess while unattended. Responsible pet owners tend to be responsible tenants, and they’ll do what it takes to ensure their fur babies have a safe place to stay. That can help alleviate some of your concerns about allowing pets into your rental units.
How do you know if a pet owner is a responsible one? You can include specific questions on the rental application. And requiring things like proof of obedience training and vaccinations will demonstrate a level of responsibility.
4. Tenants With Pets May Stick Around Longer
When tenants with pets find accommodations that feel like home, they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul. It can be hard for people to find suitable accommodations that allow for pets. So, if they find one, they’ll have more reasons to renew their leases and stay. You can become the sort of landlord who tenants recommend to other pet owners seeking rental units.
5. Boost Reputation
Unfortunately, some people sell, give away, or even abandon their pets if they can’t find pet-friendly rental accommodations. So, pets can bear the brunt of the impact when there aren’t enough rental units accepting pets. Many people point the finger directly at landlords for this unfortunate situation. While it’s unfair to do so, there is something you can do to challenge this perception. By accepting tenants with pets, you can ensure that people don’t have to choose between having a roof over their heads and keeping their beloved pets.
6. Increase Occupancy Rate
Renting to people with pets also means enjoying higher occupancy levels than would otherwise be the case. As was mentioned earlier, tenants with pets are more likely to renew their leases. Not only that – they’re also more likely to accept longer leases than tenants without pets.
That’s especially the case when you consider that many landlords don’t allow for pets in their rental units. Instead of always having to find new tenants, you can reduce churn and increase occupancy levels by renting to people who have pets. Unoccupied units won’t generate any passive income. So, the goal should be to find quality tenants who’ll stick around for a while.
7. Pet-Friendly Rental Units Are Family-Friendly Rental Units
When you make your rental unit pet-friendly, you also make it family-friendly. Most families have pets, so having rental units where families — including pets — can be together is a good thing. It makes sense to provide an environment that’s good for people and their pets.
Green Residential Can Help You With Your Rental Property
Whether or not you open up your rental property to pets is up to you. But there are good reasons to consider doing so. And remember that you can make whatever rules you want so that you’re comfortable with pets living in your investment property.
Do you want more advice on how to make your units pet-friendly? Are you interested in learning about the benefits of hiring a property management firm? Get in touch with us at Green Residential for a confidential consultation on your needs.
We can help with property management, property leasing, eviction services, maintenance and inspections, apartment property management, student housing, vacant home services, and licensed home inspection.