The Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in a Rental

December 12, 2023 by Tiffany Ferdus

The Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in a Rental

The debate over whether landlords should allow tenants to have pets has gained significant traction in recent years. For renters, bringing their furry companions along is very important, influencing their choice of residence. 

On the other hand, landlords face the challenge of balancing the desires of pet-owning tenants with the potential drawbacks of allowing pets in their rental properties. 

This blog post will delve into the pros and cons of permitting home renters to have pets, shedding light on the complex dynamics at play.

Pros of Allowing Pets in an Apartment or Rental

The thought of allowing pets may seem like another potential issue to deal with, but there are plenty of reasons to seriously consider allowing tenants to have pets. 

Expanded Tenant Pool

Allowing pets broadens the pool of potential renters. Many consider their pets family members, and a pet-friendly policy can attract a larger demographic of tenants willing to pay a premium for such accommodations.

This is especially true among the younger demographic. Recent studies have shown that young people coming out of college early in their careers are not only the most likely demographic to be renting but also the most likely to want to have pets. 

Higher Rent Revenue

Pet-friendly rentals often command higher rents. Pet owners are often willing to pay extra fees or deposits to secure a home for their pets, allowing landlords to increase revenue without significantly altering the property.

A pet might cause some damage to the property, but if you’re charging a $50/month pet fee, it adds up to $600 a year, which should cover any damage.

Longer Tenant Tenure

Pet owners tend to stay in a property for longer durations. The emotional attachment to their pets and the challenges of finding pet-friendly housing make pet-owning tenants more likely to commit to a long-term lease.

Pet owners are also normally (not always) more stable. Moving pets can be challenging, and most pet owners prefer not to deal with it. 

It’s a lot easier as a landlord to deal with an occasional pet issue than to try to find a new tenant every few months. An empty unit will cost much more than allowing a pet that requires a deep clean once the tenants leave (going back to the last point). 

Market Competitiveness

In a competitive rental market, being pet-friendly can be a distinguishing factor. Properties that welcome pets may stand out among alternatives, giving landlords a competitive edge in attracting tenants.

Over 50% of people own some kind of pet. Turning away up to 50% of a potential client base is bad business, no matter the industry. That isn’t to say there can’t be exceptions to allowing pets (see below), but it should be a strong factor. 

Disadvantages to Allowing Pets in an Apartment/Rental

Property Damage

One of the primary concerns for landlords is the potential for property damage caused by pets. Scratched floors, chewed furniture, and accidents can lead to costly repairs, impacting the overall profitability of the rental property.

Noise and Disturbance

Pets, particularly dogs, can create noise disturbances. Barking, meowing, or other pet-related sounds may disrupt neighbors and lead to complaints, potentially affecting the peaceful coexistence of tenants within a shared building.

Regarding disturbance, dog droppings pose a huge red flag for potential tenants. Even the possibility of Spot’s poop being out in the shared grass space can turn families and others away.

Allergies and Health Concerns

Some tenants may have allergies to pet fur, leading to health issues. Landlords must consider the well-being of all residents, and allowing pets can pose a risk to individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions.

Some people are so allergic that they won’t even stay in an apartment complex that allows pets in fear that there may be some old fur from a previous tenant. 

Increased Liability

Pets introduce a liability factor for landlords. In a pet-related incident, such as a dog bite or property damage, landlords may face legal consequences and potential lawsuits, adding a layer of complexity to property management.

Landlords must be particular and careful with their wording in the contract and lease agreement to ensure that if anything does happen, the responsibility falls on the pet owner, not the landlord. 

Cleaning Costs

Pet-friendly rentals often require more thorough cleaning between tenants. Lingering odors, pet hair, and stains may necessitate professional cleaning services, increasing the turnover costs for landlords. 

Do your research and determine how often tenants tend to stay in a single rental in the area. If they stay for a while, the cleaning costs will more than be covered by the guaranteed monthly payments and pet fee. If a tenant only will stay for a month or two, you very well could lose money.

Dealing with Issues

If you want to be a landlord but don’t want to have to deal with tenants complaining about not being able to have pets or deal with issues that come up with tenants who do have pets, consider Green Residential.

Green Residential is an Austin-based property management service that can handle everything from accepting payments to helping tenants understand their leases. 

It removes the hard work for landlords and lets them focus on other things while still getting paid by tenants. 

Conclusion

There isn’t a clear-cut answer for everyone when deciding whether they want tenants to have pets. If you want business and want to find someone to rent as fast as possible, allow pets. If you prefer knowing there won’t be animals messing up the floors, causing noise, or angering neighbors, then don’t allow them. 

It really comes down to what you value. Considering the pros and cons laid out in this article, you can be confident in making the right decision for your property. 

Tiffany Ferdus
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