Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets In a Rental Property

Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets In a Rental Property

There are now more American households with pets than with children. 40% have human babies, while 70% have fur babies.

This leaves landlords with a difficult decision to make. Should these fluffy family members be allowed in their properties?

The Fair Housing Law has one of the only non-negotiable pet exceptions. You must allow service or emotional support animals, but all other cases are up to you.

Read on to learn about the pros and cons of allowing pets in a rental property.

Pros of Allowing Pets in a Rental Property

Allowing pets gives you a greater pool of applicants and makes it more likely that you'll find the right tenant. Having more relaxed pet rules makes the pool even deeper and gets you a lower vacancy loss.

Advertising allows you to charge higher rent. This is especially true if you're the only one in town that's pet-friendly or allows large dogs.

There are also extra charges you can levy on tenants with pets to earn more money. They include pet fees or deposits and pet rent. Check local laws to make sure your state allows them.

The rental vacancy rate in the US is almost 6%, but there are many ways to keep great tenants in your property, such as:

  • Quick responses to maintenance requests
  • Clear communication
  • Holding off on rent increases
  • Having longer leases with reduced rent

Letting in pets also belongs on this list. These tenants have a difficult time finding a place that accommodates their furry family members and won't leave one that does.

Tenants with pets are used to the responsibility of taking on a life-long responsibility, but this goes beyond keeping an animal alive. They'll treat your property as a home and do their best to minimize damage.

Cons of Allowing Pets in a Rental Property

Even the most responsible tenant can't entirely keep their pet from causing damage. Rambunxious animals tend to:

  • Scratch or tear walls or furniture
  • Chew cables or wires
  • Destroy landscaping
  • Urinate or defecate on carpets or in public spaces

Physical damage is also a real possibility. There are over 4.5 million dog bites every year in the United States alone, and 1 in 5 require medical attention.

It's not only human tenants that can cause noise complaints in a rental property. Excessively meowing cats, barking dogs, or singing birds don't understand rental property rules about quiet times. The more pets on the property, the more difficult this becomes to control.

Smell or allergy complaints are another potential issue. Natural dander or odors from improper grooming, accidents, or unclean litterboxes can spread to nearby units or common areas.

Get Help Deciding With Property Management

Deciding whether or not to allow pets in a rental property is a balancing act. On the one hand, it gives you a bigger pool of quality applicants to choose from and lets you earn more money. On the other, it presents the risk of noise or odor complaints and damage to the property or other tenants.

St. Louis Property Management Inc. can help with every part of the property management process from buying a building to setting up the right policies for tenants. Get a free rental analysis to see how much your property is worth today.