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The LandLord And The Pet

People are attached to their pets. They love their finned, feathered, and furry friends. Pets are a part of the family, and pet-owners wouldn’t dream of being separated from them. Two-thirds of the households in the U.S. own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). That’s 85 million families, and some of these families might want to rent from you! How will you respond to tenants with pets?

As a landlord, you decide whether to accept tenants with pets.

Pros of a pet-friendly property

  • Draw from a wider pool of applicants – attract tenants with pets, tenants without pets and tenants considering owning a pet.

  • Command a higher rent – Pet-friendly properties are prized by pet owners and can command a higher rent.

  • Maintain tenants longer – Develop a pet-friendly reputation, and tenants with pets will feel welcome and stay.

Cons of a pet-friendly property

  • Damage – Pets can chew on wood, damage landscaping, urinate on carpets, and leave their waste in grassy areas and public spaces.

  • Allergies – Some people are allergic to cats and dogs. Properties with pets often require additional work to clean carpets and air ducts between renters.

  • Odor – Pet accidents, especially involving cat urine, cause offensive odors, as do unattended litter boxes.

  • Noise – Loud, repetitive barking or meowing is disruptive and disturbing to neighbors

  • Injuries – People can be bit, scratched, knocked over or otherwise injured by a pet.

Mitigate the risk of tenants with pets

In the DC Metro area, many high-quality tenants now come with pets. To accommodate the increasing pet ownership, many commercial apartments now welcome pets. It’s not unusual to see a jar with dog treats by the entrance. Many buildings offer communal amenities such as dog baths to keep Fido fresh-smelling and presentable. It’s true though that landlords with pet-friendly rental properties face different risks than landlords who ban pets. Issues like animal bites, noise nuisances, odor, and property damage may occur. However, landlords can reduce these risks by taking a number of precautions.

They can protect themselves by screening tenants carefully, including a pet addendum in their rental agreement, and charging a pet fee. The result? Pets can make a happy home even happier.

Spectre Capital Finance helps investors in DMV grow their wealth by flipping homes and building their real estate portfolio. We are intricately familiar with the challenges and opportunities of owning and renting homes in our area. Please email us with any questions.

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