Pet or Pest?: Should You Accept Pets in a Rental Property?

Pet or Pest?: Should You Accept Pets in a Rental Property?

It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that pets are valued family members. Our pets are our loyal companions, and some might argue that pets are more loyal than other humans. They make us feel loved and prevent us from being lonely.

Landlords might consider allowing pets on their property when they have their own pets because they understand this sense of companionship and loyalty. Some landlords have never owned a pet, so they don't. If you don't have pets, you're in the right place.

Continue reading to learn why you should (or shouldn't!) allow pets in a rental property. 

Do You Have to Allow Animals in Your Rental Properties?

The only instance in which landlords must allow animals in a rental property is when it's a service dog or an emotional support animal.

This is a requirement of the Fair Housing Act to avoid discrimination against people who require a service animal to comfortably live their lives. 

Why Should You Allow Your Tenants to Have Pets?

There are several reasons that allowing pets in your rental property can be a good thing. Allowing pets is something that a lot of tenants are looking for during their search. If you allow pets in your rental, you widen the pool of prospective tenants that you can choose from during the tenant screening process.

Tenants who are allowed to have their pets are going to be happier in their housing situation. When it comes to renewing the lease, pet owners are more likely to stay in a home that allows them this.

You can charge a higher rent if you let your tenants have pets. Landlords might charge anywhere from $20 to $100 a month for having a pet in the rental. You can charge a pet fee that helps to cover the costs of any damage that might occur as a result.

Not only do these fees allow you to replace any damages that might occur, but it also encourages your tenants to take better care of the property.

Why Should You Prohibit Pets in a Rental Property?

Your local Homeowner's Association might not allow pets in the homes in your neighborhood. In this situation, it's ideal to be against allowing pets. An HOA violation won't stand in your favor.

Some pets can be destructive, mean, loud, and smelly.

They might leave scratch marks and teeth marks around the rental. They can even cause allergy problems in the other tenants in an apartment complex, especially if they aren't properly taken care of. They might bark for hours on end if they are left alone while their owners are at work.

In some cases, dogs bite because they're mean or scared. These injuries can cause you to deal with legal fees and other housing issues. You can prevent this by requiring adequate rental insurance coverage from your tenants.

Sometimes, it's just better to avoid all of these problems by prohibiting your tenants from keeping pets on the property.

Pets Aren't Purposeful Pests

Allowing pets in your rental property boils down to your personal preference. Are you willing to let your tenants have pets and run the risk of damage or injuries? Will changing the carpets cost enough money that you won't allow your tenants to keep their pets?

Contact HomeRiver Group Washington DC today to learn more about allowing pets in a rental property.

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