Benefits of Being a Pet-Friendly Landlord
Renters Warehouse Blog
It's safe to say that as a nation, we're head over heels in love with our pets.
In fact, in 2016, a whopping 66.75 billion dollars was spent on pets alone. From food, to vet appointments, toys, treats, and more; our four-legged friends are well cared for and loved.
Pets are an important part of our lives, and if you have pets yourself, then you understand the connection that we have with our fur-babies! But when it comes to renting out your property to pet owners, chances are you might be a bit less understanding. Stories of dogs-gone-wild and tales of cats scratching up the walls might have been enough for you to bar animals from your residence altogether.
But while some landlords may balk at the idea of pets in their rental, you won't want to close the door too quickly! There are plenty of benefits that come from allowing pets in your units -including the chance to source from a larger pool of applicants, as well as the opportunity to charge a more competitive rent; not to mention there's a lot that landlords can do to mitigate potential pet-related problems.
In many ways, operating a pet-friendly rental will take you from one of a million to one in a million. Talk about an opportunity you can't afford NOT to take!
With this in mind, let's look at some of the paw-some benefits that come from allowing Fido and his human-folk into your rental.
A Larger Pool of Applicants to Choose From
More than 70 percent of apartment renters reportedly own pets. But as every tenant with a dog knows, finding pet-friendly accommodation can be difficult. Most rentals don't allow pets, and the ones that do often have strict breed and weight limits for dogs or impose other criteria that rule out many pets. Considering that the majority of households in America have one or more pets, the decision to allow them will open up the pool of potential tenants tremendously -giving you more qualified applicants to choose from.
Enjoy Responsible and Stable Tenants
While having a pet doesn't automatically make someone a more responsible person, a pet can be a sign of commitment. Pets require you to step up to the plate and look after something other than yourself; they need food, walks, vet appointments, training, and so much more. A tenant's dedication to their pet could transfer over to their commitment to making the rent and taking care of the property.
Find Long-Term Tenants
Since finding a pet-friendly rental can be a challenge, once a tenant's found a place that allows pets -they'll often stay put longer! According to a Firepaw study, tenants with pets were found to stay longer than tenants without animals by an average of 46 months! Long-term tenancies, of course, are ideal since it means a steady rental income each month.
Rent Your Property Faster
Having a pet-friendly rental also means that when a tenant does leave, there's a good chance that your unit won't empty for long! Once you allow pets, your rental's attractiveness will instantly go up, helping your property to stand out from the crowd. At Renters Warehouse, we've found that the average time on the market for pet-friendly accommodation is just 15 days, compared to 20 days for no-pet rentals. Five days faster!
As pet people, we know this already -but animals have been shown to lower stress and increase happiness. Happy tenants will make your life a lot easier; and of course -who doesn't want a bit more happiness? Spread the joy! If you have a multi-unit property, turning at least some of the units into pet-friendly spaces will also help to foster a sense of community.
Increase Your Bottom Line
At Renters Warehouse, we've found that on average, pet-friendly units rent for $100 per month more than their no-pets counterparts. In some markets, such as Denver, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Washington D.D., this difference is even more dramatic. This increased rent can add up considerably over the course of a year. In many states, you can also charge a higher security deposit or "pet rent." This, combined with a reduction in vacancies, and the money that you'll save on advertising the property can significantly impact your bottom line. Most renters will be more than happy to pay a bit extra to keep their furry friends with them.
Have the Upper Hand
Finally, allowing pets will give you the upper hand when it comes to your rental units, giving you more control over what goes on at your property. While it shouldn't happen, in some cases less-than-honest tenants will try to smuggle pets in under the radar, in hopes of not being discovered. This, of course, could create a problematic and even potentially dangerous situation since you won't have any control over the type of animals that are in the unit. By allowing pets, though, you can reserve the right to screen pets, and allow them in on your terms. You could require that all animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations, have a clean bill of health, and are spayed or neutered. You could also require all dogs to have obedience training. Instead of banning pets outright, allowing qualified animals in allows you to regulate the pet situation at your rental, helping you to ensure that everything stays under control.
At the end of the day, the decision to allow pets is something that each landlord must determine on their own. But it's important for landlords to be well-informed on the benefits of allowing pets, and aware of the steps that they can take ahead of time to mitigate potential problems.
Going pet-friendly doesn't have to be ruff! With the right steps, you'll be able to reap the rewards that come from saying yes to pets, and see for yourself how pets can be a landlord's best friend!
At Renters Warehouse, we're the nation's #1 pet-friendly property management company. Our goal is to help landlords to recognize the benefits of allowing pets, and to help them to successfully manage their units -while assisting with tenant sourcing and screening. To learn more about making your rental pet-friendly, have a look at our Pet Guide, or get in touch with Renters Warehouse today.
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