Deciding whether or not to allow tenants to own pets can significantly impact your profit potential. According to the American Veterinary Association, one out of every two renters own pets, and 35% of those without pets stated they would own one if they were allowed to in their current housing situation. Many pet-owning renters state they are more willing to pay higher rent rates and larger security deposits in order to keep their pets. This raises the question: are landlords overlooking a potential profit increase by not providing pet-friendly rentals? Real Property Management, one of the premiere property management companies Stamford, CT, has to offer, warns that landlords with a strict “no-pet” policy could be making a costly mistake.
“Real Property Management encourages property managers to allow pets whenever possible as a means to assist them in achieving financial goals faster,” says Lukas Krause, CEO of Property Management Business Solutions, the franchisor of Real Property Management. “Because of their ability to charge a separate pet deposit which can range anywhere from 40-85% of the rent, and charge a larger security deposit up front, property owners who allow pets in their properties are seeing their bottom lines increase substantially.”
Research conducted by the nonprofit firm Firepaw, an organization dedicated to the welfare of animals, suggests that landlords who allow pets in their rental properties see a 20-30% increase in income over those who do not. Our Real Property Management Southern Connecticut team is a great resource when deciding whether or not to make your rental pet-friendly as we have the knowledge and resources to help you develop an appropriate pet policy addendum for your tenant lease agreements.
But before you lay out the welcome mat for Fido, there are several major factors to consider when developing a pet policy. Does the potential for a larger applicant pool outway the cost of repairs for pet-related property damage? What are the laws regarding tenant responsibility and pet ownership? Do landlords have an obligation to make special accommodations for pet owners? As one of the leading property management companies Stamford, CT, has to offer, Real Property Management recommends their clients to consider all of the pros and cons of allowing pets in their rental before making a decision on a pet policy.
The Pros and Cons of a Pet-Friendly Property
As reported in Firepaw’s nationwide study, animals are most commonly relinquished to shelters due to a change in the owner’s living arrangements, stating restrictive pet policies as a primary reason. And it’s not hard to imagine why landlords choose not to allow pets in their rentals. The biggest concerns expressed about allowing pets are:
- Property Damage–Animals can scratch the floors, chew up carpets, and have accidents on the carpets or wood floors.
- Noise Complaints–Dogs barking, birds squawking, and four-legged animals running around loose can disturb neighbors.
- Pet Odors– Accidents inside the rental can cause hard-to-remove odors from the property.
- Increased Liability–The risk of a tenant’s animal biting other neighbors or maintenance personnel is a major concern for insurance companies, which can raise rates due to the increased liability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that dogs bite 4.7 million people a year, with 800,000 of those needing medical attention.
Though there may be concerns about allowing pets in your rental home, Real Property Management, one of most trusted property management companies Stamford, CT has to offer, believes the benefits of a pet-friendly rental may outway the costs when landlords consider the following:
- Access to a larger application pool of qualified renters when the property is available.
- Ability to require larger security deposits and raise rent rates by 20-30% for pet owners to cover increased insurance costs, property damage repairs, and other pet premiums.
- Lower vacancy rates due to the increase in long term pet-owning tenants, who typically have a harder time finding other pet-friendly housing options.
- Discourages tenants from sneaking in pets that are not approved.
According to the research by Firepaw, damage caused by animals is only slightly more than damage caused by humans. Firepaw offers services that help landlords provide pet-friendly housing options and maximize their profits while minimizing the damages associated with pets. They offer a Companion Animal Renters Program (CARP) that offers economic assessment, needs assessment, tailor-made programs, customized pet policies, pet agreements, and a custom made pet perk package.
Important Pet-Policy Guidelines
As one of the most experienced property management companies Stamford, CT, has in the region, Real Property Management suggests that landlords consider the following when developing a pet-policy.
- Adhere to the Fair Housing Laws– you cannot violate the housing rights for a disabled tenant who requires an animal for their well-being. The law regarding service animals has now expanded to allow animals for groups such as the clinically depressed and those with post-traumatic stress because the animals can provide emotional support. It is within your rights to ask for a note from their physician verifying their need for an assistance animal.
- Review Your Insurance Coverage and Liability for Animals– find out what type of coverage you have if you decide to have a pet-friendly property and make make note of which animals are specifically covered in your policy. Ask your insurance company if there are any limitations or exclusions to this coverage, such as if they have a list of dog breeds they consider to be “dangerous breeds,” which will not be covered under the policy. Know the amount of liability coverage your policy includes.
- Include Your Pet Policy in Your Lease– be sure to include a pet addendum in your lease (whether or not you allow animals) and require every tenant to sign it. The policy should clearly state your pet policy and the pet owner responsibilities. Make it clear that by signing the lease, the tenant agrees to these terms and if they violate these terms, it will be considered a breach of contract.
- Clearly Indicate Any Pet-Specific Restrictions–Do you have any size or breed restrictions? Is there a limit to the number of pets a tenant can own? Are there different pet-deposit fees for different kinds of pets? Be very clear from the beginning to encourage tenant compliance.
Why Choose Our Stamford Property Management Services?
Real Property Management is the leading property management companies Stamford, CT, has, with nearly 30 years of experience. Our team has a plethora of resources available to tackle almost any problem owners may come across. Our company has one driving goal: to provide unrivaled customer service that saves property owners time, money, and the headache often associated with property management. That’s why we offer all of our clients the following services:
- Routine Property Inspections — Regular property evaluations ensure that tenants are in compliance with the lease terms while proactively identify maintenance needs to preserve the property.
- Cost-Effective, Reliable Maintenance — Our preferred vendor program offers special discount offers on equipment and services to our clients. Our 24/7 maintenance staff can handle tenant emergencies and ensure maintenance requests are dealt with in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
- Online Reporting — With easy access to property activity report using our online account portal, owners can check-in on their property anytime.
- Full-Service Leasing — Our leasing system provides rent-ready guidance materials, an up-to-date rental market analysis, professional lease showings, property inspections, and tenant education at lease signing.
- Thorough Tenant Screening and Selection — We conduct criminal, credit, and employment checks on every applicant over age 18.
- Timely Rent Collection — Our firm but fair collections process allows us to collect and process payments in a timely manner.
- Strict and Compliant Evictions — Our highly-trained staff know how to execute all state and local landlord and tenant laws in professional manner and take the necessary legal steps to minimize costs and get the property leased again.
- Comprehensive Marketing & Advertising — Our comprehensive marketing strategies allow us to aggressively advertise client properties and fill vacancies quickly.
By working with us, you can benefit from our Stamford property management services and avoid the hassle of managing your rental investment alone. Call Real Property Management Southern Connecticut today!