Managing a rental property can lead to a large assortment of complex decisions that you have to make and be accountable for.
Some of the decisions are (but obviously not limited to):
- how is the rent going to be; when to increase rent to upkeep with inflation;
- which maintenance issue gets the highest priority.
However, there are very few decisions that can affect your building property such as, “Should I Rent to Tenants with Dogs”?
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 72% of U.S. renters have pets.
In one consideration, you will expose yourself to a large majority of the rental market that are looking to rent your property.
However, on the other hand, you could be placed in certain situations where pets can damage the property or even injure other neighbors.
Is it completely possible to maintain pets within your rental properties?
Certainly, other landlords and property management companies have successfully accomplished this.
Let’s focus on one thing right now: “Is renting to tenants with dogs is even an option that you would want to even consider?”
If this is a decision that you are looking to consider then I highly recommend considering external factors and location as a guideline if you should even consider pets?
Should I Even Rent to Tenants with Dogs?
Before deciding if renting to tenants with dogs would be a great idea, one very important thing to consider if renting to tenants with dogs is even beneficial for you.
Rental properties differ from one another. What would be beneficial for one rental property may be very disadvantageous to the other.
With that said, there are tremendous benefits to renting to tenants with dogs such as these tenants are more likely to stay in your rental property by renewing their lease.
They are more likely to stay because several rental properties don’t give out the option for tenants to rent with dogs.
On the other hand, you have to deal with the noise concern with your surrounding neighbors.
Everyone has different concerns and different circumstances when it comes to deciding to let tenants rent with dogs.
With that said, do your best to understand what decision is best based on your circumstances.
For example, deciding to let tenants rent with dogs may be a great marketing and business decision when you are renting a home in a suburban or a residential neighborhood where the noise complaints would be less of concern.
However, the noise compliant would be more of a concern if you are letting tenants rent out apartments within complexes where different tenants reside within the same dwelling.
By all means, assess your rental property situation to decide if letting tenants rent with dogs is the best decision.
The Benefits of Renting to Tenants with Dogs
Let’s start with the glorious benefits you have when it comes to renting to tenants with dogs.
#1: You can charge a higher rent or add more fees
One amazing benefit is that you can charge higher rent and add more fees in for tenants with pets.
Understandably, you want to protect your property against pet damage within the dwelling.
While you can’t always prevent damage from happening (as some situations are unable to be avoided), you can protect your financial interests like a molt.
You can anticipate when your tenants’ pets are likely to cause damage to the property.
You can easily do this by adding a higher security deposit along with a pet fee.
We’ll explain later on why you don’t want to separate the security deposit with a pet fee that acts as a deposit later.
Just understand that one powerful benefit is that you can take advantage of the market situation by charging higher rent and a higher security deposit.
#2: You have a larger pool of available tenants to choose from
This was mentioned earlier but one classic advantage is that you are able to have a larger pool of available tenants that you can choose from.
While there are renters’ markets such as Toledo, Tampa, and Minneapolis, where you don’t have to worry about being exposed to a larger tenant pool.
However, if you don’t have a rental property in a renter’s market and you are looking to expand the candidacy to more available, responsible tenants within your midst, I heavily recommend that that you allow for pets to reside on your rental property.
According to Avail, 55% of landlords allow for pets despite the fact that 68% of U.S. households have a pet.
As aforementioned, the location may be the decisive factor but if you find yourself in a position where you have a vacancy for months on end, allowing pets is a great way to be able to ensure that you have a tenant on your property.
#3: You can easily assess what type of tenant you are going to allow to rent from you by looking at their pets
Another great benefit to allowing tenants with dogs is that you can easily judge what kind of tenant you are going to have in your rental property.
The old famous axiom, “talk is cheap”, is what you can follow to be a guideline if you could trust a tenant to reside in your rental property or not.
However, when you are deciding to rent to tenants with dogs, you can easily assess the care of the dog themselves to ensure if that this is a tenant who is capable of caring for (personal) property.
By observing the condition of their pet (is the dog healthy, is the dog emotionally close to the owner, does the dog follow the orders of the tenants, is the dog well-behaved), you will be able to observe the tenants through a dimension that tenants cannot exactly fake.
It’s easier to say, “I know how to take care of the property”. It’s much harder to fake a healthy, happy dog in one’s ownership.
This gives you a solid guideline that the tenant will be taking care of the pet themselves.
#4: Tenants with dogs are more likely to renew their leases
Finding new tenants can be a time-consuming hassle that can be easily avoided.
45% of renters regret renting versus 8% of homebuyers who regret buying, according to Zillow.
However, across various rental properties, it’s very likely that tenants with dogs are more likely to renew their rental leases.
This means that you can save time not dealing with rental vacancies that can be avoided.
Another benefit is that your rental properties will be attractive to other pet owners who are looking to rent from you.
This could be a positive feedback loop as you would have rental properties with a more responsible of tenants that you can cater to.
The Drawbacks to Renting to Tenants with Dogs
While there are plenty of benefits that you can easily consider when it comes to renting to tenants with dogs, it’s also important to consider the risks when it comes to renting to dogs
#1: More allergens
One of the more inconvenient truths is that you would be working with when it comes to renting to tenants with dogs is allergens.
This is more insidious than noise as there are simple remedies that can be addressed in that manner.
By allowing dogs, you introduce the possibility of bringing in actual allergies that can corrupt the living standards of your other tenants.
About 30% of the U.S. population has allergies to pets, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation in America.
This may be a non-issue if you are renting out a home or any dwelling where your rental property is not closely-cornered with other tenants.
However, the question that should be asked, “Are you prepared to create systematized processes to ensure that the common areas of your apartment dwelling incredibly clean to decrease the chances of an allergic reaction.
#2: Damage your rental property
Another risk that you have to worry about is the potential damage to the property itself by the pet.
As all things do, accidents happen.
The best way to protect yourself against damage is to charge a higher security deposit for pet owners.
Many novice landlords would separate the pet fee from the security deposit.
This is very much against your best interests as you will have to directly prove if the damage is done by a pet or not because of the separation of funds.
The best thing that you can do is to combine the pet fee together in order to ensure the expediency of cleaning your apartment.
#3: Potential risk to injure other tenants
While deducing funds from the security deposit is the best way to clean up “odd smells”; it may not be the best way to prevent the injury of the other tenants.
The decision to allow pets into a rental property (especially within a close dwelling) means that you are involved with the potential injury of another tenant by the animal.
As always, location, location, location is the best manner of deciding if you should allow for pets to live on the rental property.
If your tenants live in a house where they have no or very little encounters with other tenants in the house, then the problem surrounding this can be well-avoided.
In other situations, you want to be very detail-oriented and proactive surrounding the legalities of an injury involving a pet on the premises.
Are you protected legally from certain incidents should they care.
While this may seem to be a cold and calculating measure, it’s a necessary measure to ensure that you are able to create legal protections for the rental properties.
After you and the rental property is protected legally, you can then go about to ensure physical, proactive measure to reduce the physical likelihood of an attack or an injury.
#4: Organizational conflicts
The fourth risk is organizational conflicts.
Whether you own an entire apartment housing complex or a home in a suburban neighborhood, you have to answer to some organization that can hold sway to the decision of allowing you to have pets in your home.
More than avoiding injury to other tenants, more than reducing damage to your pets, and more than reducing insidious allergens in your rental properties, the biggest determinant to whether you will allow dogs on your rental property is organizational conflicts.
Do you have insurance on your rental property (if you don’t, you should get it for your own protection), then they may only allow for certain breeds of dogs.
If you have a single home in a neighborhood, check out the jurisdiction’s Housing Association bylaws and regulations to ensure that you are compliant.
While if you are persuasive enough, you might be able to manipulate the regulations into your favor, the best avenue is to ensure compliance.
What Factors Do I Use to Decide if I Should Rent Out to Tenants with Dogs?
The biggest factor that you can decide if you should rent out to tenants with dogs is location, location, location.
Location is the biggest factor that will help you decide if renting to tenants is the best option for you.
If your rental property is a single-family dwelling, allowing pets is the better option as you will keep that tenant longer plus it decreases the likelihood that the tenant’s dogs’ presence would be a presence.
However, if you have a multi-family apartment complex, deciding if you want to allow for your tenants to have pets may be a more pressing issue.
The first issue is the annual income level of your tenants.
If your tenants make less than $30,000 annually, it may be a very disadvantageous position to allow for pets.
However, if your tenants make more than $30,000 annually, then allowing for pets is a great way of attracting a higher class of tenants for your rental property.
While Tenant Report does allow you to check your tenant’s credit score and background check for free if you click here, you should consider the external factors around such a decision to allow tenants with dogs to rent from you directly.
Mainly speaking (with all of the external factors in place), you just have to decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of renting to tenants with dogs.
Adding Tenant Report into your applicant screening process helps mitigate a large amount of risk, giving you the information you need to make the best decision possible — at NO COST to you!