Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental

By Victoria Robertson on January 17, 2020

As a landlord, it’s important that you ensure you are taking care of the space you are renting out, as this is essentially going to be your revenue stream (whether supplemental or sole means of income). While you will always run the risk of damages when renting out the space, those risks can increase tenfold when you open the doors to pets.

Of course, this isn’t to say you need to develop a “no pets allowed” policy, but rather that you need to consider all angles of having a pet-friendly rental prior to making that commitment.

With that in mind, and in order to assist you in making the right decision for your space, here are six considerations you should evaluate as to whether or not you should allow pets in your rental.

Photo Via: Pixabay.com

1. Gauge the Interest

Before making a decision one way or another, you should always gauge the interest level that people have in searching for pet-friendly rentals. You should attempt to gather the data (if available) regarding whether or not people are searching for pet-friendly rentals in your area.

If people aren’t all that interested or are relatively indifferent, then it likely won’t hurt your revenue to ban pets and you should be good to go! But for those that see a decent amount of pet-friendly searches, you’ll want to consider the customers that you could be missing out on and whether or not it’s worthwhile.

2. Consider Restrictions

If you are leaning towards having a pet-friendly rental, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to accept all pets. For many leasing offices, pet restrictions are just another means of doing business, and this typically works well for them.

You can restrict breeds, restrict “pet-friendly” rentals to one building only, or simply eliminate certain pets altogether (i.e. no dogs, no cats, no exotic animals, etc.). If you have a specific type of animal you’re worried about, you have the ability to limit the pet types that are eligible to enter your rental.

3. Consider the Area

Something that many people don’t actually do, but should when considering allowing or not allowing pets, is to take a look at the surrounding area. For instance, if your building is located directly next to a trail or dog park, you may get more searches from pet owners seeking a location that’s close to these destinations.

If you restrict or ban pets from the premises, you will likely lose out on potential renters in these areas, as pet people will look elsewhere and non-pet people may not want to live so close to those destinations.

4. Consider the Furnishings

Another consideration to keep in mind is whether or not your apartment comes furnished. Do you have nice furniture that you worry about getting ruined? You may not want to allow pets. Do you have brand new carpets in the building? You may not want to allow pets (or only those that are already house-broken).

Allowing pets is always a gamble, so you’ll want to consider what you currently offer in the building to determine if the reward outweighs the risk. It really comes down to your preference here, so keep these small details in mind.

5. Set Up an Interview

If you’re on the fence, you can always set up an “individually determined basis.” So, for instance, if a potential renter is interested in your building, you can set up an interview with them and their pet to determine whether or not they would be a good fit for your building.

In most cases, you’ll find the pets are well-trained and behaved and won’t be a problem. In some cases, however, you may find that you’re better off saying no to the individual. Either way, you won’t know for sure until you meet them, and even then, you’re taking a risk.

6. Trust Your Gut

Last, but definitely not least, you should always trust your gut when making these types of decisions. You know what’s best for you and your building and therefore are the most qualified to make this decision.

With that being said, it’s important that you weigh all of the above-mentioned considerations (as well as any additionals that you can think of) and make an educated decision. But, when it comes down to it, your gut should always be your guide, as it’s going to steer you right, every time.

Again, while it’s rather simple to implement a no pets allowed policy, you’ll first want to look at all angles of the issue. Just because something feels like the right choice doesn’t mean that it is, and the more you educate yourself on the issue, the more likely you are to make the right decision for you.

So good luck with the decision!

By Victoria Robertson

Uloop Writer
University of Illinois
Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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