Should You Allow Pets in a Rental Property? The Pros and Cons

Should You Allow Pets in a Rental Property? The Pros and Cons

At least 68% of American households or 85 million families own a pet. Allowing pets in a rental property immediately makes it more attractive.

There are certain situations where you're legally required to allow a tenant to bring their animal with them. In all other cases, it's a difficult decision for any landlord. They may help bring tenants in, but they may also damage the property and injure or irritate other residents. 

Read on to learn the pros and cons of allowing pets and where to get help deciding these important types of issues.

Legal Issues

The Americans with Disabilities Act determines whether or not you have to allow service animals in your rental property. You're required to if they've gone through training to aid a tenant with a disability.

Service animals aren't considered pets, so you can't charge extra pet rent or fees. You also can't discriminate against those with service animals, prohibit certain breeds, or enact weight restrictions on them. 

The Fair Housing Act has a similar requirement. It requires you to allow emotional support animals if they're medically necessary.

There are 2 exceptions to these laws. You don't have to allow an animal if it previously attacked another person or if you're allergic to it and are living in the rental unit.

Reasons to Allow Pets in a Rental Property

72% of renters say pet-friendly housing is difficult to find. 83% of owner-operators say advertising your property as pet-friendly can help you fill vacancies faster and make renters stay 21% longer. 

This makes your property more valuable, meaning you can charge higher rent. The pet rent, deposit, or fee alone can be an effective money-making method. 

Allowing tenants to bring in their pets makes them happier. You may also attract more responsible tenants who are willing to extend the work they put into taking care of their pet to taking care of the property. 

Reasons Not to Allow Pets in a Rental Property

One of the most common and serious reasons to consider not allowing pets in a rental property is the risk of injury to yourself, other tenants, or neighbors. You are legally allowed to ban pets that present an immediate danger.

There's also the risk of damage to the property itself. They may cause stains, scratch marks, chewed cables, or ruined landscaping. 

Pets in rentals can also bother other tenants on the property. They may be noisy, create odors, or aggravate allergies. 

The best way to deal with these issues is to create a detailed pet policy. Banning all animals from your rentals keeps you from the benefits they provide. Spelling out what is and isn't allowed in the lease agreement is a better option.

Where to Get Property Management Help

Allowing pets in a rental property makes it more attractive to tenants. You'll see it filled quickly by responsible tenants who stay longer. 

There are risks as well. The animals may also damage the property or irritate or injure other tenants.

Creating a detailed pet policy is an essential part of running a property. It helps you follow all local laws without putting your investment in danger or missing out on potential benefits.

Home River Group can help you decide who and what to allow on your rental property. Look into our property management solutions today.

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