For many people, their pets are a part of the family. According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 72% of American households that rent their homes actually have pets. But unfortunately, those who rent can also oftentimes have trouble with finding homes that welcome their four-legged family members.

One of the biggest reasons for this is because of the fear that landlords have of the potential destruction that could be caused by certain types of pets. Another factor is the potential liability that may be caused by “dangerous” dog breeds such as pit bulls.

Yet, while research has shown that most pets actually do not cause any more damage to property than their human counterparts do – and, the danger of certain breeds is a topic of controversy – there are some ways that landlords can open their properties up to pet owners and still protect themselves in the process. This can provide you with a way to both open up your rentals to a larger pool of potential tenants, as well as to reduce your tenant turnover.

First and foremost, you will want to include a pet agreement in your lease. Doing so can help you to reduce many of the added risks that can occur by having pets on the property. Here, you can incorporate certain rules into the lease – and let tenants know that they must honor these rules in order to remain in the home. Some of these could include the following:

  • Types of Pets Allowed
  • Weight Limit on Pets
  • Allow Only the Tenant’s Pets
  • Requirement that All Shots and Vaccinations Be Up-To-Date
  • Requirement that the Pet(s) Be Under Control at All Times

You will also typically want to charge an additional “pet fee” for those who have a pet (or pets). For example, if you normally charge $500 per month for rent, consider charging $550. You may also consider charging a slightly higher security deposit in order to cover any additional damages that may need to be repaired upon the tenant’s exit.

Having a pet agreement already incorporated into your lease can immediately open up your property to a wider array of potential tenants. And, even if a new tenant does not currently have a pet, you should still have them sign the pet agreement in the case that they may obtain a pet during the course of the lease.

For more information and tips on managing property for maximum efficiency, or if you would like details on how you can profit from your rental property without having to spend a lot of time managing the property yourself, contact us.