Today’s topic is pets. If you’re like me, a property manager, you never want to have a pet in your rental home. However, it’s probably something you’ll have to deal with. Statistics tell us that between 70 and 75 percent of potential renters are looking for homes that accept pets. This means they probably have at least one pet. If a family has kids, they almost always have pets. You can’t say no to kids, so you have a good chance of having pets move into your property with your tenants.
Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Deposits
We think it’s important to get a non-refundable deposit when you’re developing a pet policy. Anything from $100 to $200 as an initial upfront pet fee is fair. Even the best behaved pet in the world will leave evidence that a dog or cat was in the house. There will be pet dander, pet odors and perhaps minor damage. You might want to consider refundable deposits if there are multiple pets, but that brings us to another consideration: how many pets should you allow? We think two pets are plenty. If you’ve got someone with three or four or even five pets, remember that you’ll have even more evidence left behind that pets were living in the house. There’s also more potential for damage. It’s perfectly acceptable to require a non-refundable deposit and to limit the number of animals you will allow.
There is a stigma attached to dangerous breeds like Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers and even Chows. Many of these animals are great pets and we know plenty of people who have docile Pit Bulls. However, there is a lot of negative opinion attached to the breeds, and we restrict them. If you do allow these types of dog breeds, consider having your tenant add an extra insurance rider for additional protection. The last thing you want to deal with is an accident involving your tenant’s dog.
When you’re developing a pet policy for your rental home, remember that you should expect people will probably have pets. You don’t want to restrict 70 percent of your rental pool, so be prepared to allow them. Just make sure you have a good and clear pet policy in place before your tenant moves in.
If you have any questions about pets and how to develop your pet policy, please contact us at HomeQwik, and we’d be happy to help you.