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June 13, 2017

Admit it - when you started out in property management, the one decision that you waffled over was whether or not you should allow tenants to have pets in the apartment.  Set a no-pets policy and risk losing out on qualified tenants, but being pet-friendly opens up a whole new set of concerns.

There are important factors to consider when allowing animals in and around your rental property.  Whatever choice you make, you may want to consider the following in order to succeed with your pet-friendly renters.

  1. Checking State and Local Laws on Pet-Friendly Properties

You want to make sure your state has specific laws on how pet-friendly properties should be handled.If your property is not up to the standards of your regions rules and regulations, you could face legal issues before you even find tenants.

  1. Having Pet Provisions in Your Lease

As a landlord, creating a well thought out provision will be very beneficial when allowing tenants with their pets. The first step is to determine what types of pets you’ll allow and any specifics including weight and or how many pets a tenant to allowed to have.You want to make it clear that all your rules are applied to every tenant in your property and nobody receives certain treatment.

These key requirements are a MUST to include in your lease

  • The tenant will pick up after their pets.
  • The pet will not be a nuisance or distraction to any other tenants or neighbors of the property
  • Tenants must include a licensing and vaccination record to show that the pet has been sprayed or neutered in case of any other pets living on the property.

Before you approve your applicant, conducting a pet interview is a great way to know what type of animal will be living in your property.

Our friend over at TurboTenant have a great guide to conducting the perfect pet resume for your tenants.

Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Pet Resumes

  1. Charge A Pet Deposit 

Protect the investment of your property by including a pet deposit in your lease.The rates for these deposits may vary depending on the size or number of pets being allowed. Tenants should recognize that by having a pet live in your property, it is their responsibility to respect the rules and regulations you have set foot.Common fee’s usually go at $50-$100 per month. These can go forward to any future damages covered by pets. You want to keep this fee at a low rate in order to keep overall cost of rent competitive to the market you are in.

  1. Making Your Property Pet-Friendly

Make sure you are prepared for the types of pets you are allowing in your property. If your tenants are cat-owners, consider hardwood floors to lessen damage to carpets installed prior to moving in. Depending on size, you may want to think about different carpet option and apartment sizes for dog owners.If your property includes backyards, installing fences to create closed off areas is a great investment as well as hiring a landscaping service to include an area of mulch or rocks for a private area for dogs.

With the right property maintenance your tenants and their pets will be happy in their new home!

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