Many landlords struggle with the question of whether or not they should allow pets in their rental property. If you are allergic to pets and you plan to return to the property one day, the answer is simple – no. You don’t want to move back into your home and have a serious allergic reaction. However, if you want to increase your ROI, you should consider a very well qualified applicant who comes to you with a pet.

Pets Help You Avoid Vacancy and Turnover

You don’t want to alienate any potential tenants. Statistics have shown that over 60 percent of households have at least one pet. So when you’re willing to consider tenants who have dogs and cats, you’re casting a broader net during your tenant search, which will bring you a larger pool of high quality tenants. There have also been a number of studies that report households that do have pets tend to move less frequently. So, your tenant will likely stay longer, and that reduces your turnover and your vacancy rates.

Set Reasonable Limits on Pets

Even when you allow pets in your rental property, you can set limits and restrictions. Think about whether you want to restrict the size of the pets that you’ll consider, and be selective with dog breeds, because your insurance might not cover dangerous breeds. You can also choose to allow cats only and no dogs, or dogs only and no cats. There is definitely an opportunity to exercise some discretion when you’re qualifying tenants who have pets.

Charge a Pet Rent

You also have an opportunity to collect more rent every month when your tenant has a pet. In Marin County, pet rents average between $25 per month and $90 per month. That increases your bottom line. You will also want to take the maximum security deposit allowed when a tenant is moving in with a pet. In California, that’s the equivalent of two times the monthly rent.

Pay Attention to References and Screening

Talking to landlord references is a very important part of your screening process when you’re considering a tenant with pets. Talk to both the current and the previous landlord so you can be sure there wasn’t any pet damage left behind.

If you have any questions about how to allow pets into your rental property, please contact us at Foundation Rentals and Relocation.