Real Estate Gladiators is an industry leader in the property management industry serving Issaquah, Bellevue, Kirkland, the greater eastside and surrounding areas.
If you have a pet of your own, you likely treat that animal like part of the family. If you don’t have a pet, you have surely noticed that a lot of people do. In fact, more than half the Bellevue tenants looking for new homes have at least one cat or dog.
As a landlord, you’ll need to decide whether to allow pets in your rental property. There are some very good reasons to be pet-friendly and some equally good reasons to keep your investment home free of animals. Today, we’re talking through the decision.
Pet-Friendly Positives: Why You Should Allow Pets
When you allow pets in your rental property, you have a good chance of renting it out to tenants a lot faster. The tenant pool will be larger and you’ll find more residents interested in your home because of the fact that you’ll allow them to move in with their beloved dog or their three cats. Reducing vacancy is an excellent reason to provide a pet-friendly property.
Another reason you might want to allow pets is that you can earn more money. Not only can you collect a non-refundable pet fee, you can also increase the rent slightly every month. Charging $25 or $50 in pet rent is a good way to increase what you earn in rental income. Tenants won’t mind paying a bit more for the privilege of moving in their pets.
Finally, you can usually count on better tenant retention when you have renters with pets. Why? They know not every property out there is going to allow pets. And, they won’t want to pay another pet fee and go through another detailed screening process. You can count on your pet-owning tenants to renew their leases.
Potential Pet Problems: Why You Might Hesitate
While there are many benefits to allowing pets, there are also some concerns that many landlords rightly have. For example, the potential for property damage increases. You might find scratches on your floors and walls, and a particularly energetic dog may dig up your yard.
Odors can often linger, and cleaning will have to be more intense after a tenant who has had a pet. Cat urine, for example, can really soak into the baseboards and the subflooring of your home. If you have carpet, there may be a need to remove fleas or dog hair. Expect to spend more preparing your home for the rental market after you’ve had a resident with pets.
Putting Together a Pet Policy
If you want to allow pets but you’re still not convinced the risk is worth it, you can always place restrictions on the pets you’ll allow. For example, perhaps you’ll want to allow adult animals only; no kittens or puppies. Or, you can impose size restrictions and limit the number of pets you’ll allow to one per tenant. There are plenty of things you can do to minimize your risk. We always recommend collecting an extra deposit or a pet fee.
We think accepting pets is a good idea for your rental home. If you’d like some help protecting your Bellevue rental property while making it a pet-friendly home, contact us at Real Estate Gladiators. We have experience protecting properties while expanding tenant pools.