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Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in a Rental Property

Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in a Rental Property

The benefits of living with a pet are well-documented. It's not surprising that most U.S. households own a pet.

Living with a pet is so popular that you'd be forgiven for thinking all rental properties have pet-friendly policies. That's not the case!

As a landlord, you might be wondering whether to allow pets in a rental property or prohibit them. There are pros and cons to each, so you have to decide what's good for your rental.

Read on to learn more.

Pro: Larger Pool of Prospective Tenants

Although more Americans are renting today, the number of rental properties is also increasing rapidly. Some rental markets are competitive, making it more difficult for landlords to find tenants for their rentals.

In a tough market, having a pet-friendly policy can make a big difference. Whatever your target market is, chances are the vast majority of rental applicants will have a pet.

If you have a no-pet policy, they won't bother to apply for tenancy.

Con: Property Damage

The biggest downside of allowing pets in your rental is increased property damage risk. This is a major concern for landlords with furnished apartments.

You have invested a lot of money in carpets and furniture. You want these items to last for several years. Yet, some pets, such as cats, can use their sharp claws to scratch your furniture, carpets, and even walls, often as a way to mark their territory.

You can restrict certain breeds known to cause damage, but there's no guarantee you won't end up dealing with pet damage.

Pro: Longer Tenancy

Good tenants who stay in your rental for a long time are heaven-sent. You don't have to find new tenants every other month, which keeps your advertising and tenant screening costs low. Plus, you lock in a steady rental income.

Having a pet-friendly policy can help increase the length of tenancy. Tenants who live with pets might refrain from moving because they don't want to cause anxiety in their pets, for instance.

Con: Upset Neighbors

Our furry friends add meaning to our lives, but they can sometimes be a source of chaos and frustration.

Imagine living with a dog that can't stop barking in the night. Well, you know your pet owner responsibilities, but that's not going to stop your neighbors from being upset over their disturbed sleep.

If you're living in a multi-unit rental, expect them to report you to the landlord in no time.

As a landlord, though, you don't want to deal with such complaints. If the barking doesn't stop, some of your upset tenants will move.

Pets in a Rental Property: Weigh Your Options

On the surface, allowing pets in a rental property appears a no-brainer. But once you dig into the disadvantages, you start seeing why some landlords have a no-pet policy.

Ultimately, it's your job to set rental property rules. Your pet policy will be informed by state and local laws, the nature of your rental (furnished or unfurnished), and trends in the rental market.

Property management is never an easy job. If your rental is in Austin, TX, and you need professional help, contact Austin Property Management.