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Austin Property Management Blog

Should Your Property Feature No Breed Restriction Apartments?

Should Your Property Feature No Breed Restriction Apartments?

At least 72% of renters have pets, but finding a home that lets them in is difficult.

Over 60% of landlords have faced pet-related damage. There are 4.7 million dog bites every year.

Most of these issues get blamed on certain breeds, but these stereotypes can hurt renters and landlords. Read on to learn whether you should have no breed restriction apartments.

Why Restrict Breeds?

An insurance company's job is to do risk assessments. This means they have to know which breeds have a reputation for being more aggressive and involved in the most bites and fatalities.

The company may create a "banned breed" list of dogs they refuse to cover. It minimizes the risk of extreme payouts in the event of emergencies.

A few of the most common dogs that end up on these lists include:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Presa Canario
  • Chow Chows
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Akitas
  • Cane Corso
  • Bull Mastiffs
  • Wolf hybrids

How to Get Pet Insurance

Ask your insurance company if they have a list of banned breeds. They need to be listed as part of the application process and the lease agreement.

One of the major disadvantages of no breed restriction apartments is that you may struggle to get insurance. Shop around until you find a non-discriminatory company.

Require all tenants to have renters insurance. Any dog can become aggressive, and they need a policy that protects against these incidents.

How to Choose Pet Owners

Schedule an interview with each tenant and their furry friend. Ask to see their identification and paperwork such as:

  • Identification
  • Vet visit records
  • Medication records
  • Vaccination records
  • references

See how the pet behaves around their owner and you. A well-behaved tenant with an animal of a restricted breed is better than a tenant with a poorly behaved one that isn't on the list or a vacant property.

How to Create a Rental Policy

Texas has no specific tenant pet laws. You're free to choose a pet policy and its specifications.

It needs to be listed clearly as part of the lease agreement. A property manager can help you make sure they're legally compliant and attract satisfied tenants.

Make tenants sign the pet agreement even if they don't have an animal yet in case they adopt one later. It should outline everything you do and don't allow, including:

  • Breeds
  • Number of pets
  • Weight
  • Disposal of waste
  • Time unattended in a fenced area
  • Pet-sitting in the unit
  • Times when friends' pets can visit

Pet fees can earn you extra money but aren't always the right choice. They're never legal for service animals and can even be challenged in court if they're too high.

Most importantly, make rental pet policies easy to change. You should be able to edit any rules if you give your tenants reasonable notice. Add in a grandfather clause to keep old tenants from having to comply with them.

Finding a Property Manager for No Breed Restriction Apartments

No breed restriction apartments can attract happy tenants but force you to shop around for insurance companies that don't have a banned breed list. It can also leave you open to damage and liabilities in emergencies such as dog fights or bites.

If you want to have these types of properties, meet every potential tenant's pet in person. Get a property manager to help you draft an agreement for them to sign.

Contact us at Austin Property Management for help today.