Twenty years ago it was difficult to find apartment communities that would rent to pet owners. For years, dogs and cats were not welcome at the majority of apartment communities, with managers citing a variety of reasons, some valid, others merely an excuse in disguise.
Today, it’s more difficult to find an apartment community that does not rent to apartment dwellers with pets. Pets are considered a part of the family, and the majority of pet owners take good care of their pets.
Have you joined in on the pet-friendly trend, or are you still hesitant to rent to pet owners? If you’re considering renting to pet owners, it’s important for you to do the following:
- Set some guidelines before you begin renting to pet owners. These guidelines should include how much of a pet deposit you will charge, what restrictions you want to place on specific breeds and any weight limits.
- Set and maintain guidelines and restrictions as well. If possible, set aside a portion of the property for dog owners to use and be sure that pet owners understand that they are responsible for removing any pet waste.
- Ensure that pet owners understand that incessant pet noise such as continual barking will not be tolerated. There’s nothing more frustrating to tenants than a dog that never stops barking. Make renters aware of the repercussions.
- Be sure that you actually see the pets that will be living in the unit. Otherwise Fluffy could turn out to be a 100 pound German Sheppard, not a 15 pound French Poodle. While most pet owners will be honest, a few may try to get their larger pets past your leasing agent.
The move-out process for renters with pets needs to be extra diligent. While there may be some minor damage such as scratches and stains, be on the lookout for urine soaked areas, particularly if the renter had a cat. Cat urine is particularly potent and can be disguised for a few days with the use of an odor neutralizer. But a real problem can develop when the urine odor returns after a new tenant has moved in.
Remember, while renting to pet owners can bring its own set of problems, it can also be very rewarding. In the process, you will have earned the trust and loyalty of this group of renters that will likely remain loyal to you in the future. With proper management, it’s worth the risk.