Monday, July 10, 2006

Pet Friendly Rental Properties

As a Landlord, have you ever rented to a Tenant that had pets and only later you discovered that it was a disaster, because the pets tore up your beloved investment rental property? Let me guess, you're to the point now that you no longer rent to Tenants with pets because you don't want to have to deal with their messy pets.

As a Landlord myself, I have been down this road many times and I have also learned from the experience. Click on the picture with the kitty and see my video podcast that I did on this subject. Isn't the kitty cute?!? :) I have learned that you must set a standard as there are pros and cons to allowing pets in your rental properties.

The first standard is that I go ahead and allow pets with conditions. I will only authorize pets that are domestic animals such as dogs or cats. There is a restriction on the type of dog as I do not allow any kind of vicious type dog like pit bulls or rottweilers. I also do not allow any kind of farm animals like horses or cows, circus animals like tigers or monkeys, or reptiles such as snakes or alligators, and the like. I think you can see my point here, right?

Secondly, I require a pet FEE. This fee is somewhere between $250-$350 depending on the number of animals or the type. Please note that this is a FEE, not a deposit. The difference being that the FEE is non-refundable and is only for the privilege of having the pet. It does not cover damages that the pet does to the property. I also write into my lease agreement that the Tenant is required to have the carpets cleaned upon vacating the premises and must repair any damage that the pet has caused.

The pro of allowing pets in your rentals properties is simple. You can usually rent your vacant property faster. In our city of Springfield, MO, we're one of the very few management companies that allow pets in our rental properties. We have the mindset that not all Tenants that have pets are bad Tenants. We have actually got a lot of really good Tenants who have pets and have taken very good care of our properties. They were unable to rent any other properties because most other property management firms wouldn't allow their pets.

Now of course, this isn't always true, and chances are you will have an experience that doesn't turn out so great with pets. (knock on wood). However, you can also make an extra money with a pet fee and still have a good tenant, a good pet and everything be fine upon the Tenant vacating the premises. It's a trade-off, but it is one that has worked well for me.

Let me know your Tenant's With Pets Horror Stories. Let's at the very least have a good laugh at them. Or if you have tips to share with us and our readers about having pets in rentals, let us know.

Until next time...