Opening up your rental property for tenants with pets is a great way to expand your potential tenant pool and earn a little extra pet rent, but it also comes with certain added home-protection considerations. Whether you manage your rental home on your own or work with a property management company, here are some strategies to mitigate the perils of tenants with pets.
Ask For Previous Landlord References
Just like you need to screen tenants for criminal and financial backgrounds, you will need to screen them for the way they handled their pets in previous rental apartments. It's always a good idea to call up previous landlords to get information about your applicant's pet. Some pet owners may have well-trained dogs while others may not. Some pet owners may be poor housekeepers and don't clean up well after their dogs. The best thing you can do is to call up previous landlord references to find out about the applicant. If you're managing the property on your own, you will have to undertake this task. Otherwise, your property manager will do this for you.
Charge A Pet Deposit Along With Added Rent
When it comes to renting out your apartment to tenants with pets, you have the liberty to charge a pet deposit and additional rent. By allowing pets into your home, you can afford to charge a rental premium, which most pet owners are willing to pay. The pet deposit and pet rent will go towards repairing any damage in the home caused by pets. For example, the cost of repairing soiled carpets, stained walls or torn furniture should all be considered in the pet deposit and rent. But take care not to overcharge your tenants with excessive pet fees because they will end up going elsewhere. If you're working with a property management company, get their professional advice on suitable pet deposits and added rents for tenants with pets.
Be Specific About Type Of Pets Allowed In Your Home
Your pet agreement should be specific enough to identify the type of pets that can be allowed into your home. For example, some landlords only allow domesticated animals like dogs and cats, while others are willing to extend their homes to guinea pigs, fish, birds, hamsters, small reptiles and rabbits. Being specific will help you avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings about your 'pet-friendly' property later. Your pet agreement should also include a limit on the number of allowed pets in the house. You will need to do this if you're managing the property on your own. Otherwise, your property management company will draw up this pet agreement based on your specific requirements.
Working with a professional property management company (such as Calibre Real Estate) when you have pet-friendly rentals will help you mitigate the problems that may arise more easily.