Renting and Pets: Tips for Making Your Properties Animal Friendly

Tenants who own pets oftentimes have difficulty finding a landlord or property manager who will rent to them because of strict no-pet policies, and that’s ok.  However, owners who who add a pet amendment to their lease agreement see it as a chance to appeal to a broader tenant pool and a reduced tenant turnover rate. 

With more millennials delaying having a family until they are well into their 30s, the younger population is likely to turn to pet ownership as an alternative.  Landlords who do manage pet-friendly properties can benefit from a detailed pet addendum. This agreement can reduce risk of damage and make tenants responsible for their pet. Under the agreement, tenants must also provide a pet deposit equal to one months rent and agree to reimburse the landlord or property manager in the event pet-related damage occurs to the property.

If you’re considering offering your rental to pet owners, here are a few useful tips for making your properties animal friendly in order to prevent damage.  

Encourage tenants with pets to choose units with vinyl flooring

If you do ultimately decide to offer spaces to pet owners, try to avoid renting apartments that contain carpeting.  Vinyl flooring is an affordable alternative and is extremely pet-friendly.  Because vinyl planks are pieced together by a waterproof sealant, pet urine and odors are less likely to be trapped in the floor, making clean up much easier.

Establish pet friendly areas on the property

Similar to parks and public areas, it is best to designate pet-friendly areas where dogs can play and do their business on site.  One of our Thorwin Properties properties has established a 4th Floor -”Woof Top Patio” for tenants and their family pets.  This is also a great way to encourage tenants to meet and get to know the other animal owners living at the same property. 

Conduct a pre-screening

By working with pet owners before they sign the lease, you can prevent most animal-related issues. Write terms that require pets with aggressive dispositions will not be permitted. Some landlords or property owners may only allow pets that are spayed or neutered or weigh less than 40 pounds. We recommend meeting the pet before the lease is signed.

Require a professional cleaning 

In the lease agreement with your tenant, be sure to require that a professional cleaning service will be completed to the rental upon move out.

Weigh out the pros and cons of allowing tenants with pets to sign a lease with your property.  Naturally, with pets come more responsibilities, but if you do your due diligence during the pre-screening process, the financial advantages are there as well.