How to Have a Pet-Friendly Rental AND Keep It Nice
However, allowing pets without rules and restrictions is not the answer. Poorly behaved pets can wreak havoc on your floors, walls, and window treatments, driving up maintenance fees and repairs. If your rental home allows pets, then a plan should be in place to best navigate owning a pet-free rental.
For this very reason, we have put together a guide to keep your pet-friendly property in good shape through clear policies, pet-friendly finishes, and tenant screening practices.
1. Have a Pet Policy
When you are putting together a lease agreement for a pet-friendly property, it is important to make sure that you have expectations set beforehand. These expectations should be clear and concise, and most importantly, they should be enforceable.
A well-crafted pet policy can help to ensure the safety and comfort of both the pets and the other tenants in the building. It's important to consider factors such as the types and number of pets allowed, breed restrictions, weight limits, and any additional fees or deposits that may be required.
Landlords should also consider implementing clear guidelines for pet-related responsibilities such as waste removal, leash requirements, and noise control. A comprehensive pet policy can help landlords attract responsible and trustworthy pet owners while minimizing any potential damage or disruptions to the property.
2. Tenant Screening
As a landlord, you probably have a tenant screening process in place. When working with a pet-friendly property, tenant screening is even more important. Typically the tenant screening process includes an in-depth background check, along with interviews with former landlords and neighbors.
Getting a full picture of a potential renter can tell you whether or not a pet owner is responsible. When asking former landlords, be sure to ask how well they cared for their pets. Did they clean up after their pet? Was their pet well-behaved? Etc.
If you have the opportunity, try and meet the potential tenant's pet beforehand. A common red flag would be for the pet owner to not allow that to happen (unless, of course, their pet is being cared for elsewhere). If you can, get to know the animal and see how well it behaves.
3. Additional Fees
Pet fees and deposits are common ways for landlords to protect their property while allowing tenants to own pets. A pet fee is a one-time non-refundable charge that covers the costs associated with allowing a pet on the premises.
This may include additional cleaning and maintenance fees that the landlord incurs due to the pet. A pet deposit, on the other hand, is a refundable amount that is held by the landlord to cover any damages caused by the pet.
When creating a pet fee and deposit policy, it's important to consider the local laws and regulations that may govern these charges. Additionally, landlords should be transparent about the amount of the fee and deposit and clearly explain how and when they will be charged.
Enforcing pet fees and deposits is important for protecting the property and ensuring compliance with the pet policy. This may include regular inspections to ensure that pets are not causing any damage or disturbances and addressing any violations promptly.
It's also important for landlords to establish clear consequences for non-compliance, which may include fines, eviction, or forfeiture of the pet deposit. However, landlords should also be prepared to handle any disputes or complaints related to pet fees or deposits fairly and reasonably.
By creating and enforcing a clear pet fee and deposit policy, landlords can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable living environment for all tenants, including those with pets.
4. Pet Proof Finishes
One way to protect your rental property is by investing in pet-friendly finishes. This can be anything from the flooring to the paint and sealant throughout the house. By choosing the correct finishes for your property, you can mitigate scratches, stains, and odors.
Even the best of pets can hurt flooring. By choosing options such as hardwood floors, porcelain tile, and specific carpets, you can lessen the impact of pets on your home. The most important part about picking flooring is the simplicity of cleaning. The easier it is to clean and maintain, the better off your floor will be.
For walls and doors, some special paints and coatings can be applied. Some of these coatings can also be used to protect furniture against scratches and stains. Just make sure that these finishes are safe and non-toxic for both pets and humans.
5. Putting It All Together
Ensuring that your rental property is “pet-proofed” will surely give you peace of mind if you allow pets. Following the tips that we put together in this article will give you a good base of understanding how to deal with pet owners who are looking to rent your property.
If managing your rental properties seems like a lot, honestly, it is. Asheville Phoenix Properties is here to help. To learn more about how we can help you maximize your ROI while handling all of the day-to-day business of your residential rental property, be sure to check out our services.