There are pros and cons to allowing pets in a rental property, and today we’re sharing those with you. Generally, we recommend pets to our owners who are renting out their property. Over 40 percent of people in eastern Connecticut have a pet or want to add a pet in the next year or two. So, if you decide not to allow pets, you’re losing a big portion of the market. That will result in a higher vacancy rate and ultimately, you’ll rent out your property for less money.
Concerns about Pets in Rental Property
Owners hesitate, because they fear a pet will trash the property. They imagine tenants bringing in a large, vicious dog that will cause damage. Generally, we don’t see that. Pets don’t cause damage; people cause damage.
Mitigating Pet Risks
There are several ways to mitigate the risk of adding a pet. At Pledge Property Management, we have partnered with a company that does a thorough pet screening. They get the breed and the size of any pet that a tenant wants to move in, as well as photos of the dog or cat. They will also determine whether it’s an emotional support animal. Records are reviewed by hand through a third party company, and they use their experience to determine whether the documentation is official or not. It’s an excellent resource, and a good property manager should use a third party screening process for pets.
Another way to mitigate risk is to offer a pet protection guarantee. We offer a program like this, where we will provide up to $1,000 of damage protection beyond the security deposit. It’s a nice way to make owners feel more comfortable with pets in their property. We understand the risk associated with pets, but we also see a huge upside to allowing them, and we want to encourage landlords and owners to allow pets. It’s just more profitable.
Service and Support Animals
Service animals and emotional support animals are a hot topic. More and more people will try to sneak them in or use fictitious documents to say their pet is not a pet but a support or service animal. When you use a screening company, it will be easy to determine what’s legitimate and what isn’t.
Pets are part of the family, and we hate to break up a family. Make sure you document the condition of your property at move-in and move-out, especially when pets are present. You’ll want to take pictures of the floor, the trim, the yard, the lawn, and other areas that pets can damage. If you keep a keen eye on those areas during your move-in inspection, you’ll have a baseline for comparison when you’re dealing with security deposits.
If you want to learn more about our property management services or what to do about pets, please contact us at Pledge Property Management.