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Pets or No Pets!

Web Admin - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

PETS OR NO PETS! by Peter Meer MPM RMP, 2016 NARPM Denver Chapter Vice-President

Probably two-thirds of would be renters for single-family homes have a pet (we are talking dog or cat here).  By automatically excluding pets the landlord is drastically reducing the number of potential renters available.  The balance of this article will look at the pros and cons of such a decision.

THE REASON TO ALLOW PETS

Getting the unit rented quickly is guaranteed to put more money in the owner’s hands. Allowing pets increases the potential number of would be tenants, thus reducing possible lost rent.  Additionally, the rent may be higher by allowing the pet.

It is common to get a higher dollar amount for the security deposit when a pet is involved.  You should NOT identify this additional amount as a “pet deposit”, as that may limit how your total security deposit can be used when the tenant vacates the property.    

Remember that service animals are not considered a pet.  Also keep in mind that service animals may be needed for psychological reasons and may well be protected under federal law. 

THE REASON NOT TO ALLOW PETS

For the last 30 years, every tenant I have talked to about his or her dog, tells me the same thing.  Their dog is Lassie (for those of you not knowing who Lassie is—sorry).  Their perfect dog would never mess in the house, never chew or scratch the doors, etc. Their cat is equally well trained, never touching the drapes or failing to use the litter box. 

In fact, pets cause damage that can be very expensive.  I tell my clients that this is a business risk decision.  The previous landlord may or may not give you an accurate picture of the pet’s behavior.  If the carpet is more than five years old and the doors are not perfect to begin with, allowing a pet is not as difficult.  With brand new carpet, it is a very difficult decision.

It really comes down to the owner deciding if taking the added risk of a pet is worth the extra rental dollars.  As a residential property manager, my job is to give my client the pros and cons and let them make the business decision.

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