Today, pets are more than man’s best friend. They’re part of the family. However, when pet owners look for rentals, many potential tenants reported that they wouldn’t even consider a property if their pets couldn’t come along with them. Since more than 76% of Millenials own cats or dogs, creating pet friendly rentals allows property owners to market to a wider range of renters (Appfolio). To help put their best foot forward, here are four tips to help your clients turn their properties into pet friendly rentals.
When transitioning to a pet friendly property, the first thing on the list should be creating a written agreement to lay out the rules. These should define the types of pets allowed in units, how many, and any size or weight restrictions. Also, determine which outdoor areas should be set aside for pets, and then install waste disposal stations in those sections. Clearly express a leash policy. Many states have their own leash laws as well, so remind clients to check with state laws when creating their own policies. Finally, for additional protection, request that tenants obtain renters insurance that covers pet-related damages.
Since landlords are often concerned about possible property damage, it would be a good idea to suggest a pet deposit in addition to the standard security deposit. While there isn’t a set amount for this deposit, the average pet deposit is between 40% and 85% of the rent. However, the amount usually varies depending on size or breed of the pet. In addition to this, many properties ask for an extra fee each month. Because pets are such an important part of their lives, clients are often willing to spend the extra money so they can keep their four-legged family members.
In order to determine whether a pet owner would make a good resident, encourage clients to request a pet resume. Explain that a pet resume can show whether potential tenants are responsible pet owners, and that their pets are well-trained. Resumes should include a description of each pet with their age, size, and temperament; a schedule that shows how often dogs are walked and taken outside; and health and grooming habits, including an up-to-date record of all vaccinations, whether pets have been spayed or neutered, and how often they’re treated for fleas. Also, suggest that clients ask whether pets have taken any formal animal training classes. Finally, mention that they should ask for letters of recommendation from tenant’s previous landlords or veterinarian.
Finally, when transitioning to a pet friendly rental, landlords may want to retrofit their units to make them more enticing to pet owners and reduce the likelihood of property damage. Many property managers remove carpeting and replace flooring with tile or laminate since they are easier to clean and can hold-up for longer. If removing carpet isn’t an option, consider applying a stain-resistant treatment to keep carpets looking fresh. To entice pet owners, some rental properties have started offering pet amenities, such as dog runs, washing stations, or built-in pet doors.
There are many benefits that come from offering pet friendly rentals. Besides an increased bottom-line, pet friendly facilities often have a lower vacancy rate and tenants who rent for longer. In addition to this, property owners will be attracting the 82% of tenants with animals who have trouble finding a rental unit that would take their pet. Once your clients have decided to make the switch to pet friendly, list the property on Homes.com. The Homes.com Rentals app is one of the few that allows potential tenants to sort by “Pet Friendly” options, making their search even easier.
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