Paws for Thought: The Pros and Cons of Pets in Rental Units

December 5, 2023

In our latest discussion, Jonathan and Krista delve into the topic of pets in rental properties, distinguishing between pets and emotional support animals (ESAs), and outlining the implications for landlords.

Differences Between Pets and ESAs

Pets, unlike ESAs, do not require specific documentation to reside in rental units. ESAs are protected under housing laws, whereas pets are subject to landlord discretion.

The Perceived Risks of Allowing Pets

Many landlords fear property damage or future inhabitability issues arising from pet tenancy. However, statistics show that a significant majority of pet-inclusive rentals do not incur pet-related damages upon move-out.

Benefits of Allowing Pets

  • Expands the potential tenant pool significantly, as a large portion of renters own pets.
  • Shortens vacancy cycles, with pet-friendly rentals filling faster on average.
  • Tends to encourage longer lease renewals, enhancing tenant stability.
  • Allows landlords to charge pet deposits, fees, or rent, potentially increasing revenue.

Making Your Property Pet-Friendly

Adopting pet-friendly flooring, like hardwood or vinyl, and using semi-gloss paint for easier cleanup, are effective strategies for accommodating pets while mitigating potential damage.

Incorporating Pets into Your Lease Agreement

It’s crucial to detail pet policies within your lease agreement, including deposits, fees, and behavioral expectations, to set clear guidelines and protect your property.

Screening Pets

Landlords may choose to screen pets, especially dogs, to assess their behavior and compatibility with the rental environment, particularly in multifamily properties.

Addressing Pet-Related Issues

Should pet-related disturbances arise, having documented policies allows landlords to take appropriate actions, ranging from warnings to requiring training or even eviction in extreme cases.

Embracing pets in rental properties, with proper precautions and policies, can benefit both landlords and tenants, creating a more inclusive and desirable living environment.

For more insights on managing rental properties and to join the conversation on being a better landlord, visit TurboTenant.

Video Transcript


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