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Allowing Pets in a Rental Property

by Editor | ezLandlordForms
Pet sin Rental Properties

Pets have long held special places in our hearts and homes, so why is it such a big deal to have a pet in a rental property? As people work and school at home, there’s more time to walk a dog, pet a cat and be on-site, thereby avoiding the separation anxiety that many dogs – and people – endure when being apart most of the work days.

Studies on pet-friendly rentals and tenants who own pets present varying results, but suffice it to say that more than 50%  do not welcome pets in the rental property. It is likely, however, that more than a third of renters have pets. This translates into landlords potentially facing more pet requests, and property managers re-thinking their position on pet-friendly rentals. Some of the animal details to be addressed include:

  • Cats, indoor, outdoor, spayed or not
  • Dogs, size, breed, neutered or not
  • Routine poop pick-up and disposal

Evaluating Appropriate Interior for Pets in your Rental Property

Each owner or property manager needs to assess interior accoutrements like flooring, wall finishes and furnishings. The unfurnished unit may be more appealing to lease, since any furniture damage, like cats scratching and dogs chewing, belongs to the residents. Most all cats spray to mark territory, so it’s wise to have walls which are painted at least with a washable egg shell, though satin or semi-gloss might be a better choice. Neutered, all-indoor felines might not spray, though all rub in places to claim territory.

Dogs present a variety of issues based on size and breed. For the single family home with a fenced yard, decisions are easier to make than for a densely populated condo building where barking dogs may garner complaints from neighbors. Lifestyle is a consideration, as the tele-commuter and retiree, for example, are likely to be home much more than an airline pilot or the sales rep with a 7-state territory.

The Pet Bonus

On the favorable side, the tenant pool can double or triple for a pet-friendly property. Pet owners are appreciative of leasing a place with their furry friend and can be long-term tenants. Turnover can be an expensive drain on time and the bank account. Additionally, renters with pets have come to accept the extra pet security fee and more rent per month to keep their pet pal. That could mean a bit more hefty a bottom line for landlords.

Instead of stressing over pet policies and documentation, turn to ezLandlordForms.com for leases, state specific paperwork, pet addendums and rental application forms. Any cost for the forms is a tax deductible expense. Your time is too valuable to figure out the best documentation for a pet policy when ezLandlordForms.com is but a mouse click away. More than half a million landlords have come here for more than a decade to secure comprehensive tenant leases and specialty add-ons like the pet addendum and move-in move-out walkthrough checklists (especially important with pets).

Service and Therapy Animals

Bonafide service animals or emotional-support animals (ESAs) are permitted by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) to live with their owners. According to the ADA, a service dog is: “A dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” 

There are around half a million service dogs, and tenants with credentialed service dogs or ESAs are not required to pay any additional pet fees. Their dogs are permitted in any public or private space where the person can go. Tenants need to share appropriate documentation on the animal, its training, need and certification with prospective landlords to verify authenticity.

So, is it worth accepting pets?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your pet policy. Consider each aspect of allowing a cat or dog, like how many animals permitted in one unit, weight, breed, spayed and neutered, clean-up, where to walk and local leash laws. Some municipalities now have ordinances that prohibit tying a dog outside anywhere, even in your yard.

An American Pet Products Association survey estimated that Americans have just over 80 million dogs and 93 million cats. Certainly, there are some wonderful, stable, long-term renters among those pet owners. With ezLandlordForms.com’s comprehensive tenant screening methods, you might find your new tenant’s cat or dog to be a landlord’s new best friend for providing grateful, respectful tenants in your property.

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