If you currently own an investment property, or plan to, and deciding if you will allow pets – you are not alone…

 Pet – to Rent or Not to Rent, that is the question…..

Deposit vs Fee.  Deposit has largely been replaced with a non-refundable Pet Fee.  This fee takes into account the likely increased maintenance involving odors, damage, or neighborly disturbances.  What you charge can be based on size or breed though we primarily see a flat $300 Pet Fee in our leases.  *Please note that any damage over and beyond the Fee can be collected from the Security Deposit or additional expenses owed by the Residents.

Seek References.  Knowing if a pet is going to be potential liability is a worthwhile errand.  You may seek references from past Landlords to learn about past behavior or any incidents.  Additionally, we have seen future Residents submit a Pet Resume.  You may ask to be introduced to the pet so that you become more familiar with its disposition.
Pet Addendum.  If you elect to allow pets, you should include a pet addendum in your lease and require your Residents to sign.  According to Center for Disease Control, more than 4.7 million dog attacks on humans occur each year.  Lower your liability with the proper documentation and seek input from your insurance or property manager professional. See link for riskier breeds https://www.forbes.com/sites/cateyhill/2012/05/30/11-riskiest-dog-breeds-for-homeowners-and-renters/#433c319636d9
Pros for Allowing Pets.  There are many positive results in leasing your home to pet-friendly Residents.  A couple examples: Tenancy for individuals and families with pets are, on average, longer than those without pets.  All things held equal, rents on pet-friendly homes are typically higher than a similar house that does not allow pets due to demand.
Whether you elect to allow pets or not, please keep in mind that you must adhere to Fair Housing Laws.  Service Animals is a growing area of confusion and concern for both Resident and Landlord.  Please see link for further information. https://www.nsarco.com/emotional-housing.html

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