Many landlords are hesitant when it comes to allowing tenants to keep pets in their investment properties. While you are probably familiar with some of the drawbacks of permitting pets, you may not have considered the other side of the equation.
The potential benefits of allowing tenants to keep pets include:
- A broadening of your pool of potential tenants and as such a reduction in the time needed to advertise a vacancy
- Being able to charge a slight premium for your property, especially if not many other rental properties in your area allow pets
- Having tenants who are likely to be at home more often, settle themselves into the property and treat it as their ‘home’
- Pet owners are also likely to stay in the property after their initial lease period, as it can be difficult to find other pet-friendly options
- If the tenant’s pet is a large dog, it may also help to improve the security of the property and reduce the risk of break-ins
On the other hand, some of the common drawbacks of making your property pet-friendly include:
- Increased risk of damage to your property cause by the animal
- Potential for pet odours inside your property that can be hard to get rid of
- Upsetting the neighbours if the pet is loud or has a tendency to escape
Ultimately the choice is yours and likely you will need to make the decision on a case-by-case basis.
If you are inclined to allow pets, it can be a good idea to:
- Check your landlord insurance policy as not all insurers cover damage caused by pets
- Ask to see the pet first, so that you can determine if is animal looks clean, groomed and well-behaved
- Ask for contact details from previous landlords or agents and speak to them specifically about the pet as part of your reference check
- Ask the tenant to sign an agreement relating to specific guidelines for keeping their pet on your property. E.g. you may wish to restrict the pet from entering certain areas of the house
If you have allowed your tenant to keep a pet, ensure you conduct regular routine inspections to ensure the tenants are taking good care of the property and not allowing the pet to cause any damage.