Pets or No Pets?
Posted by Claire on
When it comes to apartments, pets or no pets is the age-old question. Do you allow for pets in your rental home or not? If you look on the market at apartments or houses for rent, you'll notice most homeowners have a strict no pet policy. There are a number of reasons people say no to pets. After all, it's not mandatory for landlords to allow them, and many Canadians agree that it shouldn't be. However, there's an equally persuasive argument for saying yes to Lassie.
More Potential Tenants
We live on the West Coast, in beautiful BC, a place where residents love the outdoors. So it's not hard to believe that many animal lovers live here. By opening up your home to pets, you open yourself up to more potential tenants. In fact, a 2014 survey done by Apartments.com shows 70% of renters are pet owners. What does that mean for you? Your home will stay empty for shorter periods of time, and you'll have a wider range of prospects.
Keep Tenants Longer
Finding pet-friendly accommodation can be tough for renters so when they do find one, they want to stay long-term. Their pets become familiar with their home, and for you, it means less turnover.
Interview Prospective Tenants AND Their Pet
Meeting potential tenants is an obvious step when renting out a home, whether you're property managers or landlords. But when you involve pets, screening them is just as important. It's not scientific but in times like these, trust your gut. You'll know if a pet and its owner will be reliable and trustworthy by the way they interact with one another. And be sure to ask questions about their pet as well. How long have they had them? Where did they get them from? Have they been vaccinated?
Be Clear About Your Pet Policy
Whether you've hired property managers, or you're doing it yourself, the lease should have a crystal clear pet policy. If you don't want pets, be clear. If you only want to allow certain dog breeds, be clear. If you prefer no cats, be clear. Detail how many pets you'll allow if guests can bring pets, how large their pets can be, and be explicit on renters' vs. owners' responsibilities.
Are Animals Covered By Your Insurance?
If you have homeowners insurance, be sure to check your policy. Not all insurance policies cover animals and may even expressly forbid them from living on the property. Be sure to read up on what is allowed and if necessary, amend or upgrade your insurance. It may cost you slightly more, but you don't want to be on the hook for any problems that may arise.
Damage Deposit Anyone?
If damage is something, you worry about, set a standard damage or pet deposit. Landlords and property managers set a security deposit at half the monthly rent, and the same must be done for pet deposits. That means if you choose to add a pet deposit, BC only allows combined deposits to be a full month's rent, max. But be forewarned, pet damage deposits can only be used for damage done by pets.
It may seem like pets and houses are a bad mix, but your bottom line may thank you. No one likes to find new tenants, landlords and property managers alike, and taking on pet owners may reduce the stress and hassle of property management. Thinking of allowing pets into your rental home but not sure if it's the right move? Contact us today; we've been doing this since 1887, you can trust us to find the best solution for you.