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Pros and Cons of a Pet-Friendly Rental in Royal Oak

White French Bulldog Sleeping on Bed in Royal Oak RentalDeciding whether to offer a pet-friendly rental home in Royal Oak or not can be a challenging one. Offering pet-friendly rental properties could open up a whole new renter demographic. However, there are definite downsides to allowing your tenants to keep pets on your rental property. You must consider both the advantages and disadvantages of making your rental home pet-friendly.

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68% of U.S. households include one or more pets. With Americans owning more than 90 million dogs and 94 million cats, it is clear that pet owners outnumber non-pet owners by a fair margin. Roughly 50% of those who are just renters are pet owners as well. Among those that aren’t, 35% said that they would like to have a pet if their lease allowed it.

Property owners can quickly do the math given all these statistics. Having a pet-friendly rental gives you the potential of increased demand for your property. You could also then increase monthly rent and charge pet fees as well. From a financial perspective, these are great reasons to allow pets on your rental property.

You must also remember that allowing pets also means you face a new set of potential problems. One of the biggest would be the risk of property damage. Pets are prone to damaging homes and yards. This does not excuse well-behaved animals as well. Dogs dig holes, chew doors and trim, and claw walls and doors, while cats scratch and mark furniture and floors. Urination or other behaviors are more common in anxious or untrained animals. This can cause more damage to carpets and wood. Animal urine can soak into wood trim, carpet pad, and drywall, creating a nasty odor and unsanitary conditions. Property owners who allow pets usually have higher repairs and maintenance costs.

Still, property owners can remind their tenants to take preventative measures against property damage. Asking for a pet deposit upfront is a critical first step. Tenants will usually agree to this additional fee if it means they get to keep their beloved pets. Provide your tenants with instructions and information about protecting the home from pet damage as well. Strategies such as installing a scratching post for pet cats or investing in enzymatic cleaners for urine spots can mitigate certain kinds of damages.

Remind tenants to also clean up after their pets, including having litter boxes and housebreaking their dogs. Lastly, if you see that your tenant’s pet shows signs of anxiety or boredom, you can suggest for them to arrange for a pet sitter or a daycare situation. These strategies can help protect both your rental property as well as giving your tenants the opportunity to keep their pets.

Allowing pets in your rental home could also potentially impact future tenants. Some tenants may be allergic to animals and wouldn’t want to rent a house that has had pets in it. Pet dander can be hard to remove completely and may cause allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals.

This is why, if you allow pets on your property, it is important to clean the house thoroughly between tenants. Clean all interior surfaces by washing or steam cleaning if possible, and by getting a quality vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove deep-seated pet hairs. It is also important to clean the home’s air ducts and replace all filters. Additional cleaning expenses like these should already be covered by your pet fee. That is why it is important to calculate it correctly.

There are many considerations when it comes to pet-friendly rentals. Weigh the pros and cons and clearly understand your rental property’s location and target demographic before you decide what is right for you. If you need help getting to know the local market and managing your rental, contact us online, and the team at Real Property Management Advantage would love to be of service to you.

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