Allowing pets is often a difficult decision for the owners of rental properties here in Northwest Atlanta – many families have pets. Do the benefits outweigh the possible negatives? Do pets really cause more damage than they are worth?
The benefits to offering pet negotiable rental properties are easy to see, you get a bigger pool of potential renters. The more interest in your property means reduced periods of vacancy, longer-term tenancy, and possibly higher rents.
To allow your rental property to be an option for these renters you will need to be willing to allow pets. Just having your property listed as “Pet Negotiable” can increase the showings of your property and let you decide if you are willing to accept a small dog or cat to get your home off the vacancy list and generating income.
The most common reason landlords are fearful of renting to pet owners is the notion that pets cause damage. While it is very true that a pets can, and have caused damage to rental properties in the past, a study completed by www.firepaw.org found that on average landlords were making more off their rental properties that allow pets versus those that do not. What you can also notice from this study is that even in the properties where the pets did cause damage, the damage amount was often less than the additional security deposit required from the renter. Here in Atlanta it is common to see $250 to $300 per pet given as a “non-refundable” deposit.
Lets say you are completely set against having a pet at your property. If you are managing the property yourself, you will need to look up the local laws on Companion and Service Animals. You may not be legally able to deny pets under those situations. You also must consider the chance that a potential tenant will try to bring a pet in without authorization, and hope you don’t notice. Our experience has been that dog owners beg and cat owners lie. Dog owners will tout the great personality and behavior of their dog, and cats will miraculously appear at a property when we do our interior inspections.
For more information on the subject of pets in rental properties you can view these other articles.