Are you Pet Friendly?

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Are you Pet Friendly?

In a quick review of our local CraigsList rental ads, the term “no pets” is a common refrain. My wholly unscientific poll on these ads places the “no pets” policy at a ratio of about 50% of the total number of ads. As a long-time Nevada Property Manager, I fail to see the logic in a “no pets” policy. Here’s why:

 

About 62% of households in the U.S. have pets

 

This is reason #1 for me, supporting a pet-friendly policy. No matter how you slice it, a “no pets” statement in your rental ad immediately eliminates over half your potential market. Are vacancies a problem in your management portfolio? Allowing pets will certainly help to bring occupancy levels up.

 

Pets are good for our health

In addition to the well-documented emotional benefits of pet ownership, research shows that pet ownership can have positive effects on both physical and mental health. Pets lower blood pressure, reduce stress, fight depression, and help prevent heart disease. Pets have even been shown to help Alzheimer’s patients, by increasing appetite and inspiring physical and mental activity.   These benefits are reflected not only in the personal lives of pet owners, but extend to their productivity at work.

 

If you want a quality tenant, choose a pet owner

 

Pet owners are generally responsible people. Not only do they care for their pets by spending a great deal of time and money on them, pet owners are known to be more community-friendly than people who don’t own pets. Lisa Wood, a public health instructor at the University of Western Australia, recently conducted a study measuring the “ripple effect” of pet ownership and human function within a community. In her study, pet owners scored higher than their counterparts in a number of factors, including the ability to trust, make connection, and help neighbors.

 

Landlord/Tenant Law helps us recover damages

 

Nevada Landlord/Tenant Law allows us to charge tenants for any damage done by their pets, without having to wait until the tenant vacates. We can also collect up to 3 times the monthly rent, in a security deposit, up front, as added “insurance” against damage.  Some landlords have found a pet-friendly policy does even more, by increasing the gross income on their rental portfolio by charging “pet rent” to renters who own pets.

 

With the safeguards afforded in Nevada law, and the benefits outlined above, there’s simply no reason to deny a rental application, solely on the basis of pet ownership.  What is your policy? Do you rent to tenants with pets? Why, or why not? Please share your observations by leaving a comment on this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Replies to “Are you Pet Friendly?”

  1. I’ve been using the 50% figure for a while. We have some owner who have had a bad experience with a particular dog or cat that colors all future rental decisions. Most owners who are “no pets” change their minds once the property has been vacant for a while, but in the mean time they lose quote a few potential applicants.

    One thing we have learned is that we do not charge “pet deposits.” We increase the “security deposit.” That way all the money is available for cleaning and damage, whether it’s caused by the pet or not.

    On another note-I sure would like to know how that brain-damaged, kibble-huffing, carpet-barfing nut-case of a dog I own increases my productivity at work. ; )

  2. Great advice on using an increased security deposit, rather than a separate pet deposit, Bob! And… your dog sounds remarkably similar to my own! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

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