Pets are a lot of fun, and more and more people consider them a part of the family. There are tenants who would never move into a place that doesn’t allow pets; to them, it would be like moving somewhere that doesn’t allow children, a non-negotiable part of their considerations when they choose a place to live. For landlords, it’s a tricky topic; there are several pros and cons to consider when contemplating opening your property to those with furry friends.
Market share is the biggest advantage of allowing pets on the premises. A survey conducted by the pet industry estimates that 68% of US households own a pet; when you don’t allow pets on your property, you’re missing out on a massive share of the market. Advertising a pet-friendly property near dog parks, or featuring pet-friendly amenities can attract a large number of potential tenants to your spot.
Allowing pets can help retention, too; pets are extremely popular with millennials, who tend to think of their animals as a part of the family. Among this demographic, 45% of those who don’t currently have a pet say they would like one in the future; a large number of these may simply be dwelling in pet-unfriendly spaces and could be looking to move to a place that can accommodate a furry friend. When your space isn’t pet-friendly, such tenants may move away simply because they want a dog.
Pet owners trend on the responsible side, as well. Though there’s less responsibility entwined with pet ownership than there is with, say, parenting, a tenant with pets has a life they’re responsible for feeding, grooming, and taking care of. Responsible pet ownership means you need to get a consistent paycheque, have sufficient savings in case of emergency, and a schedule so you can look after your furry friend; responsibility in one domain often translates to others, so pet owners are a good bet.
There are downsides to allowing pets on your property. The most obvious one is that they make a mess; shedding fur, scratches on hardwood and other pet-related problems can plague homeowners. You can alleviate this by increasing the amount of the damage deductible in pet-friendly spaces, so you’ll have the extra cash you need in case something goes awry.
The nuisance to other residents is the other big disadvantage, and it comes in two forms. The first is allergies; in a space filled with dogs and cats, living with allergies becomes untenable. If most places in your area are pet-friendly, you can pivot and not allow pets to attract this demographic; you will, however, miss out on other opportunities.
The second major problem is aggressive pets; it’s a good idea to have someone meet the animals of your potential tenants before they move in, to ensure that they’re well behaved and lack any aggressive tendencies.
When you’re not sure whether or not to allow pets, contact us; we have over 30 years experience working with property management, so we know where pet-friendly sells, what demographic it attracts, and whether or not it can work for your space.