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Property Management Blog

A Landlord's Guide to Owning a Pet Friendly Rental

Chris Barber - Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Property Management Blog

According to a recent study, millennials are the generation most likely to own pets

As a landlord, it's important to brainstorm how to appeal to the current generation of renters. One of the best ways to increase occupancy in your properties is by creating a pet-friendly environment. 

Pets may scare you as a landlord, especially if your units come with carpet. However, there are several preventative measures you can take to keep your properties clean and tenants happy. 

Below is a guide on creating a pet-friendly rental. Don't forget to grab a few treats to win over the hearts of your new furry friends. 

Create a "Pet Agreement" Section in the Lease

It's important in property management to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. One of the best ways you can prepare for pets is by creating a "Pet Agreement" in the lease. 

This section outlines which pets are acceptable and which are not, the tenant's responsibilities regarding the pets, and how the pet approval process operates. Guarantee future tenants are aware of these agreements before applying for your property. 

Note: Property owners, by Washington Law, are not allowed to discriminate against service animals or guide dogs. 

Charge a Pet Fee

In addition to pet policies, consider charging a pet fee. This fee will cover damages caused by the animal, including stained carpet or damaged window blinds. 

Be fair with your pet fee. Only charge a reasonable amount. Decide whether you'd like to charge per rental property or per pet. 

Require Important Documents

As you screen tenants, screen their pets, too!

One of the risks of pets in rentals is the spreading of diseases through biting/scratching. Require important documents regarding pets, including proof of vaccinations. 

If an animal is a service animal, ask for proof of official licensure. 

Emphasize the Tenant's Responsibility 

As you start accepting more tenants with pets, remind tenants of their responsibilities as pet owners. 

Place signs around your properties as reminders to keep dogs on leashes, especially if it's within an apartment complex. Send pet policy reminder emails if you notice tenants bending the rules. Provide eviction warnings when a tenant has violated a pet policy over and over again. 

Most importantly, make yourself accessible for any questions or concerns regarding pets. Open communication allows for a more successful experience for both you and your tenants. 

Welcoming Furry Friends: Creating a Pet-Friendly Rental Property

Nothing is better than the warmth of a cuddly creature. And as much as you might love dogs, it's important to protect yourself as a property manager. 

As you create a more pet-friendly rental property, put policies into place to protect yourself, other tenants, and your physical property. Establish pet policies with tenants through the lease agreement.

For more property management guides, check out the rest of our site. We're a family-owned real estate business specializing in property management. Call us today to set up a free rental analysis. 


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