A consistent concern for many property owners is whether or not they should allow tenants to have a pet while they live on their property. Many property owners may believe allowing pets will be more hassle than it is worth, however, there are more positives to providing a pet-friendly environment than you may think at first. As such, we’ve gathered five of the benefits of going pet-friendly for you to consider. If you own property in Central Arkansas, Real Property Management is here to help you get the most out of your rental property.
-Fill Vacant Property Faster
When you own property, a vacancy is typically seen as a loss of potential rent money. With a large amount of the population having at least one pet — and with 20 percent of dog owners and 30 percent of cat owners owning more than one pet — cutting off that large section of potential renters will ensure your property stays vacant longer. Studies have shown that a pet-friendly property has more renter appeal than many amenities that can carry a higher investment. This can be a way to tap into a new potential market, especially if you are in an area with many properties that do not allow pets. Not only that, you will see a much stronger tenant retention rate when renters are able to keep their furry friends close by.
-Increase Your Revenue
This seems to be in direct opposition to the commonly held thought that pets cause more damage than they are worth. However, studies have actually shown the impact that a pet has on a rental property is about the same as renters without a pet. Pet rent can help with covering damage in the cases of larger breeds, and you can also charge a pet inspection fee to handle the cost of pet registration, ensuring vet records are reviewed, and taking a DNA sample in case there is an issue of lack of care given toward the animal. Not only do pet owners spend a lot of money on their pets, they will also pay more for a pet-friendly place to live. Pet rent can also be a deterrent for renters who are less committed to their pets, ensuring the renters you do lease out to are more responsible for their pet.
-Bring In and Retain Great Tenants
Through your standard vetting process, you will check a potential tenant’s background, employment, credit, and rental history. When you have pet-owning applicants that pass these requirements, you can have more confidence in the responsibility they carry, both when it comes to their pet’s actions and their own. When you outline a lease agreement for a pet-friendly property, include specific language detailing responsibility for repairs or damage relating to pets, such as scratched up floors or stained carpets. This step will ensure your tenant understands what they will be responsible for while keeping a pet on your property. It also gives you legal and financial protection in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.
-Foster a Stronger and Happier Community
This is one of the most surprising benefits, but when you allow pet owners to stay at your property, it can bring a community together much more than without. Something as simple as taking their dog for a walk can become a conversation starter between neighbors who hadn’t met before. You can build on this budding sense of community by reaching out to local pet stores, groomers, and veterinarians to discuss possible promotions that could be offered exclusively to your customers. Another fun option you can do, especially around the holidays, is a community pet calendar. Not only will this give your tenants to show how proud they are of their furry friend, it will create connections among renters that hadn’t been there before. Pets are a great way to break the ice!
This community outreach can have wider effects beyond your property, helping out small business owners in your area. When you build a strong community, you build strong word of mouth, which makes your property more desirable for prospective renters. Additionally, when you have a strong community, you are able to foster a safer area for everyone, as neighbors will be more likely to have each other’s backs when they’re connected to each other, even if it’s through a cute puppy.
Even when you have certain provisions outlined in your lease agreement, there are financial and legal concerns that arise when you have a pet-friendly property. This can be anything from small property repairs on the same level as standard wear and tear to liability associated with injuries that could befall other animals or humans. With that being said, there are laws in place specifically to protect property owners in the event of one of these issues. That means, as the owner of the property, you are not responsible for the actions of one of your tenant’s animals.
While making a change to your pet policy can carry a lot of unexpected benefits, it is not a decision that should be made without careful consideration. Discuss with other property owners what their experience has been with owning a pet-friendly property, what benefits they saw, what issues they may have had, and what protections they had in place regarding tenants with pets. If you would like more information or advice regarding a pet-friendly policy, or you are looking for a property management company here in Little Rock, please call Real Property Management of Central Arkansas. We have years of property management experience and we want to lend you our expertise to maximize the potential of your property. We hope to hear from you soon!
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