It's estimated that 85 million American families have a pet of some kind. From fish to dogs, people love their pet companions. However, when it's time to move, many struggle to find a rental property.
As a property owner, should you allow pets or not? If you do, you can expand your renter pool. If you don't, you limit wear and tear and possible damage.
We're here to provide you with a guide on the do's and don'ts of pets in a rental property so you can make the right decision.
Do Include a Pet Agreement
The most important point when considering pets in a rental property is to include a pet agreement in the lease. Adding pet policies help you to limit risks and enforce additional rules.
The pet agreement should include the following:
- Information on limitations (dangerous breeds, size restrictions, etc.)
- Only tenant pets are allowed (no visiting pets)
- Number of pets allowed
- Rules for pets and pet owners
- Importance of cleaning up after them (including proper disposal)
In addition, you should check with your insurer concerning dog breeds. There may be limitations on "dangerous breeds."
Do Ask Questions About the Pet
Part of the tenant screening process should discuss the pet. It's important to cover how long a renter has owned them, the animal's temperament, whether there have been any problems in past rentals, and who might watch the pet if the owner is away.
Knowing what to ask is a big part of finding responsible renters. That's why leaving the screening to a property management company is so beneficial.
Do Require Updated Vaccinations and Licenses
The rental lease should require that pets such as cats and dogs have updated vaccinations and required licenses. This ensures that the pets you allow are protected against threats such as rabies. Here in North Carolina, owners of cats, dogs, and ferrets must take their animals to get the rabies vaccination by law.
Do Charge a Pet Deposit and Pet Rent
Even the most responsible animals can cause damage. Whether it's ripping up the blinds or urine stains on the carpet, you'll have to consider the cost of repairs.
That's why all good pet rental policies include an extra deposit. Most landlords also require pet rent, which is an additional increase to cover repairs and replacements.
Don't Forget About the Noise
Owners should be able to control their pets at all times. You don't want one renter disturbing their neighbors with a constantly barking dog, for instance.
Pets should also remain supervised and not be left alone for an unreasonable amount of time.
Don't Neglect City Laws
Always check with your local city laws regarding the number of animals allowed in a residence. You may need to write in a limit of two pets.
Again, to ensure you're in compliance with all laws, it's a good idea to invest in a property management company.
Allowing Pets in a Rental Property
You can experience all the benefits of allowing pets while still keeping your rental in good shape. If you're considering allowing pets in a rental property, be sure to follow these do's and don'ts to limit your risk.
If you're a property owner here in the Charlotte area, you know the importance of proper tenant screening. Wilkinson Property Management is here to make it easier for you.
Check out our services and pricing and maximize your investment.