Humans and pets share a ‘forever’ kinda relationship. Though love for our pets is somewhere limited, their love for us is boundless. Come on, you ought to agree with this fact. Me and my husband have our own cat, Naughty. He is a gift to me from my husband. Not a day passes when I don’t speak to Naughty. Now call me crazy but I do feel she might start talking any moment now. But as a pet lover, we all hope that our dog/cat starts talking to us some day.
Even renters are not that different. If they have a loved pet, they will in a snap rent properties that allow animals. They understand the fact that pets are part of the family.

In fact, American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey says that 50% Americans own at least one dog or one cat.

If that’s not enough, there are businesses such as pet-friendly hotels which easily accommodate dogs/cats or any other pets. This takes away the worry of leaving their pets at home while the pet owner’s enjoy a weekend vacay. Of course there are benefits and downsides as well.

Pros Cons
An extra income from increased rental amount Damage to property
Varied choices of tenants to choose from Physical injury to neighbours or yourself as well
Enjoyment with pet Noise nuisance
Tenants with animals seem to have longer lease Allergens and pet dander can form in carpet and other indoor areas

If you want to rent your property, then you better set down few rules just like hotel industry for better reasons.

Based on my experience, it is always better to be pet-friendly which will give you an edge. It will increase the ability to rent the property. Always remember a tenant will always choose his pet over your apartment even if its the best you are offering.

Do not fight it and embrace an open pet policy. Cover the risks to prevent future troubles.

5 ways to cut down risks

Screen your tenant and ask for references

You have the right to scrutinize to do a background check on pet owner as well as the pet. Yes, pet as well. You do not want an aggressive pet or a messy tenant. Call previous landlords and get to know the applicant’s resume.

Bear in mind that few owners might own a well trained pet but they themselves might be disorganized who may not take the pets out or clean up the litter.

So when you call a previous landowner, make sure to ask them the question “would you rent them again”?

Ask a higher rent

As per MSN Real Estate and Firepaw, many landlords who charge 20-30% more on their home bring in an added income of $222 a month as compared to those who don’t. This is because tenants will subconsciously be willing to pay high rent than pay a “pet fee”. That’s just the way it works.

Pet owners who do not worry much about the weight restriction (large breed dogs) get an extra $100 contrary to those who enforce weight limit.

I admit the unpredictable nature of pets might cost any damage but many experts argue that 1-2 mischievous children can cause more damage than a family with a well-behaved pet.

However, do not be greedy and go overboard on pet owners because they will simply somewhere else.

Ask for a huge Security deposit

Apart from charging a higher rent, many states provide the liberty of calling for additional ‘pet deposit’. Only few states such as Arizona, West Virginia, Georgia, Nevada, Florida etc. allow for non-refundable fees. However, you are allowed to collect higher deposit be it refundable or not. This is because of the additional risk you carry. But keep in mind to stay within the state’s max permitted amount.

For best results, pay for professional carpet and air duct cleaning. This is to get rid of any pet dander and allergies from indoors which can be detrimental for people dealing with allergies.

Choosing Nurture over Nature

CDC puts out list of dangerous breeds that can cause injuries and fatalities but they do not include all. I personally believe that animal’s behavior also depends on the lack of sociability or abuse. For instance, you might notice that small dogs always bark when strangers walk by whereas larger dogs appear calm and exude confidence.

Pet owners need to spay or neuter their pet

Pets that are spayed or neutered tend to be well behaved and have a calming personality. Pets that are neutered (especially males) don’t often patrol the neighborhood, mark territory or display any adultery behavior as in humping tables or your Aunt Glady’s leg. Female that are spayed won’t go into heat and bleed on your carpet. When in heat they urinate a lot and yowl to attract their male partner.

Make sure you are specific on the lease.

Put forth a pet agreement that mentions the types of animals you will allow in your rental home.