To allow pets or not to allow pets in your rental property?
It’s a tough question for some owners. Even if you love animals and have pets of your own, do you want them running around your rental property?
There are pros and cons to being a pet-friendly rental property in Atlanta. Let’s take a look at what those are.
Pet-Friendly Atlanta Rental Homes: The Pros
Here are some of the reasons you might want to allow pets into your property:
Shorter Vacancy Periods
More than half of the Atlanta tenant pool is made up of renters with pets. If you decide not to allow pets in your property, you’re reducing the number of potential tenants interested in your property by a lot. Those aren’t good odds, and you’ll risk losing some potentially great tenants by not allowing pets. You will probably face a longer vacancy time, which will cost you money in the long term and leave your property unoccupied.
Tenant turnover is also reduced when you allow pets. The tenants who live in your home with their cat or dog won’t be eager to find another pet-friendly rental. They won’t want to pay another pet fee. You’re more likely to retain your pet-owning residents, and that cuts way down on turnover costs.
Another benefit to allowing pets is that you can often earn more on your rental property. For starters, charge a pet fee. If you charge $300 per pet, for example, you can put that money aside to pay for any potential damage that the pet causes. If there are scratch marks on the walls or the floors or odors that need extra cleaning, you can use the money you collected. If there’s no pet damage, you still get to keep the non-refundable pet fee.
There’s also the potential for pet rent. Allowing a tenant to move in with an animal can earn you an extra $25 or $50 per month. That’s an instant rental boost and again, you can charge the rent for each pet.
Pet-Friendly Atlanta Rental Homes: The Cons
There are still a number of landlords and property owners who refuse to consider any type of pet. Some of the things that make them nervous include liability and the potential for damage.
Liability and Risk
Yes, there’s always the possibility that your tenant’s dog will bite someone.
Maybe a cat fight between your tenant’s cat and a neighbor’s cat will result in high vet bills. Animals are unpredictable, even domesticated animals. There may be breeds of dogs that your insurance simply won’t cover. If there’s a claim or a lawsuit, you could be liable not because you own the pet, but because you own the property where the pet lives.
Potential for Pet Damage
Flea eggs in the carpets. Scratches on the doors. Gardens dug up beyond repair. These are some of the things that rental property owners worry about when a tenant wants to move in with a pet.
We get it. Animals, while cute, can be destructive. It’s absolutely a risk.
It’s always up to the owner, but we generally recommend allowing pets - or at least considering them. With a good pet policy in place and a system for screening pets, you can protect your investment and hold your tenants accountable for their animals.
If you’d like to talk about how we handle pets, please contact us at Property Services of Atlanta.