Is it pet friendly? Whether your prospective renters are current or future pet owners, this is often their first criteria when searching for a new rental. As a landlord or property owner, you are going to need to decide if furry family members are allowed as part of the lease. Under the Landlord-Tenant Act, you cannot discriminate against service and assistance animals, but for any other pets – such as cats, dogs, bunnies, and reptiles, you as a landlord, are allowed to set the restrictions. Here are the 3 top pros and cons of having a pet-friendly rental property!
1. More Available Tenants
You open up the doors to many more applicants when you list your property as pet-friendly, which includes current, future, and non-pet owners. This can create more demand for your property, thus giving you more options to choose the most suitable and qualified rental tenants.
2. Charge Pet Fee or Higher Rent
Earn more money from your investment property because you are giving tenants the option to have a pet in their home! In general, you can choose to charge higher rent compared to other similar listings or you could charge an additional monthly or annual fee depending on the type of pet.
3. Long Term Tenants
It can be difficult for pet owners to find a property that is suitable for them and their pets. Because of this, it’s likely that they will become long term tenants, especially if your property offers a backyard, a dog run, or parks nearby.
Your property will naturally have wear and tear over time, but with the addition of pets, there is a chance that more damage can occur. This can include things such as odours, excessive fur, and carpet or grass stains. To protect yourself as a landlord, you can implement a higher security deposit and clearly outline the terms and conditions of what is considered ‘damage’ beforehand.
Constant barking or even chirping birds can become an issue for other homeowners or tenants in a shared building. This can be a headache for landlords, especially when you don’t know beforehand if the tenant’s pets are noisemakers.
Any harm caused to other tenants or neighbours, such as dog biting, is a risk that should be considered. To best protect yourself, you can screen the pets beforehand, and carefully review your liability insurance terms to ensure there aren’t any exclusions for specific breeds/pets.
Choosing to list as a pet-friendly rental property is an important decision for property owners to make. If you still want the benefits of allowing pets, but the cons are causing some hesitations, there are ways to meet in the middle. Need help understanding, navigating, and managing this part of your rental property? Our team is here to help! Get in touch today!