The Benefits of Renting to Tenants with Pets
Canadians love pets. According to one study, 58% of Canadian households own pets . So, if you aren’t accepting pets into your rental unit, you’re probably losing out on a huge pool of tenants.
There are many benefits to renting to tenants with pets. Besides attracting a larger pool of tenants, you may also be able to maximize your rental income by charging more rent or requiring a pet fee.
Admittedly, though, accepting pets also comes with its fair share of challenges. Pets may cause property damage and others may cause noise issues. But the good news is that you may be able to mitigate against such issues by having a pet policy in place.
Which is why we at Leenan Properties has put together this article and the below video - so landlords understand how to rent to tenants with pets safely.
How to Be Successful in Renting to Tenants with Pets
If you want to be successful in renting to tenants with pets, keep the following in mind:
Understand the various types of pets that a tenant may bring to your property. Different animals have different emotional and physical needs. Common examples include dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and small reptiles
Choose the type of pets that you’ll accept into your rental property and which ones you won’t
Have a clear pet policy in your lease. Besides specifying the type, you may also want to mention the size and weight as well
In the lease, make sure to let the pet owners know that they are responsible for their pets
Tips to Make Renting to Tenants with Pets Successful
1. Charge More Rent to Tenants with Pets
Look around the neighborhood. Are there few pet-friendly properties ? If so, it means that prospective tenants have only a handful of options.
Consequently, by allowing pets into your property, it means your property will be in high demand. Increased demand means you may be able to charge more.
Of course, how much extra rent to charge depends on a particular area’s demand and supply.
2. Charge a Pet Deposit
You may also be able to charge an extra deposit for every pet you allow into your rental property. That’s because accepting pets does come with increased risks like, for example, property damage .
The pet deposit you charge should be able to cater to any potential liabilities that may arise.
Note, however, that different cities in Canada have different rules in regard to pet deposits. In Regina, for example, you can charge tenants either a pet deposit or a pet rent – but not both.
For pet deposits, you must not charge a deposit that exceeds one month’s rent. Also, the deposit is refundable at the end of the lease term, unless the lease states otherwise.
3. Carry Out Regular Inspections
Regular property inspections are crucial to long-term success. With pets living in your property, the need for such inspections is even greater.
You see, pets can chew up carpets or scratch the floors . Pets can also infringe on other tenants’ or neighbors’ right to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their properties. For example, animals could be barking, squawking, or running around the apartment.
When carrying out rental inspections, you’ll want to take note of any rules your city may have. In Saskatchewan, for example, you must provide your tenant with advance notice of at least 24 hours. In the notice, you must state the following:
Reason for the entry
Time of entry (must be a maximum of a four-hour period)
Date of entry (must not be a Sunday or any other day of worship for the tenant)
4. Make Your Rental Property Pet-Friendly
There are a few things you can do to make your property pet-friendly while still protecting it.
For one, you can consider changing up the flooring . Carpets are cozy and stylish, but it may be in your best interest to consider alternative options. You may want to consider options like hardwood or tile flooring, as these are easier to clean and maintain.
Two, add pet-friendly finishing to your unit. Consider using semi-gloss, high-gloss, or satin paints to make your rental walls easy-to-clean surfaces. You may also want to keep the walls texture-free to minimize the temptation of pets to scratch or chew.
Also, consider setting up a “pet potty” for pets that do their business outdoors. This will not only make cleaning up after pets easier for your tenants, but it’ll help protect your yard as well.
5. Require Tenants to Have a Renters’ Insurance Cover
A renters’ insurance can offer liability insurance cover for your tenant’s pet. Generally speaking, it helps cover the following:
- Liability. It’ll help cover the tenant and their family members against liability lawsuits. Liability coverage also includes any damage or injury the pet causes, whether inside the property or outside
Personal property. It’ll help cover their home’s contents and personal belongings
Additional living expenses. If the unit becomes unlivable, the policy may help cover living expenses incurred when living outside their residence
6. Thoroughly Screen Tenants with Pets
Don’t allow pets you haven’t screened into your rental property. It’ll be in your best interest to learn as much about the tenant’s pet as possible. The following are some questions you’ll want to ask the tenant:
Does the pet get along with other people and animals?
Is the pet updated on his or her vaccines?
Is the pet trained?
Are you solely responsible for the pet?
How long have you owned the pet?
How old is the pet?
What is the pet’s breed and size?
How many pets do you own?
Knowing all the information regarding the pet will enable you to make an informed and educated decision.
There you have it. The benefits of renting to tenants with pets, and tips on how to make it successful. Allowing your tenants to own pets can be highly beneficial to you when done right.
If you still have more questions or need further help, kindly consider hiring a reputable property management company like Leenan Property Management .