Why You Should Be A Pet-Friendly Landlord

Posted on | Education/Informing, Opinion, Property Management Blog, Uncategorized

Research indicates 50-75% of tenants desire pet-friendly rentals. This means homes marketed as “no Pets” have a much smaller pool of prospective renters. Excluding pet owners, may be a HUGE mistake.

Tenants shopping for rental homes these days rely on search engines to find the perfect home that meets all their carefully chosen list of preferences. If 50-75% of shoppers have selected “pet friendly” options and you are listed “no pets”, they won’t even see your home’s listing.

Statistically tenants with pets have a high level of commitment to their home and community.  A 2005 study entitled “Companion Animal Renters and Pet-Friendly Housing in the U.S.” indicates that landlords that don’t take pets are disadvantaged, because when they offer pet-friendly rentals, profits increase.  

A 2011 analysis of the condo market in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics found that pet-friendly landlords enjoy an 11.6% rental premium over landlords who don’t allow pets.  Below are some figures from various studies that may help you decide what is right for your home and wallet! 

Tenants in pet-friendly homes stay an average of 46 months compared to 18 months for tenants in no-pet homes.  Tenants that stay longer cost you less money and statistically accept fees associated with the privilege of owning a pet.  

Rentals prohibiting pets have higher vacancy rates and may rent slower and lower due to having a smaller tenant pool.  When a home is not renting, property managers recommend lowering price to increase interest.  That’s never popular.

Pet-friendly housing is in short supply, so when the rental market is slow, you can increase your home’s marketability simply by just being open to pets.  

Don’t need a speedy rental or premium rent? Read no further.  

85% of landlords permitting pets reported pet-related damage at some time, but damage averaged only $430. This is far less than our combined deposits (pet and security) and Virginia landlords are permitted to use security deposits PLUS pet deposits to cover pet damages and damages not caused by pets as well.  This means that in most cases, landlords can simply subtract the damage from deposits and experience no actual loss.  

It was found that there is little, if any, difference in damage between tenants with and without pets.  Remember damage can occur with any tenant.  It’s a risk being an investor.  That’s what deposits are for.  Landlords open to pet ownership are less likely to have tenants with undisclosed pets living at the home. 

Owners can accept pets case-by-case. That means you can be super-picky about accepting an application from a pet owner rather than hold out completely.  You can even require higher qualifications for pet owners.  Look over landlord references, income, credit then decide.  

Don’t want puppies, don’t take ’em.

Accepting pets doesn’t mean that you accept any old pet and owner that comes along.  Breed restrictions?  Of course you can.  Don’t want puppies?  Don’t take ’em.  Don’t like cats?  Accept dogs-only.

Increased security – The presence of dogs and people spending more time at home, contributes to fewer break-ins and vandalism. Less chance of insurance claims for owner and tenant = win/win!  How much is your insurance deductible? 

Sad Statistics There is a shortage of pet-friendly landlords.  Studies find that 29% of pet relinquishments to animal shelters are because of housing. The most common specific reason given for relinquishment was “landlord won’t allow pets.”  

Myths – Think that small pets are best? Toy and miniature breeds can be harder to train and be more yappy.  

Most larger breed dogs require more sleep and usually prefer rest to running amuck.  Think multiples are a bad idea?  Not necessarily.  Pets form bonds, sooth and entertain each other which gives them less free time to cause mischief.  You also increase your pet deposit amount.  

What happens if I still don’t want to accept pets?  Don’t. Our job is to inform you and then let you make the best decision for you.  If you don’t want pets in your home, and vacancy or financial loss is not a big concern then hold out on pets.  But if you (like most) have monthly housing expenses and vacancy loss is a frightening concept, consider the statistics then decide how to market your home to renters.  


Homes rent faster and higher when open to pets I Pet owners move less often saving owners turnover costs I Pet owners expect to pay higher rent/fees I Pet owners are generally responsible I Landlords can be super-picky about applicants & pet acceptance I  Damage is minimal I Virginia tenant deposits can apply to ANY damages I Accepting pets may be less risky than not accepting pets I You make the pet rules I Damage likelihood is not increased for tenants w/pets I Not accepting pets at all can lead to vacancy loss 

Always, if you have questions, we’ve got answers! Mary K. @ Stephanie Clark Property Management

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