The subject of pets and rented property is one which is becoming more commonplace as more and more people look towards rented accommodation due to the price of purchasing property. This has always been a very difficult subject because pets are literally part of the family although there have been instances of significant damage to rented properties when landlords have allowed pets to live there. So, do you allow pets in properties you are looking to rent out?
There are a number of pros and cons about the pet market because many people refuse to leave their pets behind. If you’re able to come to some kind of arrangement with a potential tenant who has a pet or pets then it could be beneficial to all parties?
If you are looking to allow pets into any of your properties then you need to put down some ground rules as soon as possible. You need to make the tenant aware that any damage caused by their pets will need to be covered from their own income although you can expect general wear and tear in properties without pets. There is also the issue of maintaining a clean area in and around the house which predominantly applies to cats and dogs.
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While there are an array of other pets aside from cats and dogs, these are predominantly the most popular pets which a potential tenant will look to bring with them.
Do you charge additional rent?
Even though there are probably more pet friendly landlords than you might assume, the rental market itself is very much in demand. It is therefore possible to obtain a degree of premium rental income by offering a home for pets to your new tenant although you will have to consider this against potential additional wear and tear over the tenancy period. Some may suggest this is opportunism but the fact is that not every landlord in the real estate market will allow pets and therefore perhaps you are justified in asking for a premium?
Even though there is no doubt that allowing pets to live in rented accommodation is still something of a niche market compared to the overall buy to let/rental market, it is a market which is growing. If we take the UK for example, expenditure on pets is by far and away the greatest per individual animal within the developed world. As a consequence, conscientious tenants who have pets are unlikely to abuse the opportunity to rent pet friendly accommodation so perhaps the risks are not as great as you might assume?
If you’re able to target a specific market, such as pet friendly properties, then perhaps you have the makings of a niche property portfolio in the longer term?
The idea of allowing pets in rented accommodation has been the source of many arguments over the years but the fact remains that troublesome tenants will likely cause more damage and grief than conscientious pet owning tenants. However, there are obvious risks to allowing pets in your properties such as additional damage, wear and tear and even unfortunate odours and smells. Is it worth the risk?