When a tenant asks about pets, do you envision a calm and quiet cat snuggling away by the fireplace or a Disney-esque film of animals running riot and knocking down everything in their path?
Your instant reaction might be the latter, but before you say no, consider this stat. More people in America have pets than children. That's a significant percentage of potential tenants you are ruling out.
Read on to learn the pros and cons of pets in a rental property in Florida.
The Pros of Accepting Pets
Some landlords favor allowing pets in rental properties. Here are some of the advantages that sway property owners.
When you advertise a property as pet-friendly, you'll have more inquiries. Pet ownership is consistently high, but the supply of pet-accepting properties isn't.
So, you could find yourself in the enviable position of having a larger tenant pool. That's ideal because it gives you a better chance of finding the perfect tenant.
Plus, when you accept that tenant, they are more likely to stay long-term rather than face the challenge of a new rental search.
New Revenue Potential
When you accept pets, you have the opportunity to improve the revenue stream from your property. You can introduce a pet fee or pet rent. Or you can charge a higher rate to reflect the higher demand for your property.
Some landlords also choose to have a pet deposit, which helps give you financial protection against pet damage. These financial options are excellent for the long-term health of your investment.
Offering flexibility and reasonable rules about your property will help you form a bond with tenants. You'll have a better relationship with them, which could help in several ways.
Your tenant will value and respect your qualities as a landlord and may take extra steps to look after your property and keep it in excellent condition.
The Cons of Accepting Pets
There are downsides to having pets in your properties, and some landlords have had negative experiences. Here are the main disadvantages.
Rental Property Damage
The number one concern of landlords is the potential for an unruly pet to damage a property. Strong and untrained animals can scratch, bite, or destroy property. They could damage the flooring, soil the carpet, or tear upholstery.
It means higher repair costs and more regular property maintenance.
A Nuisance to Neighbors
As a property owner, you need to keep neighbors onside for a more harmonious relationship.
That can become more difficult if your tenant has a troublesome pet that makes a noise like barking or whining. Roaming animals like cats could also leave a mess in neighbors' gardens.
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring your homes are safe. If someone injures themselves on your property due to an unruly or dangerous animal, that becomes an issue. You could face legal costs.
Pets in a Rental Property: Is It Right for You?
Pets in a rental property don't always spell trouble for a landlord. But you do have to take precautions.
Ensure you factor in the costs by including a pet fee and always screen potential tenants. You can get more help with tenant screening at PMI Central Florida. Take a look by heading here.