Should landlords allow pets in their rental properties? While there are both benefits and drawbacks to Palm Springs real estate investors when it comes to allowing pets, many property owners often debate this question.
A Palm Springs property management company can advise real estate investors about many things, including whether allowing pets is right for them. Today, let's look at some of the pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental properties.
You Can't Say "No" to Some Animals
Before we get to pets, a property owner needs to understand that there are some animals you can't say "no" to. It's not just because of their cute little face, either. When property owners reject service animals, they could face an uphill legal battle and violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
An investor can avoid allegations of discrimination by learning about service animals and when a renter can request a reasonable accommodation. Work with a property manager to follow these guidelines:
- A "pet policy" does not apply to service animals since they are not considered pets.
- Property owners can't require a pet deposit or charge a pet fee to people with service animals.
- Owners can't enforce weight or breed restrictions for service animals.
- Landlords may request written confirmation from the tenant's health care provider that they have a disability, but they cannot ask for specifics.
- Owners can charge a tenant for any property damage done by an assistance animal on the premises.
- Landlords can ask for copies of the pet's health records to show that it is healthy, parasite-free, and vaccinated or immunized.
- Tenants can be evicted if their service animal disturbs others, puts others in danger, or causes significant property damage.
Is there a difference in these rules regarding emotional support animals? While they are not explicitly trained to do a task for their owner, they have some protections under the ADA. If you have more questions about service animals, emotional support animals, or the ADA, get with a property management company to comply with the laws.
The Advantages of Allowing Pets
Before you say no to pets, make sure you have all the information. There are several advantages of having pets in rentals, including:
- Access to a larger pool of applicants. An estimated 85 million American homes own some type of pet. If you allow pets, your rental will be more appealing to a larger group of people, which will help you locate an excellent renter for your property.
- Increased rental income. Property owners can require a pet deposit, pet fee, or an additional pet rent each month.
- More renewals. Pet owners are often more likely to renew their leases because finding a pet-friendly rental property can be challenging.
- Responsible renters. Pets need care and attention, which means a pet owner is more likely to provide the same level of upkeep and responsibility with your real estate investment.
Offering pet-friendly properties is a great way to boost returns, but it does come with a few drawbacks to consider.
The Challenges of Allowing Pets
What should property owners keep in mind when allowing renters to have pets? Work with a property manager to protect your investments from challenges, including:
- Property damage. Dogs and cats may chew, scratch, and stain the surfaces. However, any pet can be risky. Even an aquarium can cause damage if something goes wrong.
- Disturbing neighbors. If there are neighbors or other renters close by, noise may be an issue.
- Unwanted odors. Accidents, fur, or hair may need a deep cleaning to remove bad smells, meaning longer turnaround times.
- Pet-caused injuries. If you allow pets, make sure to require your tenant's to carry renters insurance and confirm that it covers animal bites.
Most property owners find that the benefits of pet-friendly properties far outweigh the drawbacks!
Add a Pet Addendum to the Lease Agreement
To protect your investment, work with a property manager to add a pet addendum to the lease agreement. This document spells out the rules the tenant must follow to have a pet in the property. As with your tenant screening services, rental property owners can ask questions about the pet's breed and size to ensure the pet is right for your rental unit.
Property managers recommend including these details in a pet addendum:
- Rules and criteria
- Responsibilities of the tenant
- Pet rent amount if applicable
- Deposits or fees required for pets
Make sure renters also understand the process for requesting a pet, and conduct routine inspections to keep an eye out for unauthorized pets in your properties!
Manage Pets With a Palm Springs Property Management Professional
If you've wondered, "what does a property manager do," managing renters and pets is one of their best property management services! Property management companies can help you determine if pet-friendly properties are right for you and your goals.
McLean Company is here to help you weigh the benefits and challenges of allowing pets in rental properties. If you're considering it, reach out soon to talk!
If you need more help finding great tenants, download a free copy of our Tenant Screening Checklist!
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