Residential property management and pets are two things that might not always go together. Your would-be renters have a cat, a dog, maybe even a bird. Now what? Do you go ahead and risk it? Or, do you move on and look for another renter who is pet-free? Before you make a "yes" or "no" decision, check out a few factors that may influence what you do.
The first question to ask before deciding whether to allow (or not allow) tenants to have pets is, "Is it legal to say no?" In most cases—yes. For example, in Alberta the law allows landlords to choose if pets are allowed in rental properties. That said, different areas may have different regulations and laws do change. It's always best to consult an attorney who specializes in residential property management before making any major decisions.
Why would you not want to rent to the couple with that sweet little Pomeranian? Possibly because that adorably fluffy pooch might decide that the carpets are basically bathrooms. Animals can stain carpets, rugs and other types of flooring. They can also scratch or damage walls, floorboards or the floors themselves. Aside from property damage, some pets (especially dogs) may be loud and disruptive. This can cause issues with neighbors in close quarters.
Yes, pets can cause the already described problems. But that doesn't mean you should make renting to pet owners a no-go. There are ways to protect yourself and allow pets in your properties. Some landlords have legal clauses written into leases, stating that the renters are financially responsible for any damage done to the property. This allows you to rent to pet owners without worrying that you'll lose money. Another option is to ask for a "pet deposit." This is a security deposit that you can keep if you must pay for any pet-related damages. If the pets don't cause any problems, you would return the money to the renters when they move out. Again, this should be written into the lease agreement (only a knowledgeable lawyer should add this type of wording).
Not all pet owners are equally as responsible for their animals. During the application process, interview the potential renter and ask to meet the pet (or pets). You may find that the renters are incredibly clean and take meticulous care of their pets (and the property as well). You may also find that the pets are well-behaved and won't become an issue at all.
Pets are pet owners are part of the residential property management business. Even though animals aren't always at the top of your list of "things you're looking for in a potential renter," you can find ways to provide property to pet lovers without added worry. For more advice, contact a business such as Canada Home for Rent Goal.Share