As sixty-eight percent of households across America consist of pet owners, rental property owners are in a position to offer advantages to highly motivated, pet-owning renters. At the same time, opening your home up to animals can be a risky venture. Cats can sometimes scratch at door posts and dogs can bark non-stop for days while munching on shoe molding. However, it is worth noting that not ALL animals have bad habits and the risk can be worth taking if you, as an owner, collect a large pet deposit and include a monthly pet fee in your lease agreement.
Liability also comes into play when considering whether your rental should be labeled "pet friendly". Concerns such as breed restrictions are valid and owners are forced to weigh this matter heavily.
IPS offers three considerations pertaining specifically to breed restrictions:
Perhaps you, as a rental property owner, are not particularly fond of animals, therefore you don't know much about particular dog breeds. Here's the deal: there are some breeds which do not have the best reputation. For example, certain dogs are known to bite, to kill or to be difficult to train as they are quite stubborn or unpredictable. It would behoove you as a property owner to research various breeds, learn which ones are most commonly restricted from rental properties and why. Also, you can't always judge a book by its cover. That which appears to be terrifying may simply be a gentle giant. Smaller, less intimidating breeds might actually consist of creatures who are quite ferocious. Learn about statistics and breed-specific personalities and then make your decision! You will need to weigh the pros and cons and whether you stand to benefit financially. It is always best to consult your property management company before you make a final decision as they are experts when it comes to breed restrictions.
Unfortunately, landlords can find themselves to be easy targets for lawsuits. If a dog or animal-related "situation" occurs on your property, plan on being sued. It is an unfortunate likelihood. In addition, if you are considering labeling your property as "pet friendly" mandate that your tenant maintain an insurance policy which would cover any unforeseen, pet-related incidents. You might also consult a qualified attorney to learn about options to be included in your lease agreement such as a "one bite" policy stating a pet must be immediately removed from the property in the event of exhibited negative behavior.
It is very challenging to obtain pet liability insurance. Consult your insurance company to find out if they are willing to take the risk in insuring against pet-related incidents. Also, in the event that you require your tenant to have liability insurance, make sure the specific breed the tenant owns is included in that policy. Also, make sure you stipulate in your lease that you must be allowed to view the policy on a regular basis to make sure it is still in force. This particular insurance might be costly and tempting for a tenant to drop. You will need proof that your tenant's policy is always in force.