Allowing Tenants To Have Pets May Not Be Up To You- Even If You Own The Property.

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Whether or not you are a pet lover may weigh in on your decision to allow your tenants to have pets in your property.  Unfortunately, this is one area where people have a hard time leaving emotion out of the equation.

As an investor there are some things you should think about when deciding whether you are a pet friendly landlord.  No matter the type of pet or how well trained they are, they will always leave their mark on the property.  Whether that be marks on the walls or floors, residual odor, shedding and hair loss, and stains on carpet.  As a pet lover, you may be more sympathetic in nature to these issues, but one thing is for sure.  If they leave a mark, the money is coming out of your pocket to fix it.

What To Do?

So how can you set yourself up to deal with pet issues.  First, if you don't allow them at all then you won't have this issue.  And you are not a terrible person if you choose this route, you are making a smart decision as an investor to keep costs low.

Two Deposits?

If you decide to allow pets, I recommend having a pet deposit.  This is on top of the security deposit that they already have to pay.  Why two deposits? A security deposit, by nature, covers damage to the apartment beyond normal wear and tear, missed rent and/or utility payments, cleaning costs, and early termination of lease.

This does not cover pet issues.  When we have implemented a pet deposit in our own property it was a non refundable deposit that can be made up front or spread out over the course of the lease. Why non refundable?  Because by nature there is going to be pet leftovers, as I like to call them, and this will cover the costs associated with this, which goes above and beyond the regular security deposit.

Out of Your Control...

One other thing to note when it comes to pets, sometimes you, even as the property owner, won't have a say in whether your tenants can have them.  If you invest in a condo or townhouse you must check with the HOA or condo association to see if there are regulations on whether pets are allowed.  In some cases, there will be certain breeds of dogs that will not be allowed and therefore you will not be able to rent to individuals who own them.

All in all, allowing pets is a decision you must make as an investor!

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