THE ANSWERS PROPERTY OWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ANIMALS IN THEIR RENTALS
by Andrew Syrios, Stewardship Properties
Should a landlord accept pets? And if so, which ones? Should there be any restrictions? Should landlords charge pet rent or a pet deposit? And if so, howmuch?
well. With apartments, though, that is a bit of a tougher question. Our policy is to allow one cat, but no dogs in apartments without com- mon areas (i.e., where the door to the unit is from the outside and not an interior hallway). In apartments with entrances from a common area, we do not accept pets. The reason is that pets can cause all sorts of prob- lems. Loud dogs could cause com - plaints or turn off potential tenants and hallways filled with pets (and their fecal matter) can get grimy. There is no hard and fast rule here though. I know landlords who do accept dogs in their apartments and that is fine. For many apartment owners, it is worth the cost. For oth- ers, it is not.
QUESTION 1: SHOULD I ACCEPT PETS? The answer to this question is Yes… most of the time. There are some 90 million pet dogs and 95 million pet cats in the United States. In other words, Americans love their pets. And if a landlord decides not to accept pets in their rental, that means there are a lot of poten- tial tenants that the landlord has just declined without even knowing it. Pets do, however, damage rental units, especially dogs. But this can
be mitigated by (spoilers to Question 2) charging pet rent and a pet depos - it. Indeed, we have found that the pet rent and pet deposit we charge are about equal to the damages done by pets. However, by accepting pets, we open our properties up to many more potential residents than we would otherwise, which makes it easier to lease those units and lease them at a higher rental rate. Therefore, for houses, it is almost always a good idea to accept pets. For side-by-side duplexes, it is as
60 | think realty magazine :: july 2021
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