People love their pets. Animals are like part of the family, and a growing number of people own at least one cat or dog. You might own pets yourself. But, when you are renting out a home, your warm and fuzzy feelings towards pets and animals might be tempered by your fear that pets will damage your Cleveland rental property or increase your liability.
The trend in Cleveland’s rental market and throughout the United States is to allow pets into properties. Today, we’re discussing why that may or may not be a good idea for you, and what you can do to protect yourself if you do decide to offer a pet-friendly rental home to prospective tenants.
The investor clients we work with always allow pets into properties. It can often provide an additional source of income, which far outweighs the potential damage that an animal can do to a home. When you allow pets into your property, you’re going to have a shorter vacancy period because pet-friendly homes rent faster. There’s a larger pool of tenants who will be interested in looking at your property if you allow them to move in with animals. When you don’t allow pets, you’re more or less cutting the number of potential tenants in half. So, less vacancy time equals more income.
Investors also allow pets because they know pet owners expect to pay an increased deposit before moving in This adds up to better ROI for you, even if there is extra cleaning and minor damage at the end of the tenancy because the unit is rented faster.
While all of our investor-owned properties are pet-friendly, we always let our individual landlords decide whether or not they want to allow pets. For some people, this is a home they’ll return to one day, and they don’t want the lingering pet odors or the extra cleaning. Pets can leave messes, and they can wreak havoc on your landscaping, your wood floors, your walls, and your carpet. They can also be dangerous. We don’t recommend that you allow any danger dog breeds. Most insurance companies still won’t cover them, and even if a tenant has the sweetest Pit Bull in the world, it’s still an additional liability for you.
We understand your hesitation if you want to keep your property pet-free. However, please know it’s perfectly acceptable to restrict breeds, and you can also restrict the size, age, and number of pets. Maybe you want to allow adult cats and dogs only, or just one dog that weighs less than 20 pounds. We can help you put together a reasonable and protective plan.
If you have any questions about pets and how to protect your Cleveland rental home, please contact us at RE/MAX Haven. We’d be happy to tell you more about how we handle pets.