Today we are talking about whether or not you should allow tenants with pets in your rental home. We always say yes – you should absolutely be willing to consider pets. There are ways to do that while protecting your Santa Cruz property and ensuring you have a successful relationship with your tenant.
Always collect an extra deposit when you have someone moving in with a pet. You don’t want to call this a pet deposit, but you do want to collect a higher dollar amount towards your total security deposit. This will help you pay for any damage the pet might cause.
You can also require your tenants to carry renters insurance. This will give you an extra layer of protection. We also recommend that you meet the pet before the tenant moves in or before any kind of deposit is even collected. This will give you the opportunity to observe how the animal behaves. You can also make sure it’s a breed that your homeowner’s insurance company won’t have a problem with. There are specific breeds of dogs that lots of insurance companies will not cover. Make sure you don’t allow those types of dogs into your home, or your insurance coverage will be at risk.
Write into your lease that you will be conducting two inspections during the course of the year, just to make sure the pet isn’t causing any damage. Most tenants will be okay with this when they know they don’t have to worry about the animals scratching up the floors or chewing on the doors.
You can also charge higher rent when you allow pets. We never recommend that you call it a separate pet rent. If you do that, you’ll have to reduce the rent again if the animal should pass away during the tenancy or it goes to live somewhere else. Instead, simply place a higher rent on your home when you allow pets. You’ll find that responsible pet owners are usually more than happy to pay a little more if it means they get to live with their dogs and cats.
Remember that if you decide not to allow pets, you are excluding a lot of potentially great tenants from your applicant pool. Many empty nesters and single professionals will have pets, so it makes sense to open up your property to pets.
If you have any questions about pet policies, please contact us at Portola Property Management, and we can give you more information on how to protect your property while allowing pets.