Dogs are wolves that humans domesticated as far back as 40,000 years ago. New evidence, though, suggests we did it by accident. It's possible we gave wolves our excess meat, and the rest is history.
Dogs (and pets) are man's best friend. So when a tenant finds out that they can't bring their little furry buddy to a new apartment, it comes as a huge disappointment. Yet for the landlord, allowing pets in a rental property presents some potential risks.
Is it worth it for you to allow pets in your rental property? To help you make that decision, let's look at the pros and cons of having pet-friendly policies.
Pro: Pets in a Rental Property Keep It Occupied
As you start off your real estate investing journey in Greenville, your biggest nightmare is an empty property. No tenants means no rental income. No income means you have to foot the bill for property taxes and maintenance for a property you aren't using.
70% of American households have some sort of pet. Very few people are willing to part ways with Fido to live in an apartment that forbids animals. Further, many people have support animals that they cannot live without.
Having a pet-friendly policy means more people will consider your property, and thus fewer vacancies.
Con: Pets Increase Maintenance Costs
Until the day comes that dogs shower every day and do their business in the toilet, they'll damage the homes they live in. They stain carpets, scratch hardwood floors, and chew up furniture. Even the best-behaved pets and the best owners can't avoid some damage.
This will lead to more calls to property management for maintenance, and more renovations between tenants. Depending on your situation, it may not be worth it based on that alone.
Pro: Higher Rental Income
Pet-friendly properties almost always command a premium. People are paying extra for the privilege of having pets. This gives you an excuse to raise the rent above the average price in the area.
This may even be enough of a premium to justify the added maintenance cost!
Con: Possible Liabilities
Pets don't just lead to a larger maintenance cost, they are also a liability. Dogs may be aggressive with neighbors, even if they appear to be docile and friendly. A simple misunderstanding when a neighbor knocks on your tenant's door could lead to a bite and a hospital visit.
Plus, your tenant's dog may decide to bark all night and draw the ire of the local HOA. It's almost impossible for you to know what these liabilities will be in advance. As a result, most landlords that allow pets purchase some form of pet insurance to compensate.
Manage Your Properties with PMI
Allowing pets in a rental property is an open question, one you must decide for yourself. The upshot is that you'll get more interested tenants and higher rental income. On the downside, you may pay more for maintenance and liability insurance.
PMI Southern States in Greenville helps you manage your properties so you can focus on life instead. Use our free rental analysis tool to calculate your property's renting potential.