To be a pet friendly property owner? Good idea or not?

When it comes to pets and the rental market, it almost seems to be a black and white scenario.  Homeowners either say “yes” or “no”.

After a bit of research, it turns out that if you’re interested in generating more revenues, which is the ideal goal for most investors, the answer should always be “yes”.  By advertising your property as a pet-friendly home, you are more likely to find a tenant quicker, which mean less lost rents and lower vacancies.  The research also shows “a direct connection between pet ownership and happiness. If you’ve got happy residents, you’ll have a happy property. Everyone wants a happy property.”

According to the article, How pets can be a landlord’s best friend by By Karen Aho of MSN Real Estate, property owners that allow pets in their rentals may experience the following:

  1. A bigger pool of tenants
  2. Reduced turnover rates
  3. Tenants who cause less damage
  4. Higher rents
  5. Less time and money spent on advertising

Here are some simple examples the article delivers for owners to think about:

  1. “…70% of your tenants are going to have some kind of pet, so you can’t just say, ‘No pets allowed,'” says Fred Thompson, president of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, a trade group.  “If you do, you’re going to see an extended vacancy period on your investment and that doesn’t work out long term.
  2. “Look at it in this sense: If it took an extra two months at $1,000, then … not taking a pet costs $2,000,” Thompson says. “Well, $2,000 will pay for a lot of carpet.”
  3. Pet-friendly apartments rented in 19 days versus 29 days for non-pet-friendly units

In the end, all homeowners must decide for themselves.  Although the property type can ultimately determine the answer as well (i.e. 400sf apartment vs. home on 1 acre), a good examination of the operating budget should also point you in the right direction on whether to say “yes” or “no” to pets in your rental.