If you own rental properties in Fort Worth, you’ve probably wondered whether or not you should allow your tenants to keep pets on your properties. Well, the simple answer is that you should seriously consider allowing pets in your rental property. There are several reasons that allowing pets will work to your advantage.
Properties That Allow Pets Do Not Stay Vacant For Long
The statistics show that there are a very large number of people that own pets, more now than ever before. Many people work from home now, due to COVID-19, which can get monotonous, boring, and lonely. If you scroll through your social media feed, you will likely find that a lot of your friends may have gotten pets in the last six months to help keep them company. This has caused pet-friendly rental properties to be in much higher demand. If you had three similar properties in the same street, you would probably find that the one that allows pets will be rented quicker than the others. If you do not allow pets at your properties, you could be losing money because of longer vacancy periods.
In general, people who have pets seem to be more responsible than those who do not, which is great news for property owners. If you find pet owners who want to rent from you, they are much more likely to stay for a long period of time, as well as do their best to keep your property in good condition, because pet-friendly properties are not that common.
Preventing Damage Caused By Pets
If you are worried about the costs involved with possible damages caused by a pet, you can relax a little by charging your future tenants a pet deposit, which will cover anything in your home that gets damaged by pets. Most people who do own pets will be very willing to pay the extra costs, as long as they know that they will not lose their money if everything on the property is taken care of properly. There are organizations like FIREPAW, that work with landlords to ensure that they do not incur any losses. CARP (Companion Animal Renters Program), created by FIREPAW, provides clients with pet agreements, a personal needs assessment, and more.
Making sure that you have a rental property pet policy in place is exceptionally important, especially if you are living in the Fort Worth area. Having a signed agreement in black and white is the only way that you will be certain that you do not lose money in the deal. Pet owners will most likely be willing to pay extra rent or an extra fee to cover potential costs that may be needed to fix any damage that their pets may cause to the property. The good news is that there is not a lot of pet damage reported, as the pet owners generally do whatever is needed to keep property owners happy.
Rental Property Pet Policy and Expectations
With the help of FIREPAW, you can have your policies regarding pets personalized to suit your specific property and needs. They have, over the years, creating a much more appealing set of pet-friendly options for landlords. They have shown people that there are not as many negatives as previously thought. Besides, they make it very obvious to property owners that certain things cannot be avoided when renting out a property to a pet owner, but there are measures that can be put in place to make sure that owners do not lose money. When renting your property to a pet owner, you need to make it very clear what your expectations are, and that there are rules that need to be adhered to. Some of the expectations that you can include in your particular pet policy can include the following:
1. Any pets will have to have received the required shots, tags, and licenses. This includes a nametag for each pet, especially in the case of a cat or dog. Make sure that you check what licenses and vaccines are required in your state.
2. If the tenant has a dog, they will need to be on a leash whenever they are outside of the apartment or house. Animals like hamsters and birds need to be in a cage at all times.
3. As a tenant, they will be liable for cleaning up any waste and stains that their pets may have left. This applies to the inside of property buildings and on property grounds, but especially in shared spaces.
4. All tenants will be held responsible for any type of damage caused by their pets.
5. You can discuss the possibility of the tenant getting renters insurance to cover yourself.
6. You can include in the agreement that you have the right to take legal action if the pet becomes a hazard or problem to the other tenants. You should inform tenants that, if necessary, you will terminate their rental agreement or require that the pet be removed from the property permanently. If you do need to have the pet removed, it does not necessarily mean that the tenant needs to vacate the property, but this should be discussed and agreed upon in the initial agreement. You should also be aware that, as the owner, you have the right to make certain changes to the initial agreement, as long as you have given the tenant written notice at least 30 days in advance. This is something that can protect you if you decide to not allow pets or certain types of pets in the future.
Increased Profits From Your Properties
When you are a property owner, your main goal is to maximize your profits while at the same time making sure that your tenant is happy as well. When you create a pet-friendly rental policy, you ensure that both you and the tenant are happy. Due to the fact that there is so much negativity surrounding pets and rental properties, there is a serious shortage on the market for people who own pets. Landlords need to take advantage of this fact in order to maximize their potential income. With many people not willing to allow pets, it creates an opportunity for owners who are willing to make an allowance for pets. Owners need to understand those pet owners are willing to pay between 20% and 30% more than other possible tenants, and this is because they are willing to do almost anything for their furry friends. Most pet owners consider their pets to be part of their families, and they will go to any lengths to make sure that they are looked after, happy, and protected.
Cost of Insurance
If, after everything said, you are still worried about costs, especially where insurance is concerned, do some extra research to put your mind at ease. Most insurance companies will cover pet damages in their quotes, and they will be at a minimal cost. The extra cost can be worked into the agreed rental or extra fees associated with being a pet owner. SO, at the end of the day, property owners do not need to worry about paying higher fees because they will be included in the tenant’s rental agreement. Replacing a soiled carpet, painting walls, and more can be covered by the tenant’s security deposit. It is basically a win-win situation for everyone involved.
What About Service Animals?
As a property owner, you need to make sure of what laws apply in your state with regards to service dogs. Some animals cannot be turned away according to laws developed by the US Department of Housing and Development Fair Housing Act. Animals that are exempt are those who need to assist their owner in their basic functioning in life, such as guide dogs. An owner needs to seek proof of the tenant’s disability and their need to have a service animal, as well as their specific disability.
There are people in this world who will try to exploit your kindness, making it necessary to ensure that you have a solid legal team willing to take on your battles, should they occur. Even if you have a policy in place that does not allow pets, when a tenant has a legal service animal, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble if you do not allow them to rent your property just because they have an animal. The reason for this is that service animals are not classified as pets, but rather as an aid or medical tool to people with certain disabilities.
Hiring a property management company that can help you keep track of federal and local laws is highly recommended, and you will be free from many daunting responsibilities that come with being a property owner.
Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth will help you and your tenants stay happy. Our experienced team will help you fill your vacancies and keep your properties in great condition, Contact us online, or call 817-886-9220 today for a quote!