Allowing tenants to have pets in your rental properties can increase your tenancy rates. Tenants with pets are also happier! There is an inevitable risk of damage, however, so you will want to protect your property.

To safeguard your property investment with certain measures. Pet limits (guidelines for number, size, and type) and an additional pet deposit are the easiest rules to enforce. Minor upgrades can help protect your property.

Here are several ideas for easy-to-implement updates.

Consider More Durable Flooring

Flooring is one of the first things damaged by pets, tenants, and their families. Carpet may be inexpensive and cozy, but it’s also easily ruined by inevitable accidents. Consider replacing the carpet with laminate or vinyl flooring. Laminate is a budget-friendly option and is very easy to maintain. Vinyl is another durable choice, especially when it comes to liquids (we’re looking at you, Fido).

Define Rules For Outside Spaces

If the property has a fenced yard, the lease should include rules for its use, especially if there are multiple tenants who might have pets. Will you allow the installation of a doggy door to the fenced yard?

Without a fenced yard, be sure to set guidelines for appropriate control of pets. It’s a good idea to require pets to remain on a leash outside. You’ll also want to define designated “potty” areas and rules around cleaning up after pets.

Do some research about local laws. Some cities have noise ordinances in place. In fact, Fort Collins has a 24-hour noise ordinance. Dogs bark—it’s part of their nature—but you don’t want you or your tenants hit with hefty fines.

Do a Pet and Pet Owner Interview

Generally, a pet owner is liable for their pet’s actions, but that doesn’t stop someone from naming you in a lawsuit. To avoid potential problems, interview the potential pet with its owner.

You should look for three things: first, are the animal’s papers and medical history up to date? Second, is the animal well-behaved? Finally, does the owner seem like a responsible pet owner and treat the animal well?

If a potential tenant checks these boxes, you can be much more confident when renting your unit to them.

Set Pet Requirements

It’s OK to have requirements for your tenant’s pets—being a pet-friendly landlord doesn’t mean letting everything go unchecked.

Some people consider any living thing to be a pet candidate. They might even extend an invitation to a wild animal and bring it inside your property as their new “pet.”

Set a list of acceptable pets and then handle exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Check your landlord insurance to ensure you don’t allow animals that invalidate your coverage.

Emotional support animals are an exception to most rules, but there are specific legal requirements. Brush up on the laws so you accommodate tenants with an emotional support animal.

Other good requirements include:

  • Must spay/neuter the animal (which cuts down both reproduction and aggressive behavior)
  • Must be up to date on veterinary visits, which you will check annually
  • Must be chipped & registered
  • How you’ll respond to complaints about noise and/or neglect

Enjoy the Benefits of Being a Pet-Friendly Landlord

With the right guidelines in your lease and pet-friendly updates to your property, you can enjoy the benefits of being a pet-friendly landlord. You’ll get more interest in your properties and keep tenants longer.

If you need help with property management, let us step in. We know exactly how to make things easier for you. Contact us today!