We humans have had pets for a long, long time. We've kept furry friends around for longer than we've been planting crops; that's about 12,000 years, give or take.
Pet ownership may be older than written history, but mankind's erstwhile companions aren't always welcome in Atlanta apartments. Landlords all have to ask themselves whether renting to pet owners is worth the risk. Should you allow pets in a rental property?
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. Your reasoning for allowing pets in the rental property lease agreement will differ from the next person. To help you, let's examine the pros and cons of either decision.
Pro: Pets in a Rental Property Reduce Vacancies
While there may be a housing shortage, many landlords still find their rentals sitting empty for months. One of the factors leading people to decide against yours may be the lack of a pet-friendly policy. They'd rather find an apartment that allows their beloved Fido than get rid of him to live in yours.
So, consider allowing pets to make your online listing more attractive. You'll no doubt have a surfeit of interested pet owners in search of more lenient rental property rules.
Con: Pet Damage
The most obvious downside to allowing pets is the damage they cause. Pets gouge your hardwood floors, stain your carpets with feces, and leave a barnyard smell that's hard to eliminate. The damage they cause can, in some cases, require costly renovations.
After multiple tenants with pets, the ROI of renting to pet owners may not outweigh the cost. Consider only allowing certain types of pets or not allowing them at all.
Pro: More Renewals
Every landlord struggles to get lease renewals. Keeping a good tenant is much better than risking a new one that could be a disaster waiting to happen.
Allowing pets could keep a good tenant around for another year or longer. You could even introduce a pet-friendly policy if you didn't have one before. For future tenants, it's sure to keep them on for longer.
Con: Greater Liability
Damages aside, pets present a liability. They could pose a threat to neighbors or a nuisance that the HOA will crack down on. You simply never know; even responsible owners with well-behaved pets could create liability issues.
This forces many landlords to purchase pet liability insurance. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of a hefty bill for any future liability issues. There could even be legal problems, such as a little dog bite that spirals into a drawn-out and expensive court case.
Get PMI to Manage Your Properties
Pets in a rental property present an opportunity to boost your ROI or create unnecessary liability. In some cases, you may be able to keep your property occupied for longer and secure more lease renewals. In other cases, they may cost you a lot more money to fix up the place and increase your liability.
PMI Georgia makes sure you get best-in-class property management services for all your rentals. Enter your property address here and get our 100% free rental analysis in no time.