Should you allow pets in your San Diego rental property?
That depends on your tolerance for risk. We’re talking not only about the risk of damage that animals can do, but also the risk of longer vacancy periods and lower rents.
San Diego tenants love their pets. Animals are like part of the family, and more than half the tenants looking for homes in our area have at least one pet.
Today, we’re discussing why allowing pets may or may not be a good idea for you, and what you can do to protect yourself if you do decide to offer a pet-friendly rental home to prospective tenants.
Allowing Pets: More Money. Less Vacancy
Pets are good for rental property owners in many ways. Providing a pet-friendly property can actually increase your rent and your long term ROI.
When you allow pets into your property, you’re going to have a shorter vacancy period because pet-friendly homes rent faster. There’s a larger pool of tenants who will be interested in looking at your property if you allow them to move in with animals.
This doesn’t mean you have to allow all pets. In your marketing materials, you might say something like “pets considered.” That leaves the door open for a well-qualified tenant with a well-qualified pet. But it doesn’t require you to accept the tenant with 10 Pit Bull puppies.
You can charge a bit more in rent when you allow pets. Pet owners expect to pay a pet fee and they’re also not surprised when they’re charged pet rent. All of this adds up to better ROI for you, even if there is extra cleaning and minor damage at the end of the tenancy.
Not Allowing Pets: Potential Damage. Potential Liability.
Not everyone wants to invite the mess, the liability, and the potential for pet damage into their homes. Maybe you’re planning to live in the home yourself one day and you’re fiercely allergic to pet hair. Maybe you have a lot of children in the neighborhood and you’re worried about a loose dog biting one of them. You also might worry about your landscaping, your wood floors, your walls, and your carpet.
Pets can be problematic for rental properties. We get it.
They can also be dangerous. We don’t recommend that you allow any dangerous dog breeds. Most insurance companies still won’t cover them, and even if a tenant has the sweetest Doberman in the world, it’s still an additional liability for you.
Creating a Pet Policy for San Diego Rental Homes
We understand your hesitation if you want to keep your property pet-free.
However, if you decide you do want to allow tenants to move in with pets but you still have concerns, we can help you create a pet policy that protects you and your investment home. It’s perfectly acceptable to restrict breeds, and you can also restrict the size, age, and number of pets. Maybe you want to allow adult cats and dogs only, or just one dog that weighs less than 20 pounds. We can help you put together a reasonable and protective plan.
Remember - service animals and companion animals are not pets. You cannot disallow a service animal, emotional support animal, or any other accommodation protected by fair housing laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Contact us at Mercer Properties with any questions you might have about pets or anything pertaining to San Diego property management.