When landlords think of pets, they often think that they’re simply not worth the effort. Being prone to extra noise and possible damage, many landlords would rather say “no pets” and be done with the issue. But it turns out that there are plenty of advantages to having pet owners as renters or tenants. Not only are they statistically more stable, income-wise, you can often charge pet owners a little more in rent just for allowing them to be there. Plus, mitigating the risks associated with pets and pet owners is very simple. Here’s a few things to do when renting to pet owners to get the most out of your experience.
1. Interview the Pet and Pet Owner
While interviewing potential renters is pretty much mandatory, many landlords neglect to meet the animal themselves, which could be a huge indicator on whether or not they’ll be a good fit in your unit. Take the time to meet the owner and pet and ask them questions about their lifestyle. If it’s a dog, ask about the owner’s schedule and if any classes have been taken with the animal. Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time tend to bark, so it’s important to get a bead on how the pet owner handles the responsibility of owning a dog. Ask about vaccinations as well, and pay close attention to how the animal behaves around you. All of these will help you guage whether or not the animal, and its owner, are right for this situation.
2. Make Every Rule Explicit
If pet owners live on your property, be sure to let them know what you believe constitutes a fair set of rules. Be sure to make absolutely everything clear, from how often you expect them to clean droppings in the backyard to what constitutes property damage by the animal. All of this should be clearly laid out for the owner so that they know what their extra responsibilities are when they live on your property.
3. Keep a Record
Just like the rules are necessary, so is creating a paper trail. Make sure you take notes of any time the animal acts antisocially, including biting strangers or excessive noise making. Keep track of all of it so you can have a legal backing for eviction if the situation calls for such actions.
You’ll need two things when it comes to liability: a document signed by the owner acknowledging they are liable for any damage or injury relating to their animal, and Landlord Liability Insurance. Both of these are absolutely necessary for keeping you safe in the event of an attack or accident involving the animal.
Pet owners, contrary to popular belief, make excellent tenants but they do require some extra precautions. Be sure to have the right rules laid out for any potential tenants with pets and have the right liability insurance to keep yourself protected. Finally, interview the owner and the animal before making any final decisions. With these tips, you’ll be sure to find the right pet-owning tenant for your property.