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Should I Allow Pets In My Rental Property

Should I Allow Pets In My Rental Property
  • 92% of Tenants in the Fayetteville, Fort Liberty Area Own Pets

  • Your Property Will Experience More Turnover if You Don’t Allow Pets

Owning a rental property comes with various decisions, and one of the most common dilemmas landlords and real estate investors face is whether or not to allow pets. The question of "should I allow pets in my rental property?" is often asked, along with questions about the number and types of pets that should be permitted. While it's true that having animals in your rental units may pose certain risks, statistics and practical considerations suggest that landlords should strongly consider allowing pets in rental properties for the following three reasons:

Growing Number of Pet-Owning Households

According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of households with pets has been on a steady rise. In the year 1988, approximately 56% of tenants owned a pet, but by 2022, that number had increased to 70%. In the Fayetteville, Fort Liberty area, an impressive 92% of tenants own pets. These numbers clearly indicate that the demand for pet-friendly rental properties is soaring.

Expanded Renter Pool

By not allowing pets in your rental property, you inadvertently eliminate a significant portion of potential renters. With 70% (and a staggering 92% in our area) of tenants being pet owners, restricting pets severely narrows your rental market. Embracing pet-friendly policies opens up your property to a larger pool of potential tenants, increasing the likelihood of finding suitable renters quickly.

Reduced Vacancy Rates and Turnover

Pet owners often encounter difficulties finding rental properties that accept animals. As a result, when they do find a pet-friendly rental, they tend to stay for longer periods. By allowing pets in your property, you create a more stable tenant base, reducing vacancy rates and minimizing turnover. Longer tenancies mean fewer periods of your property sitting vacant on the market, resulting in reduced holding costs and a more steady income stream.

Addressing Pet Damage

It's natural to have concerns about potential pet-related damages to your property. However, in North Carolina, you have the authority to implement pet restrictions based on factors like weight, breed, or the number of pets allowed. It's essential to be aware that Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) and service animals are protected under HUD guidelines, and regular pet policies do not apply to them.

At Nest, we understand the importance of mitigating pet-related risks, and we employ third-party verification software to ensure that registered ESA animals are legitimate and duly registered. This provides additional peace of mind for landlords.

Pet Fees Over Deposits

If you decide to allow pets in your rental property, you may wonder whether to charge additional rent or a higher security deposit to account for potential damages. We recommend opting for a "Pet Fee" instead of an additional deposit. In North Carolina, deposits are typically refundable and must be held in a separate account. Charging a monthly pet fee offers more flexibility to both you and your tenant. It allows the tenant to keep the pet in the home, provided they comply with the terms outlined in the comprehensive pet agreement. If there are compliance issues, you have the option to remove the pet from the property.

Periodic Inspections for Peace of Mind

To address any concerns about pet-caused damage proactively, Nest Managers offers periodic inspections for property owners. These inspections occur approximately three months into the lease agreement, giving ample time to identify and address any issues that may arise due to pets. This approach allows for smoother communication with tenants and helps maintain the property's condition throughout the lease term.

If you're a landlord experiencing difficulty in renting your property, it's worth considering a pet-friendly policy. Embracing pets as part of your rental policy can significantly expand your potential renter pool, reduce vacancy rates, and promote longer tenancies. To protect against potential damages, implement appropriate pet restrictions, and charge a monthly pet fee instead of an additional deposit.

At Nest, we understand that property management is not just a business; it's about building strong relationships with our owner-clients and tenant-residents. If you value these aspects of property management, we may be the perfect fit to provide you, your property, and your tenant-residents with our award-winning property management service.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I charge extra for allowing pets in my rental property?

A: Yes, you can charge a monthly "Pet Fee" to allow tenants the opportunity to have a pet in the home. Any pet damage is addressed during their tenancy and/or taken out of the security deposit at move out.

Q: Will allowing pets in my rental property result in longer tenancies?

A: Yes, tenants with pets tend to stay longer in pet-friendly rentals, leading to reduced turnover.

Q: What if I'm concerned about pet damage?

A: Implement pet restrictions based on weight, breed, or number of pets allowed to mitigate potential risks. Nest Managers also provides 3-6 month periodic walks to address and mitigate potential damage.

Q: Are Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) and service animals covered by pet policies?

A: No, HUD guidelines protect ESAs and service animals, and regular pet policies do not apply to them. Nest Managers has implemented a 3rd party screening program to verify registered ESA and emotional support animals.

Q: How can Nest Managers help with pet-related concerns?

A: Nest offers periodic inspections to address potential pet-related damage proactively and maintain the property's condition


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