Should You Rent to Pet Owners? The Pros and Cons.

As a single family rental property investor, should you rent to pet owners? As you might expect, there is no simple yes or no answer. Renting to people with pets has its pros and cons. Ultimately, your decision must come from weighing the benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of Renting to Pet Owners

Three of the most compelling reasons to have a pet-friendly rental policy for your single family rental are:

  • Larger tenant pool. If you exclude pet owners from renting your property, you decrease your number of potential renters.
  • Happier tenants. Pets are proven to help decrease the stress level and increase the overall wellness of their owners. And, since all landlords don’t accept pets, doing so can increase the appreciation from your tenants.
  • More transparency about pets. If you go with a no pet policy, there may still be tenants who keep pets at the property. Allowing pets makes it more likely that the renter will admit to having them, which is helpful as you consider upfront deposits and turnover costs like cleaning and repairs.

Cons of Renting to Pet Owners

Three reasons you might not want to allow pets at your single family rental are:

  • Damage and odors. Even if you charge a damage deposit that covers the cost of cleaning and repairs, the hassle may be something you don’t want to deal with.
  • If the animal injures someone, there are potential legal ramifications to you.
  • Disturbing neighbors. A barking dog, howling cat, or squawking bird can quickly become a point of contention with neighbors, and you may find yourself drawn into the conflict.

Keep Fair Housing Legislation in Mind

If you choose not to rent to pet owners, keep in mind that the Fair Housing Act and other legislation may require you to accept a tenant who has a service animal to help with a disability. It’s important to be up-to-date on applicable laws, as conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression may now be recognized as disabilities.

Whichever way you choose to go on renting to pet owners, be sure that the details are spelled out very clearly in your lease.