Pets or no pets? A landlord's guide
When owning and renting out a property there are a number of considerations to be made. Finding the right tenants for your home can be one of the most difficult. There is also the question of whether you are going to allow the furry kind.
Many people count pets as part of the family and a landlord allowing pets into their rental properties may gain a competitive advantage. Pet friendly rentals are largely coveted and allowing tenants to bring along their animal companions may result in much higher demand for the property.
Although there are risks that come along with pets, there are a number of ways you can reduce potential issues.
A pet friendly property
Determine what type of pet is appropriate for every rental property you own. If you only have a small courtyard then a cat might have to be the limit. If there is a large garden but no fence, a dog might be an issue.
Consider the amount of carpet in the property - tiles and wooden floors are obviously better for animals as they don't retain odour, but they may be scratched by claws. If the property comes furnished check whether pet loved furniture such as couches can be easily damaged.
It is important also to think of neighbours living in close quarters and whether the introduction of an animal may disturb their peace and quiet.
Make an educated decision
If the pet is a dog, consider meeting it before agreeing to it moving in. Meeting a dog allows you to make an assessment of its temperament and whether or not it is well kept. Obtain references from prior flatmates or neighbours to be fully informed of any prior issues with the pet.
Make an evaluation of the potential tenants, too. Pets are an extension of their owners, a diligent tenant is more likely to have a well-behaved and well-groomed pet.
It's also a good idea to check your landlord and building insurance policies to see what may or may not apply if a pet is allowed to live at the premises.
Include a pet policy in the tenancy agreement
A pet policy is an agreement made between the landlord and tenant outlining matters relating to the pet. Commonly the agreement will give responsibility of any costs arising from the pet to the tenant, or provide conditions the tenant must fulfil on vacation of the property, such as getting carpets thoroughly cleaned.
Some states even allow landlords to take a pet bond for their property, which could be something worth looking into for peace of mind. There might also be further conditions you wish to include, such as keeping the pet outdoors at all times.