Did you know according to a Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends 41% of renters list allowing pets as a top requirement in their search for a new home? If that isn’t enough proof that people love their pets, we don’t know what is! Whether your property already allows pets or you’re considering adding this to your property, there are a few things to keep in mind to help make the process smooth and successful for everyone living in your community!
Establish a Pet Policy
Having a pet policy in place will help you determine which pets and residents can live at your property. This will help protect you and your residents from the liability of having a pet on the premises. A few policies you might want to consider include:
- Having pet parents provide health and vaccination records
- Proof the pet is spayed or neutered
- Weight limits
- Minimum age requirements
- Number of pets allowed per unit
- Require residents to pick up after their pets by creating designated pet bathroom areas with waste bags and cans
Having these policies in place will help keep your property clean, friendly, and safe for all your residents, pet parents or not. It’s also important that you make sure your policy also complies with fair housing laws when it comes to service or emotional support animals.
Require Pet Interviews
Meeting the pets of prospective residents prior to approving an applicant and signing a lease can help you confirm they meet your pet policy requirements and that they are well-behaved. If you have a size or age requirement you can confirm they meet this and that they are well-trained and friendly. By interacting with the pet beforehand, this can put everyone at ease and it gives you an opportunity to review the pet policy again with your new resident.
Make Pet-Friendly Upgrades
There are a few upgrades you can make to reduce the wear and tear on your property and accommodate your new furry residents. Consider updating your units’ carpets with a more durable flooring option. This will make it easier for residents to clean, won’t trap dirt and odors as much and will have a much longer lifespan than carpet. If you decide to not update your carpeting, you may want to apply a stain-resistant treatment that will help reduce wear and tear as well.
You may also want to add (or update) some new amenities. This can include a dog park, grooming stations, and providing a walking service. These will all cater to your residents’ needs and show them that their pets are just as welcome in your community as they are!
Offset Additional Costs
By allowing pets at your property, you are opening yourself up for potential pet-related property damage. However, you can protect your investment by offsetting these costs at the time your applicant signs their lease. Consider having a pet deposit as well as monthly pet rent at your property. Both of these will help you cover the costs of repairs and cleaning when a pet-owning resident moves out.
Opening your property to pet-owning residents gives you a whole new demographic to market to and can help boost your bottom line. However, it’s important to have policies and systems in place to help protect your investment. If you’re looking to make some updates to make your property pet-friendly, contact us today for a consultation!