Understandably, landlords in the Winnipeg area sometimes hesitate when presented with the opportunity to allow pets to live in their multifamily residential communities. It's true that pets can be destructive and noisy, but the value of allowing them on your property can actually create a mutually beneficial arrangement for you and your tenants.
Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare (FIREPAW) has conducted thorough research concerning pet-friendly rentals. The results highlight several advantages for landlords allowing pets in their communities.
Apartments that allow pets are able to charge about 20 to 30 percent more for rent than those that do not. Many pet-friendly residences require a pet security deposit, as well as a monthly pet rental fee. In addition, apartments that do not restrict size or breed of pets (mainly dogs) make about $100 more per unit each month than rentals with greater restrictions.
Many landlords fear the potential damages pets may cause. However, research shows that the biggest monetary difference in damages between pet owning tenants and those without pets was less than $40. In many cases, the damages caused by animals are completely covered by the tenant's deposit.
According to the study, the average time it takes to rent out a pet-friendly unit is 19 days, as opposed to 29 days for non-pet friendly units. In the same vein, tenants who rent pet-friendly apartments stay an average of 46 months, as opposed to just 18 months for rental units that do not allow animals. In short, allowing pets on your property could minimize the time a unit sits empty and maximize your number of lease renewals.
By opening your residential property to pets and pet owners, you increase the size of your applicant pool. On average, 50 percent of renters have at least one animal, and the people who have pets tend to be, for the most part, responsible individuals. It takes discipline, consistency and empathy to own a pet—good qualities for your tenants to possess.
If you're still uneasy as to whether you want to allow pets on your residential property, consider these strategies for vetting your potential animal-owning tenants:
- Ask for pet references
- Explain pet policies in detail
- Meet the animal before renting to the tenant
By taking these steps, you can gain greater peace of mind and take advantage of some of the benefits allowing pet owners on your property can provide to you as a landlord.