A proven way of attracting great tenants into your property is to allow pets. Which makes sense considering that a large percentage of the population are pet lovers. Besides, by housing pets in your home, you can justifiably increase the rent and make extra income.
Having pets on the property, however, is not a light task. It adds on risk that your property will be damaged or in extreme cases can result in safety issues for your tenants.
So how can a landlord mitigate the risks when renting to tenants who have pets?
Establish a Pet Agreement Policy
Before you allow a pet owner to move into your rental, it is prudent to create and enforce a pet policy contract. The agreement will address specific pet related issues that the tenant must observe.
For instance, you can request that the lessee keeps the compound clean from animal poop, and free from pests like fleas and ticks. Additionally, you should state the repercussions in case the tenant violates these terms, the furry friend damages the property or harms another person on the premises.
Demand a Higher Rent
An exciting and rewarding way of protecting your property against pet damage is by charging additional rent. In Denver, you can charge anywhere from $15 to $30 for each pet, per month. Tenants will gladly part with that sum to ensure they continue staying with their four legged friend.
Besides, a pet owner is already accustomed to spending heavily on the pet for example on toys, vet shots and so on. Which means, the additional cost is something they would understand. You can also explain to them the reason for why you need to charge an additional amount for pets.
Request a Sizeable Security Deposit
The security deposit is your safeguard in the event the lease matures or ends prematurely. The law allows you to use those funds to offset any property damages or outstanding bills and payments that the tenant might owe.
Bearing in mind that the person renting your property has a dog, cat or any other suitable pet, you must demand enough security deposit to protect you against the perceived increased risk. Additionally, you could ask every tenant that owns a pet to pay extra for air duct and carpet cleaning services, to ensure that the property remains free from allergens and dander.
Assess the Pet’s Personality
Since the animal will be staying on your property, it makes sense for you to meet with it and see how it interacts. Doing so is important because it gives you a first-hand experience to witness how the animal behaves.
For instance, does it seem aggressive, wild, ferocious, and capable of inflicting harm? Or is it friendly, confident and gentle? When meeting with the pet, remember to capture a few shots of it, to serve as future reference points.
Make the Property Pet-Friendly
Renovating your property in readiness for the pet owner’s arrival is an excellent way of mitigating the risks associated with housing the animal.
Some of the modifications you could carry out include fencing off the home to ensure that the animal does not roam and soil other people’s yards. Similarly, you could replace your carpeted surfaces with floor boards and tiles, which are easy to clean. Such a move will make life convenient for your tenants, the neighbors and you since your investment will remain relatively safe.
Demand The Pet Be Neutered or Spayed
Another way of avoiding trouble and unnecessary legal suits is to only accept pets that have been neutered. Animals who have been neutered or spayed generally tend to be much calmer. They’ll have less testosterone in their system and be much less likely to roam the neighborhood in search of mates.
Male dogs, for instance, will not get involved in ego-driven fights to mark their territory or display improper behaviors like mounting. Females on their part, will be less likely to urinate and bleed all over your carpet or floors. In fact, the majority of dog bites involve dogs that have not been fixed.
Conduct Regular Property Inspections
Just because the tenant surrendered a significant amount of security deposit, you should not naively presume that the sum will cater for any subsequent pet damage or injury. You might be shocked when the occupant moves out, to discover that the cost of the damaged brought about by the pet is much more than the initial security deposit.
To avoid surprises, make it a habit of inspecting the property as regularly as possible to verify that everything is as it ought to be.
Obtain a Landlord Insurance Cover
Even though a majority of Denver underwriters have Landlord Insurance policies, most of them do not cover property damage resulting from domestic animals. Adding on this cover is important. It will shield you from accidental damage caused by someone renting your property, rental income loss, as well as potential legal liabilities.
Just because pets run the risk of causing significant damage to your property, it does not mean that you should turn away a pet owner. After all, if you follow these guidelines you can adequately mitigate the risks of renting to tenants with pets.