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Landlord Pop Quiz: Should I Allow Pets?

By Rebecca Zhang

One of the big decisions to make when managing a rental property is whether or not to let your tenants keep pets.

If you are new to being a landlord, this can be a particularly tricky choice to make.

Should you give four-legged friends the green light? Would it be an effective incentive for potential tenants or a recipe for disaster?

And if you don’t, will it be the dealbreaker that dissuades each impeccably credentialed applicant from pursuing their interest?

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of allowing pets.

The case against pets

One of the principal objections that many landlords have against pets is the damage that they could cause to the property.

And indeed, animals can sure make a mess when they are so inclined. This could include damaging carpets, scratching paintwork or digging up the garden (and then trodding wet soil all through the house).

Dogs can also often be guilty of leaving a trace of their ‘aroma’ wherever they have been. Have you ever walked into someone’s place and just known that they have a canine resident?

Then there is the problem of noise. A barking dog isn’t just annoying for other tenants in the same property – it can really rankle neighbours too.

Cats aren’t entirely innocent either. Though they are generally more civilised than dogs are, they can often get in fights with other neighbourhood felines, which can be a noisy affair!

The case for allowing animal friends

When describing the case against pets, it is common to picture the worst case scenario, when in reality most are well-behaved and will hardly make their presence known.

The simple fact is that by allowing pets in your investment property you could increase your pool of potential tenants significantly.

You may be surprised at just how many renters have pets!

And because not all landlords are pet-friendly, by adopting an accommodating stance towards those who want to bring their canine or feline pals along, you can make your property stand out from the bunch.

You may even be able to put the rent up due to this extra feature.

Just because you allow pets doesn’t mean that anything should go, and you can set rules to ensure tenants don’t overstep the bounds, such as limiting the number of animals per dwelling and ensuring that all pets are registered.

Having a pro-pet policy could help you to increase the odds of tenants staying with you for longer.

Not only may people be more hesitant to disorientate their animal friends by upping sticks and moving to a new home, but having a cat or a dog around can make a place feel more homely, and less like a temporary living solution.


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