Our topic on today’s blog is pet policies. This is a subject property owners and landlords always want to talk about. They’re not sure what they should do about pets; whether or not to allow them, what kind of pets to allow and how to handle tenants who have dogs and cats.
What you need to realize is that most tenants have pets. Roughly 75 percent of the people who are looking at your property will have a pet, and those people are going to want to keep their pets when they move. You don’t want to have a strict no-pets policy when you’re renting out your home, because you will lose a very large pool of potential renters.
At Charlotte Homes and Rentals, we recommend that you make pets conditional. We think you can strike the right balance when you find out what kind of pet the tenant has, and you make sure the animal is a good fit for the property. For example, if you’re renting out a condo and your tenant wants to move in with a puppy that is going to grow to be a 100-pound Rottweiler, it’s probably not a pet you want to allow. However, a seven pound Yorkie that is seven years old will probably be okay.
When we make the decision to conditionally allow pets, we always find out what kind of animal the tenant has. Then, we discuss this with the property owner and make sure it’s okay. Once we get the go-ahead, we always charge a pet fee. It’s important to understand the difference between a pet fee and a deposit. The pet fee doesn’t count towards any damage the animal may do to the property. It’s simply a fee that the tenant pays in order to bring the pet onto the property. We ask it to be paid along with the first month’s rent, and we pass that fee onto the owner. If the pet causes any damage to the property, we keep part of the security deposit to pay for that damage.
At the time that we consider pets, we also look at the entire application. The credit is important and the landlord references are especially important. Find out if there are pet damages in the tenant’s history. We also generally do not allow puppies and kittens because they don’t have a track record yet and we don’t know how they’ll behave. A five-year-old animal, on the other hand, can demonstrate a good record of reliable behavior.
Let us help you with pets and your property. If you have any questions, please contact us at Charlotte Homes and Rentals.