You might have noticed the growing number of cafes and hotels that cater to pets. This isn’t a surprise given the recent trend of pet ownership. You can see owners bringing their dogs to the park and nature trails. You can also see them at airports and ferries when the owners are on their way to their personal trips.
Benefits of Pet Ownership
Pets are known to lend emotional benefits as well as physical. In fact, under the CDC (Center for Disease and Control) website, owning pets increases overall health. Owning a domestic animal lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Aside from that, owners have more opportunities to be fit since engaging in outdoor activities is common for pets’ regular exercise. It also creates more chances to socialize with other pet owners.
Opening your rental unit to pet owners gives you a distinct advantage of increasing your income. Most landlords collect pet charges, and this can be through a pet deposit, pet fee or pet rent. It may sound confusing, but we’ll carefully define each term.
A pet deposit acts as a security deposit. It provides the landlord with a safeguard in case the pet causes damage to the property. For example, the wood floorings or door getting scratched.
The landlord can then deduct from the tenant’s pet deposit. If the pet didn’t cause any property damage by the time the tenancy ends, the pet owner keeps the full refund of the pet deposit.
Another charge that a landlord may collect from the pet owner is a pet fee. This acts as a ticket for allowing pet entry to the rental property. Should property damage occur, the pet fee wouldn’t be used to deduct from it.
The pet owner will still be paying for the damage from his own pocket. Landlords are not obligated to return pet fees since these are a one-time pet entry charge to stay in a rental home.
Pet rents are paid on top of the monthly rent of a pet owner. It’s a supplementary, regular amount paid for pet accommodation in the property. Pet rents range from $50 to $100 and are clearly stated in the lease.
The advantage of a pet rent rather than a pet fee or pet deposit is that a pet rent is a recurring income. Unlike the latter two, it’s not paid one-time only. This is often the most common practice implemented by landlords towards tenants who own pets.
Pet Fee Structure
With the varied pet charges available, a landlord may be feeling stumped over what to collect from tenants who are pet owners. These are the common ones:
• Pet rent
• Pet deposit
• Pet fee
When you own a pet, it’s normal to expect an additional payment. This is to cover potential damages and property maintenance. Being a pet-friendly rental home exposes a landlord to inherent risks.
Most landlords collect a pet rent, but some will also charge a pet fee or pet deposit. Some states do prohibit collecting the two, so it’s best to first check according to where your rental space is located.
Do consider that moving expenses can add up, and if a landlord charges so many fees, it can burden the tenant. Although a renter will be glad to find a property that welcomes pets, it’s also better to decide which one among the three works for you.
It’s recommended to implement a pet rent charge. This means an additional stream of fixed income. Although a pet deposit sounds convenient for everyone, consider that the damage in the property a pet may cause may be costly. In fact, it may be higher than the collected pet deposit.
To minimize possible pet damage, it’s best to craft effective pet policies. As a landlord, stipulate conditions that will protect your rental space and designate responsibility to pet owners. You can state:
1. Type of acceptable pets and required vaccines before a pet can be permitted to stay. Pets must have proper identification to quickly locate the owners if they get lost. Further, vaccines help in assuring the safety of everyone when they come in contact with the pet.
2. Pet restrictions detailing the size, breed and weight. Some pets can be dangerous when they attack. Also, you can limit the size and weight so other tenants will feel comfortable around the premises.
3. Obligations that a pet owner must be attentive to such as:
• Hygienic practices and cleanliness, especially when picking up after their pet’s refuse.
• Keeping the noise level down, such as a dog’s incessant barking to avoid disturbing the neighbors and other tenants.
• Purchasing liability insurance to shield against potential injuries, such as dog bites to other tenants.
• Accompanying their pets all the time. Leaving them unattended may cause accidents or havoc within the property. So, the owners should always be supervising.
Welcoming pets mean adjusting your leasing agreements. It may require a few tweaks since you need to screen the pets as well. This, however, pays off when it comes to the steady returns you’ll be earning.
The wonderful thing is that pet owners are known to be long-term renters. This is good news for landlords who will have an additional source of income in the form of pet deposits, pet fees and pet rents. This demographic is also large, given the rising popularity of owning pets.
Note, though, that some states have restrictions on the type of pet charge you can ask for. So, brush up on the relevant laws before creating your lease. To stay legally compliant, it’s best to seek the knowledge of a well-practiced property management company.
Fortify your property to reduce the damage a pet may cause. This leads to lower repair and replacement costs for your furnishing. In turn, your income earned from a pet deposit, pet fee or pet rent will be yours to keep.