There are more than 50,000 tenant-occupied households just in the city of Orlando. The majority of those homes have at least one pet.
Deciding whether or not to accept pets into an Orlando rental property can be a difficult decision. What you should know, however, is that more people own pets than don’t. You’ll have to consider the numbers when you’re making your decision.
Here are some of the pros and cons of welcoming pets into your Orlando rental home.
Pet-Friendly Homes Rent Faster
The statistics make this fact easy to understand: you’ll be advertising your rental property to a larger pool of tenants when you’re willing to accept pets. With more than half of the tenants looking for homes owning at least one cat or dog, you’re going to severely limit your exposure when your property isn’t pet-friendly.
Vacancy is expensive. If you have to wait longer to find a tenant who doesn’t have a pet, you may be losing money that you’ll never recoup.
Not only do pet-friendly homes rent faster, they often do a better job of retaining tenants. When a tenant with pets pays a pet fee to move into your home, they’re not going to be eager to move at the end of the lease term. It would only mean paying another pet fee elsewhere.
Pet-Friendly Homes Earn More Money
There’s also an opportunity to earn more money when you’re willing to welcome pets into your rental home.
You can charge a pet fee, and that fee can apply to every pet. So, if you ask for a $300 fee per pet, you’ll earn an extra $600 from a tenant who has two cats. This is different from a deposit. A pet deposit is a bad idea because you have to give the money back at the end of the lease if there isn’t pet damage. A fee, however, is nonrefundable, and you’ll have that money to pay for any damage that does occur, and you’ll be able to keep it if there isn’t any pet damage.
Pet rent is also pretty popular in the Orlando rental market. Tenants are willing to pay $20 to $50 a month in extra pet rent just for the privilege of living with their furry friends. This increases your rental value and your income.
Pets Come with Risk
The major argument against allowing pets is the risk they pose.
If a tenant’s dog attacks a delivery person, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. Pets can make messes, chew up floorboards and gardens, and scratch right through carpet or hardwood floors. Odors can often linger even into the next tenancy, causing problems for you when you try to re-rent the home.
We understand these concerns. Renting to tenants with pets can increase your risk and lead to unpleasant clean-ups.
The best thing an Orlando property manager can do when you’re renting to a tenant with pets is to implement and enforce a pet policy. A good pet policy will include:
- Breed restrictions. Some insurance policies won’t cover homes where there’s a dangerous dog breed.
- Pet fees and pet rent.
- Screening procedures for pets, including vet information and proof of vaccines.
- Instructions and rules. For example, dogs must be leashed at the property and owners must clean up after them.
We understand the anxiety around allowing pets into your Orlando rental home. However, with good screening and a strong pet policy, we believe you may be better off providing a pet-friendly home.
For more information, please contact us at Park Avenue Property Management.