Before you even put your property on the rental market, it’s important to consider whether you’re going to allow pets. A lot of people want to say no to pets because they’re concerned about the damage animals can potentially cause. This is understandable, but remember that it doesn’t always happen. Some pets cause damage and some pets do not. You also have to take into account the statistics. Almost 50 percent of all households in the U.S own a dog or a cat. This means you may be limiting yourself to half the prospective tenants by saying you won’t allow pets.
If you decide to allow pets, it’s important to determine up front what kind of limitations you’ll have in place. It’s essential to restrict the breed of dogs you’ll permit. Talk to your property insurance provider because they will know which breeds are considered dangerous. There are some types of dogs that cannot be on the property at all because insurance won’t cover you. These include Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Dobermans and others. The types of breed vary with insurance providers. Just make sure you know what they are, otherwise you’ll allow a pet and then find out later that your home is no longer insurable. This will put you in the awkward position of asking your tenant to get rid of the dog or finding a new insurance company that will cover you.
Determine how much you will increase the security deposit when a tenant moves in with a pet. In California, the maximum security deposit you can charge for an unfurnished home is twice the amount of a month’s rent. Make sure you get that amount. It might sound like a lot. For example, if you’re renting out a house that is $2,200 per month, the security deposit for a tenant with a pet will be $4,400. That does sound like a lot, but when you consider that your property is probably worth at least $400,000, it’s not too much to ask for. You’ll also find that tenants are always willing to pay these deposits in order to keep their animals and move into an attractive property.
Finally, make sure the tenant carries adequate renters insurance to cover any potential harm a pet may cause to someone visiting or anyone else in the neighborhood.
If you need help putting together a pet policy, please contact us at Elite Property Management, and we’d be happy to help you.
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