The majority of rental property owners do not allow pets. However, I am going to give you a few reasons to reconsider allowing pets, particularly if your property is not renting.
As noted above the majority of rental properties don’t allow pets, so by allowing rental properties you can dramatically increase the pool of potential renters. According a recent poll 53% of Canadian households own a dog or cat or both. The Power Properties Realtors® often lament how many calls they have to turn down because the person has a pet. This extra demand can be a godsend in a slow rental market.
Longer term tenants:
Because most rental properties don’t allow tenants, if you have a tenant with a pet, they are less likely to leave, quite simply because they can’t find anywhere else to go. Improved tenant retention decreases your costs as you are not exposed vacancy or the costs to find new tenants.
That’s right, you can generally get more rent when you allow a pet. In 2015 pet owners in Canada spent $7 Billion on their pets! The majority of pet owners are willing to pay more rent if they can keep their beloved family pet. A 2014 Ipsos Reid poll shows that 83% of Canadians consider their pet to be a family member with 4 in 10 believing that pets can be a good substitute for human companionship. The increase in rent can be as much as $50/month, which translates in the $600 a year. In other cases you may just ask for a one time non-refundable pet deposit of half a month’s rent (refundable pet deposits are not allowed in Alberta if the total security deposit exceeds one month’s rent).
What about all the damage pets cause? As many of you know I own several rental properties, and I allow pets in all of them, despite having hardwood floors in many of them. Power Properties has a company policy regarding pet size: we don’t allow any animals over 20” or 20 lbs. While this is partly for the safety of the staff and trades, it also limits the amount of damage the animal will likely cause. In my own personal experience a three year old child can cause a more damage than most pets. That said potential for damage does exist. Dogs can scratch floors, cats can scratch carpets, either can have “accidents”. One has to weigh the potential for damage against the income and security deposit. If you are able to get an extra $600/year and have one month’s rent as security deposit, is the prospective pet likely to cause that dollar value in damage. If your hardwood already has scratches does it really matter if there are a few more? If your carpets are already 10 years old and will likely need to be replaced with the next tenant are you really exposed to that much risk? In my opinion no, but each homeowner can make that decision for themselves. Just some food for thought for the next time your property is available for rent.
Interested in More Information?
Interested in more input around allowing pets into your rentals? For more information about this topic or other issues related to attracting great tenants (or managing the ones you already have!) contact Jamie Palmer with Power Properties at (403) 509-0040 or visit www.PowerProperties.net