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Pets Are Welcome! If you welcome pets, you’re also welcoming a pool of great residents.

By February 10, 2016No Comments

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According to a 2014 survey by apartments.com, 72% of renters have pets.  Most pet parents consider their pets part of the family, and would never move somewhere that wouldn’t allow them to come, too.  So why not welcome them to your property?

The Facts on Welcoming Pets

  • Fifty years ago, pets in apartments were somewhat rare.  Now, pets are allowed in most properties, with policies that are affordable and fair.
  • Pet-owning residents typically do not cause more damage or other financial concerns.  However, special pet deposit or slight increase in rent may offset costs.
  • Size is not indicative of a pet’s behavior or potential to cause damage.  Some large dogs are couch potatoes, while some small dogs are highly active.  Meet the whole family first and make a decision about each pet individually.
  • There’s no such thing as a “dangerous dog breed.”  Breed is not predictive of an individual dog’s behavior or suitability for rental housing.  Therefore, banning specific breeds does not reduce risk.
  • Federal and state laws recognize the value of the human/animal bond and include legal protections.  Be familiar with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure your pet policies aren’t violating them.
  • Setting clear standards of care is more effective than setting arbitrary limits on the number of animals a renter may own.  Sixty-two percent of pet-owning renters have more that one pet.

Becoming a “Pets are Welcome” Property

  • Make it clear that you welcome pets as valued members of the family, but certain conditions may apply to protect the property.
  • Provide tips to your renters about how they (and their pets) can succeed as residents.
  • Eliminate inhumane policies.  never require de-vocalization or declawing; these practices hurt animals.
  • Unaltered pets are more likely to spray urine or mark territory, so providing spay/neuter information is a win-win for you and your residents.
  • Make compliance with your policies easy!  Offer dog walking stations with waste bags and a disposal bin; reserve units near exit doors or elevators for dog walking families; and recommend cleaning products that safely remove stains from carpets.
  • Enforce your pet policies uniformly, fairly and equitably, so residents are clear on expectations.
  • Charge a fair and affordable pet fee and/or fully refundable deposit to support the amenities you provide.  Excessive fees can discourage good renters from applying to live in your community.

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