Should I Allow Pets? 5 Considerations for Landlords

When it comes time to rent out an investment property, every real estate investor needs to ask themselves this question: “Should I allow pets in my property?” Here are five important considerations to help you decide:

  1. Statistics show that about 60% of tenants come with pets. If you decide not to allow pets at your property, it’s important to understand that you are significantly limiting your pool of potential tenants.
  2. If you decide yes, what kind of pets will you allow?
    Small to medium sized dogs don’t typically do damage to a property; however, cats can be much more destructive. Whatever you decide, be sure to weigh the pros and cons.
  3. What kind of pet restrictions will you have?
    Many insurance companies have breed restrictions so as an investor you’ll first want to brush up on what’s allowed in your property. Also consider size restrictions as large dogs can do more damage than small to medium sized dogs. Lastly, establish a restriction on the number of animals you will allow in your property.
  4. Should you have a pet addendum?
    Put simply, the answer is yes. The pet addendum should clearly outline the responsibilities of the tenant when it comes to their pet. 
  5. Should you charge a pet deposit?
    Yes, but don’t call it a pet deposit as this limits your ability to keep the deposit for potential damages not caused by the pet when the lease comes to an end and your tenant moves out. The amount you charge should depend on the property and the pet but it is common to charge a higher security deposit because of a pet.


QUESTION: When is a pet not a pet?    ANSWER: When it is a service animal. Be cautious in how you deal with requests for service animals. Federal law governs this process and a professional property manager or lawyer should be consulted before you say 'no'. It is illegal to charge additional security deposit for a service animal.

There are certainly benefits to allowing pets at your property. You will probably rent your property faster and easier, and tenants with pets typically stay longer than tenants without pets since it’s more difficult to find housing with a pet. And maybe the best benefit of all, you will generally be able to charge a higher rent rate by allowing pets in your property. Just be mindful of the consequences that allowing pets can have including potential damage to your property. 

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