The pros and cons of renting to pet owners: Part 2

There are many advantages and disadvantages of renting to pet owners. Deciding if it is the right choice for you requires weighing the pros and cons.

Owning rental real estate and becoming a landlord can be rewarding but also challenging. As a landlord, you will have to make a lot of tough decisions and enforce rules regarding your property. One decision that landlords have to decide on is whether or not they want to allow their renters to have a pets. Ultimately, this decision is entirely up to you, but before deciding to make your property pet friendly, it is best to weigh all the pros versus the cons. Here is a list of cons to consider when deciding whether or not you should allow pets in your rentals. (Take a look at Part 1 to see the list of pros.)

Cons:

  • The landlord may not be able to enter the apartment in an emergency if the pet is dangerous.
  • There is increased liability exposure to the landlord if the pet bites or otherwise attacks others.
  • The pet may be a nuisance to other tenants by causing excessive noise or damage.
  • Pet owners are sometimes not good about cleaning up after their pets.
  • Pet odors can be very difficult to get rid of.
  • Pets may annoy and disturb other tenants causing them to vacate.
  • Other tenants may be allergic to dogs or cats.
  • Pets can cause damages, and there are times when the security deposit will not cover the costs.
  • Higher insurance premiums due to certain breeds of pets.

Remember: There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of renting to pet owners. Deciding if it is the right choice for you requires weighing the pros versus the cons. This article was not meant to dissuade you from renting to pet owners, but instead to show you that there are downsides as well. If you do decide to make your property pet friendly, require that all tenants sign a pet agreement clause in their lease, even non-pet owners. When a tenant signs a rental lease agreement, the tenant assumes a certain amount of responsibilities. The lease is a legally-enforceable contract which defines the relationship between a landlord, the lessor and a tenant, the lessee. The lease will define the role of the tenant and their obligations. It is imperative both parties thoroughly read and understand all terms of a lease agreement and pet agreement prior to signing it to legally protect themselves.

Being a landlord is not for everyone. Before deciding to become a landlord, purchase or invest in rental real estate, always consult a licensed realtor, attorney and tax professional.

Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information about classes in your area, visit either the MSU Extension Events feed or MIMoneyHealth.org.

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