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No pets allowed? Are you crazy?

Today, I was looking on Craigslist to find out what the going rate was for rentals in an area before either I, or an investor, purchase a property in that area for a possible lease option. Then, what do I see on rental after rental?


NO PETS ALLOWED!

This is absolutely stupid if you want to get your rental property rented. You are eliminating half of your potential renters and usually the most profitable ones. Most people who own pets treat them like a family member and won't get rid of them, just because they need a place to live. But, they will pay more for the privilege to live somewhere that does allow pets.

If you own a rental property and want an extra source of income, put in your ad, "$250 non-refundable pet fee". Also require at least a one year lease and charge an additional $25 per pet per month in rent. This will more than cover any damage that a pet could possibly do to the home and gives you a minimum of $550 extra for the year with the deposit and extra rental income. That is if they only stay one year and only have one pet.

Make sure that you also put it in the rental agreement that if they don't disclose they have a pet or get another pet without first informing you, then all fees are retroactive to the date of move in. Then pay the neighbors to watch your rental property for you. If you tell the neighbor that if you see more than the agreed to amount of pets, and call me, and I can prove it, then I will reward you with a $100 bill.

I had one client who had this policy in place for years without incident and one day the neighbor called on the tenant who had lived there for 4 years. They had just bought 2 more dogs and didn't bother to tell the landlord. He waited on month to see if there was going to be a note with the rent check. He then sent them a letter stating that the lease agreement was in violation and he was being nice and was going to only have them pay retroactively to the first of the year. They told him to "_______!" (I wasn't going to type that.) He said, "Fine." and gave them a 30 day notice. Then he took them to court for the back rent owed on the 2 dogs for $25 per month for the total of 4 years they had lived there. A grand total of $2400 in back rent, instead of $200 like he was asking in the letter.

The judge asked them if they had signed the lease and because they had read the agreement and initialed it. Then he pointed out that they also understood the agreement since they already had one dog and had been paying $25 extra every month, plus the deposit. JUDGEMENT for the Landlord in the amount of $2400!

So don't say no to pets so quickly, they may make you more money from your rental than you think! But, do make them have liability insurance for their pets.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)

 

At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.

 

Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!

 

Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)

(503)564-3130

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Comment balloon 14 commentsRespect Realty LLC • August 29 2007 06:55PM

Comments

Hey...why'd you leave out the lawyers.  We gotta eat too!  :)  Just kidding.  Good advice, just make sure everything is spelled out clearly so there's no hint of fraud and no surprises.  Oh, and don't discriminate against folks with medical-related pets...don't want to invite a lawsuit of your own.
Posted by Jason Romrell (Business Attorney and Success Advisor) almost 11 years ago
Here in Miami the 'no pet policy' drives me insane! Especially when they say no dog over 20llbs, I have a friend with a tiny dog that is so lively and jumps all over everything and could do way more damage than a lazy old bulldog! I have even had many landlords rather turn down a pet deposit and leave their place vacant, than have a pet on their property...do they not realise the money they lose by doing this is WAY more than the damage a pet would do? I see alot of people renting houses then sneaking the pet in afterwards, this recently happened to me with a luxury rental..luckily the owner was not too mad, but had we allowed the pet with a deposit, all the hassle could have been avoided. 
Posted by Shelly Montalvo, Owner/Broker (Papillon Real Estate, LLC) almost 11 years ago

I currently work for a property management company and you have to carefully consider if you are going to allow pets in your rental property. Here are some issues to consider:

  • What happens if that pet attacks another resident on your property? What is your liability?
  • The overwhelming majority of people don't have pets.
  • Turning an apartment that has a pet is more expensive and time consuming.
  • Dogs bark all day long and I have receive more than my share of complaints.
  • How many residents are you losing because you accept pets or don't have any restrictions on weight and breed?

 There are more, but accepting pets isn't a cut and dry issue.

Posted by waey wyqw (wyq34y) almost 11 years ago

I have seen property damage exceeding way over the typcial $250 pet deposit. 

I lost a buyer for a mobile home on a leased lot because of a breed restriction - it was spelled out very clearly in the rules & regs that it had to be an insurance issue (most other restrictions allowed for management overrides). 

I went on an appointment for a rental listing and recommended the landlords place a higher pet deposit (I've seen deposits as high as $2500) and require that they "interview" the pet as size/breed doesn't tell the whole story.  This was a single family residence and they were not thrilled with the idea of having pets, but I said it would be better than having someone sneak one in.

Posted by Judi Glamb, Associate Broker, ABR (Coldwell Banker Hearthside) almost 11 years ago
wow...people are so odd sometimes. I love when people have that "whatever, what can you do about it?" attitude. They should have just paid him the money! I agree though, it isn't wise to not allow pets and leave out a lot of people who could rent that home from you.
Posted by Rick Grand (nowhere) almost 11 years ago

I was with you until you said to pay the neighbors to watch over others - that smacks of 1984!  OMGOSH!  I would hate that!

Talk about a breeding ground for trouble and mistrust!  

I would make sure owners with pets have good references, and yeah, I would disallow any potentially dangerous dogs (like it or not, Pit Bulls are VERY dangerous - sure you can be bitten by a poodle but the last I knew, poodles didn't kill anyone.).  I would also make renters with pets sign an agreement to an inspection upon moving out and agree to fix any damage done by pets such as chewed moldings, carpet stains, fleas, etc.

I would also make sure that a pre-move in inspection is done by both landlord and tenant and they sign a report stating the current condition so nobody can say "That wasn't there when you moved in" or "Hey, that was there when I moved in!"

If necessary take pictures with dates embedded in the print and have the date they were printed embedded on the back too (probably automatic if done at Walmart or other place).  

Maybe it's overkill on my part but I've  heard LOTS of nightmare tenant /landlord stories...and lived it; my  mom was a landlord for most of my childhood.  lol

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) almost 11 years ago

Why limit your business? not in this market, that would be suicide! in my opinion! best of luck, Charles

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) almost 11 years ago

Jason - Who would leave out lawyers. You are right they need to eat too. Who do you think wrote that landlords contract so it could hold up in court.

Michelle - The Fat dog is a happy dog would work with the 20lb rule, and you are so right about the smaller dogs!

Troy - That is why I require a renter / lease option person to have liability insurance if they even have a cat!

Judi - That is why I have my clients have the deposit and the extra rent every month for pets. It is better to have them, then have the person sneak them in later, like some many do! That is another reason to have it spelled out and have the neighbor watch your property.

Karen - The neighbor thing is just to protect my property! It may sound like 1984, but don't lie to me! I allow pets, but just have to pay for them!

Charles - You are right, Don't limit your market, but best of all it can make you more!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago

Todd,

I like this idea. I've always allowed my tenants to have pets and I check up on references for the pet as well, but this extra measure of protection against someone acquiring new pets you haven't checked out is great. I'm going to pass it on to my investor clients as well.

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Wow, Todd!  Who could possibly say no to that mug?

I think the same reasoning applies to condos and coops who overdo pet restrictions - it pulls the price way down because the market is much smaller.

I've never had a buyer tell me to find him a no pet building, but (maybe because I'm a dog and cat person I attract them) many will not consider buying in a pet free zone.  And that's even if they don't have one! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Patricia - Thank you, I agree I am pretty good looking. Oh, wait, never mind you were talking about the dog. OH WELL! - lol

But, I agree HOA's can be even worse!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago

I absolutely agree we are planning on buying a manufactured home in a couple years to cut down on our outragious expenses as a current homeowner,however I have two big dogs and I don't know of many parks that allow dogs or atleast big dogs I just have to say that if I have to get three jobs to make it then I will because you will never see my dogs on Craigslist because I have to move,I do feel for people especially with people losing their homes left and right these days but I have three children and would not give them away just like my dogs are my children they go with me to.My moms small dogs could and would do more damage then either of my dogs but hey atleast she would be able to rent or buy since they are small.You all need to get  life and not think that every big dog will damage your property that is what security and pet deposits are for but since most of you claim to have more then normal wear and tear and keep peoples deposits anyway who is really coming out on the short end of the stick!!!!!!!Thanks for this blog maybe the ones that should read it will

Posted by Jenn about 10 years ago

I am amazed by the ignorance of the landlords claiming so much property damage etc.If you don't want to allow pets that is your business but to say they bark all day OK Do you not allow children because they scream or laugh all the time????and to say it is harder to turn a property OK where did you come from?????Oh and by the way tell me of one person that does not own a pet and I can assure you they live on your property and probably not by choice.

Posted by Kevin about 10 years ago

Jenn - You are exactly the reason I tell landlords to allow pets. You would do anything to keep your babies and you need a place to live. 

Kevin - I have seen some serious damage by cats! But, if they pay the deposits and the extra per month, I'm not going to care, because I know that additional income will more than pay for any damage done by a pet. I had one rental property that had over $5,000 damage done to the floor boards by cats and their peeing everywhere. But, I made $6,000 off the non-refundable deposits and the extra monthly income over 5 years. (SO ALL WAS GOOD)

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

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