Hi, I’m Faye with Residential Property Management. One of the most common questions we get from landlords is whether pets should be allowed in a rental home, so today we are talking about pet policies and how to decide whether or not to allow animals into your house.
You always have the option of saying no to pets. Your pet policy can be one of simple refusal. That’s your choice. However, remember that the Portland area is very pet-friendly. People like their animals, and at least half of your prospective renters will have a pet. When you refuse to rent to people with pets, you are excluding at least half of your potential renters from applying to live in your home. They won’t be willing to give up their cherished dog just to move into your house. They won’t even consider renting your property.
At Residential Property Management in Portland, we have seen every possible side of the pet situation. There have been many, many pets that lived in properties we have managed without creating damage of any kind. We have also had pets do some damage to properties. Additionally, we have seen homes remain vacant longer than they needed to simply because the property owners refused to allow pets. It’s a personal decision that only you can make. There are risks associated with any decision, because if you do allow pets, you risk damage but if you don’t allow pets, you risk a longer vacancy. As a general rule, homes that allow pets seem to rent a bit faster.
Because we don’t like vacancies, we recommend renting to people with pets. All you need to protect yourself and your property is a solid pet policy. You should limit the number of animals you will allow at one time. We have found that limiting a tenant to two pets is adequate in most situations. If you later discover that more than two pets are in the house despite what your rental agreement and your pet policy state, your tenant will be in violation of the lease, and you can take action.
You can always place some restrictions on pet size. For example, you can allow small dogs only or you can be willing to rent to people with cats, but no dogs. Define your pet policy so that it’s customized to what you’re comfortable with. We define a small pet as an animal weighing 25 pounds or less and a large pet as anything heavier than 25 pounds.
Consider asking for an additional security deposit when pets are involved. We collect an additional $500 security deposit for small pets and an additional $1,000 security deposit for large pets. Another recommendation we make is that your pet policy stipulate that all pets must be at least two years old. This will help mitigate the likelihood of pet damage.
If you have any questions about pet policies, or you need help establishing one of your own, please contact us at Residential Property Management, Inc.