National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is upon us. It’s a time for animals in need to find a loving forever home. But for renters in pet-free units, bringing home a new furry family member is sadly not an option. As a landlord, you might be hesitant to allow pets in your rental, no matter how much you love animals. And it’s true, having a pet-friendly rental isn’t without risks. But allowing pets also comes with many benefits, both to you and your tenants (furred, feathered, or otherwise). Though it takes some extra work, dot and cat-proofing your rental so your tenants can move in with their pets can be totally worth it. 

Allowing Pets: The Cons

There are certainly drawbacks to allowing animals in your rental property, and they’re all mostly what you would expect. The biggest concern with pets is the damage they can cause to your property. While many pets are well-behaved, you have no way of knowing whether your renters have taken the time and effort to train and enrich their pets. Limiting pet size might prevent a tenant’s Great Dane from tearing through your rental, but small pets are often equally destructive. Even a twenty-pound terrier can scratch a door to pieces over the course of a one-year lease. 

Feline friends pose a similar problem. Cats can be a menace to any upholstered surface in their territory. Your rental’s lovely new carpeting also makes an excellent scratching post. On top of damage from claws, cleaning up cat urine can require professional intervention and cost hundreds of dollars. At the end of the day, accepting the possibility of damage is a critical step when you decide to allow pets in your rental.

Allowing Pets: The Pros

However, the pros of allowing pets are compelling as well. One important consideration is that allowing pets can make your tenants very happy! Animals offer considerable benefits to our mental health, which can be a huge perk for a renter facing the decision to renew a lease. Aside from resident retention, allowing pets can also help you attract new tenants. Renters who already have a pet in their lives usually prioritize a property that will permit them to bring their pet with them, even if a pet-free rental is their dream home in every other way. Allowing pets opens the field to more potential renters, helping you find tenants faster and keep them longer.

Another significant benefit of allowing pets in your rental is financial. Because of the risks associated with keeping animals on your property, it’s well within your rights to charge additional fees to cover potential damage. Pet rent is a common facet of pet-friendly rentals, as is a pet deposit to go towards any necessary repairs or cleaning fees. This is a great way to supplement your existing rental income and remain safe from a hefty bill for potential pet-related damages.

Is Your Rental Pet-Ready?

There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your rental is resilient in the face of pet damage.

Install scratch-proof floors. These are an excellent investment whether or not you allow pets in your rental. Because hard floors are far easier to maintain, cheaper to clean, and look gorgeous, they’re an excellent option for virtually any rental. Using a scratch-proof material like vinyl helps protect them from damage from moving furniture, pet accidents, and other mishaps.

Make sure green spaces are available. For tenants with dogs, they’ll certainly need an area nearby to let their pup do its business. If your rental is in the middle of a concrete jungle, providing a green space or artificial pet toilet area will be crucial for keeping tenants and animals happy. Just make sure to establish very clear rules about cleaning up pet waste to help keep your property clean and sanitary.

Consider replacing the carpet. If your rental has carpeting, it’s worth thinking long and hard about whether it will be worth the cost of cleaning a sunk-in pet mess out of the fibers or dealing with damage from claws. As noted above, a scratch-free flooring option can be a great investment over the long term.

Pick the right paint. Avoid darker paint colors in your rental if you know you’re going to open it to pets. Dark paint will quickly show any scratches or other wear and tear. A lighter paint color will look great for longer, saving you money on constant new paint jobs. 

 Get Expert Advice On Preparing Your Rental

A property management company can help you through the process of pet-proofing your rental. Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew offers top-to-bottom care for your rental, starting with working out a detailed budget and plan for the future. We strongly believe in close communication with our tenants; we’re not here to step in, take over, and never let you get a word in edgewise. We also know that the decision to allow pets in your rental can be a difficult one. As much as we love our animal companions, the concerns about damage to your unit are important to consider. 

If you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of allowing pets, we can help steer you through that decision using our years of experience running both pet-friendly and pet-free rentals in the Portland area. We can look at your personalized budget and help you determine whether the financial benefits will offset the potential costs.

If you decide that you want to pet-proof your rental, our dedicated maintenance team and contractors are on hand to make that happen! We can make sure your rental gets all the care it needs in order to make sure it is as safe from pet damage as possible. In the unfortunate case when damage does occur, our team can rapidly clean and repair your rental until it’s just like new, so you don’t have to wait between tenants. If you’d like to hear more about the comprehensive services that Rent Portland Homes can offer, call us at (503) 515-3170 or fill out the contact form on our website.