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Should you allow pets in your rental property?

If you are preparing to rent your residential property in Waco, TX, you may be wondering if you should allow tenant(s) to keep pets within your home. Believe it or not, pet-friendly homes are attractive for all property types, as it makes the rental property appealing to an increased pool of tenants. Consider the following:

1.) Permitting your tenants to have pets can increase your revenue potential.

Having a pet-friendly property doesn’t just mean you can charge more for rent each month (which you can). Having a pet-friendly property means that tenants will likely choose to live within your rental property for a more extended time since your home will provide a safe, welcoming environment for tenants and their pets.

2.) Some insurance policies restrict pet breeds, so understand yours thoroughly.

There are restrictions on certain types of pets (such as specific dog breeds or dogs with a history of biting). While your tenants will likely (and should) have a rental insurance policy in place, you must adhere to your insurance policy or you may not be covered in the event of a claim.

3.) Require tenants to have a rental policy as an extra layer of protection.

A rental policy has personal liability coverage, which may cover a dog bite (depending on various factors, including the dog breed and bite history, as stated before). You must require tenants to have personal liability coverage, explicitly covering their pet, to minimize your overall risk.

4.) Ask some key questions to ensure you are comfortable with the pet.

Before allowing a pet on-premise, it is fair to ask questions during the application process: How long have you had the pet? Has the pet ever done damage to a person or property? Does the pet have proper vaccines and licenses? You can also make your pet policy clear on the application so that tenants know what is expected prior to reading the lease.

5.) Detail your pet policy within your lease agreement.

Just because you are permitting pets does not mean that you are doing so without restriction. You can limit the number of pets, restrict the breeds, refuse to allow new pets (such as puppies or kittens), or visiting pets on the property if you like. You can also limit the pet size, weight, and type if you desire.

6.) Include a non-refundable fee for pet owners to cover necessary costs.

Renting your Waco property to a pet owner will require a more detailed cleaning before a new tenant can move in (such as a deep carpet cleaning to remove any pet dander and odor). In addition to a standard security deposit (which is generally 1-2 months’ total rent), consider including a non-refundable fee for pet owners.

We are a locally owned and operated property management company here in Waco, TX. Our comprehensive services include pet policies, rent collection, tenant selection, property maintenance, and more. With over 30 years of experience, our goal is to maximize the return on your investment. Contact us today: 254-651-0576!

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