Rental growth throughout the country has stabilized, but it remains a very lucrative investment. With surging demand and increases in development, it means greater competition among landlords. Putting your best foot forward is important now more than ever.
This means you want to attract a wide range of tenants, which brings up the age-old question: whether you should allow pets in a rental property. There are pros and cons to both.
This article covers the advantages and drawbacks of allowing pets in your Boston rental. Keep reading to determine the right choice for your unique property and circumstances.
The biggest advantage of allowing pets in a rental property is an expanded tenant pool. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 50 percent of all occupied housing units have at least one pet. That means, if you prohibit pets, you are cutting your number of prospective renters by about half.
Keep in mind that the percentage of pet owners could be much higher, depending on the type of rental you have and the area of Boston where it is. For instance, renters may be more apt to have pets and more likely to expect that they are allowed in more residential areas, versus the inner city.
The other big advantage of allowing pets in your rental is that you can charge higher rent prices, security deposits, or special fees. Most pet owners will already expect to pay a bit more for a rental property, in addition to there being pet rules and standards.
The biggest drawback to allowing pets is the potential for property damage. Even trained pets can scratch floors and chew on furniture. They can damage walls and doors, and stain the carpet.
A related con of allowing pets is increased maintenance costs. Pet hair can clog air filters and diminish the efficiency of the rental HVAC system.
Noise complaints are another negative of pets in rentals. Barking dogs and meowing cats can disturb other tenants, making those rentals less desirable. Putting in place a rigid pet policy can help reduce the chances of this situation, but may not avoid it altogether.
Finally, if a pet harms another tenant, the landlord could be held liable. You should ensure your insurance policy has you covered for these situations.
Bringing It All Together
What you have to decide is if increased rent and pet fees can compensate for these risks. The answer is unique for each person.
If you have a very old property, you may need to prioritize protecting that investment from pet damage. A unit with lots of other tenants close by may present greater risks than a more suburban one. Similarly, if your rental is in an area with a high concentration of pet owners, allowing pets may be a necessity.
Get More Landlord Advice on Allowing Pets in a Rental Property
Now that you understand the pros and cons of allowing pets in a rental property, you can decide if it is right for you. A qualified property management company can further advise you on the right choice for your rental.
PMI of Greater Boston is a full-service rental management company. We provide a range of services, including tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, accounting and reporting, and more. Reach out to us today to schedule a free rental analysis.