Being a landlord the situation of pets has inevitably come up in your consciousness. Allowing pets can increase your pool of tenants and reduce tenant turnover as pet owners have fewer options available to them. Pet friendly housing is limited for renter, notably for those with large breeds. Pet friendly homes usually mean a single family house with a sizable yard. Many renters are willing to pay a premium for pet-friendly housing due to this. One of the keys to maximizing your revenue while minimizing the costs and risks of allowing animals is making your property as pet safe as possible. Pet safe landscaping helps protect your property from possible damages while enticing owners of cat and dogs.
Pet Safe Landscaping Features
You may be thinking that to make pet friendly landscaping part of you property is expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Focus on simple and small changes that give animals a more productive way to get out energy without destroying fencing and property. The following features are recommended for a rental home:
* Choose gravel or wood chips that won’t stick to longhair animals and get tracked into the home.
* Only use organic herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides on the plants and grass.
* Create a walking path along routes a dog would use, using a sturdy material such as flagstone or decomposed granite. This can prevent dogs from destroying grass. “Road blocks” may be advised along the fence lines because many dogs patrol the perimeters and wear down the grass.
* Create a digging pit covered with pine straw or cedar chips. Tenants can bury toys and bones in the digging pit to train a dog that it’s a safe place to dig rather than the yard.
Increasing Rent for your Pet-Friendly Landscaping
Tenants with pets are willing to pay more and even tend to stay longer in rental properties. Tenants with pets stay in a rental property for an average of 48 months compared to just 18 months for non-pet owners. While about half of all rental properties allow cats, only 9% of rental housing allows large dogs. This means that pet owners have large incentive to stay long term.
For pet owners, condos and town homes are almost always unavailable. After preparing your home to accept pets, it’s important to consider how much more you want to charge when attracting pet owners. Many landlords choose to advertise the pet-friendly features of a home, such as digging pits, laminate flooring, and a yard designed for animals this allows them to charge more for a pet friendly landscaping they have done.
A new landlord trend is to instead charge “pet rent,” which is a monthly charge for the pets with or without a pet deposit. We ill advise this method however. In most cases, landlords can legally include a monthly pet rent fee if it’s low. We recommend a one time pet fee that is included in the lease and which is clearly advertised and communicate to potential renters.
Cost vs Benefit of Allowing Pets
The most commonly cited concern from landlords about allowing pets is damage, but increasing the security deposit and the rent premium for a pet-friendly property can easily overcome these costs. With an average of $150 more per year for insurance on pet-friendly housing, landlords can rest assured that making a pet friendly rental is a safe and worth while investment. Making improvements to the home designed to minimize damage can also mitigate the damages associated with tenants’ pets. In particular, pet safe landscaping can reduce possible high-cost items like fencing. The key to getting the best value from your pet-friendly home? Market your greatpet-friendly features, upfront pet fees, and steps like establishing pet zones to minimize potential losses. At Real Property Management, we work with property investors to provide comprehensive marketing, thorough tenant screening, and full-service leasing services. Want to learn more about how to maximize rent for your pet-friendly single-family home? Contact us.
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