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Pet-Friendly Landscaping for your Coeur d’Alene Rental

Having a pet friendly rental in the Coeur d’Alene market sets your property up for success. Allowing pets increase your pool of tenants and reduce tenant turnover because of the number of rentals that allow pets. The shortage of pet-friendly housing is notable, especially for renters who own large breeds of dog. For many, a single-family home with a private yard is the only option. This means many renters understand the liability and extra considerations for pets and are willing to pay a premium for pet-friendly housing. One of the keys to maximizing your return with your rental while minimizing the costs and risks of allowing animals is making your rental as pet-friendly as possible. Pet safe landscaping is a smart investment that helps protect your property from damage while making it more attractive to cat and dog owners.

Pet Safe Landscaping Features to Incorporate

Pet-friendly landscaping doesn’t require an expensive investment; focus on simple 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 or over the rest of the yard.

* Only use organic herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides on the plants and grass.

* Select plant species that reduce fleas and are good for dogs to eat. This includes blueberries, wheat grass, oat grass, lavender, rosemary, and mint. Avoid lily of the valley, monkshood, iris, and foxglove.

* Add urine-resistant plants such as Japanese spindle tree and Burkwood osmanthus.

* 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. You can also add “road blocks” to the fence lines as 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 a Pet-Friendly Home

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. This longer tenancy is likely caused by the difficulty in finding pet-friendly rentals, which means pet owners often have no choice but to stay or buy a home. While about half of all rental properties allow cats, only 9% of rental housing allows large dogs.

Preparing and marketing your single-family home to allow dogs in particular widens your tenant pool and helps attract renters who have very limited options. For these pet owners, condos and town homes are almost always unavailable: they know they need to rent a house with a yard. After preparing your home to accept pets, it’s important to consider how much more you want to charge when attracting pet owners. By marketing your property as a pet-friendly rental with features like digging pits, laminate flooring, and a yard thoughtful designed or dogs you can ask for rents higher than comparable homes in your market. 

A growing trend is to instead charge “pet rent,” which is a monthly charge for the pets with or without a pet deposit. Pet rent can be tricky, however. Although “pet-rent” is unadvised, landlords can legally charge a separate monthly fee that is a relatively low addition in addition to rent. However if you choose to include this month additional charge make sure that the property is advertised with this charge clear stated.

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 additional costs. Landlords pay an average of $150 more per year for insurance on pet-friendly housing, an annual expense that’s less than the average premium from a single month’s rent. And with thoughtful planning and implementing these tips on crafting a pet-friendly home you mitigate the damages associated with tenants’ pets. Most noteworthy in implementing pet safe landscaping which safeguards the area in which pets will spend most of their time and reduce the risk of damage to potentially high-cost items like fencing. How do you get the most out of your pet-friendly rental property? Great marketing that brands your home as a pet-friendly home, accurate pricing to optimize your profits, and steps like establishing pet zones to minimize potential losses. At Real Property Management, we work with a variety of home owners and diverse amount of features with each home and we provide comprehensive marketing, thorough tenant screening, and full-service leasing services as well as periodic check ups to ensure that your property is in good hands. Want to learn more about how to maximize rent for your pet-friendly single-family home? Contact your local Real Property Management office today.

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