Why Pet Friendly Rentals Are a Good Idea

Pet Friendly Rentals

Of the many decisions that landlords need to make, whether to allow pets is one of the big ones. Below we look at why pet friendly rentals are a good idea, tips for responsible pet ownership for tenants and links on where to find pet friendly rentals.

Why Pet Friendly Rentals are a Good Idea

The rental market can be a tough place to not only find qualified tenants but also for tenants who are looking for the right home to meet their pet friendly needs.  With property owners looking for responsible long-term tenants, it’s a good idea to consider how a pet friendly rental policy can appeal to a wider tenant pool.

Consider how tenants with pets find it challenging to find long term pet friendly dwellings and assess how their needs can be an advantage for property owners looking for long term tenancy agreements.  Whatever your decision as a landlord may be, having a clearly defined pet policy should set clear rules about what types of animals are allowed, what fees are required of pet-owning tenants, and rules all pet-owners must follow during tenancy.

The pet policy should be included in your lease agreement – even if you choose not to allow pets, and this should be reviewed with your renters during lease signing.  A landlord can restrict the size, kind and number of pets and can make other reasonable pet-related rules that the tenant must follow.

Do Pet Friendly rentals rent out faster?

The obvious answer is yes, pet friendly rentals separate rental properties from a seemingly large pool of properties on the market, especially in major urban centers such as Vancouver or Toronto. Additionally, pet friendly rentals are even more challenging to find in downtown areas.  By allowing pets, landlords have the opportunity to expand the number of potential tenants, increasing their odds in finding the best quality renters.

Pet Friendly Rentals Increase Tenancy Renewals

The scarcity of pet friendly rentals has tenants unwilling to let go of their home. Tenant turnover and vacancy can quickly turn a profitable investment into a sinkhole.  Pet friendly properties will lower your vacancy rate and increase your renewals as pet owners stay significantly longer in their rental homes.

Things to consider for Pet Friendly Rentals

Consider collecting a pet deposit when you accept pets at your property.  In British Columbia, a landlord may request a pet damage deposit at the start of a tenancy or during a tenancy if a tenant gets a pet with the landlord’s permission. The deposit must be no more than half of one month’s rent, regardless of the number of pets allowed. These rules do not apply to certified guide and service dogs- learn more about certified guide and service dogs in British Columbia.

Protecting your Pet Friendly Property

When you allow pets on your property, your pet policy, as outlined in the lease agreement provides protections against pet damage in the way of a pet deposit, liability coverage through renter’s insurance, and established rules and expectations regarding pet behavior that need to be clearly outlined.  Carefully screen tenants who request pet friendly rental options and take your property into consideration- a furnished rental or unfurnished rental, as well as the type of pet, is important. For example, puppies are generally riskier as they might chew on furniture or other parts of the home, inexperienced dog owners night allow their dogs to bark or use the inside of the home as a washroom, cats may claw furniture, some animals like ferrets produce unpleasant odors, etc. Pet screening can include requiring applicants to submit references, vet records, obedience training certificates and proof of renters insurance with pet coverage.

If you choose not allow pets at your property, either for personal preference or the strata bylaws of your building, you run the risk of your renters sneaking in an unauthorized pet. Unauthorized pets can cause damage and have the potential to hurt people on your property, all of which the property owner will be responsible for if the tenant leaves.

By allowing pets on your property under certain conditions as outlined in your lease and pet policy, you decrease the occurrences of unauthorized pets.  Additionally, collecting a significant pet deposit from your tenants ($200+) will give more incentive to prevent pet damage because they have money on the line.

Pet Friendly Tenants Tips

Your landlord has agreed to allow you to have pets! While this is great news for tenants, there are some crucial things to keep in mind in your new pet friendly rental.

Being a responsible pet owner not only ensures your furry friend is happy and healthy but also helps your landlord trust your skills and consideration to the property and the safety and comfort of other residents.

  • Always disclose what types of pets you have, and how many.
  • Disclose how long have you had your pet(s).
  • Be sure that your pet spayed or neutered.
  • Ensure that your dog is house trained and cat litter-trained.
  • Be able to answer how will you keep your pet free of fleas and ticks.
  • Provide your pet licensed as required by local bylaws.
  • Make sure your pet wears visible identification at all times.
  • Be sure your pet is appropriately vaccinated.
  • Does your pet have any medical or behavioral problems? If so, how do you manage them?
  • Provide a reference letter from your current landlord and a reference letter from your veterinarian.
  • Be honest about any complaints about your pet.
  • Disclose if your pet ever damaged a rental unit and if so, what type, and did you fix or pay for the damage?

  • How will your pet be cared for while you are away on holidays?
  • Consider formal obedience training for any puppies or dogs that could help with things like barking, aggression, commands etc.
  • Be prepared to answer questions around biting- has your dog ever bitten, either human or another animal? If so, what were the circumstances?
  • If your dog has separation anxiety, consider how it will be managed to avoid disruption to other tenants.
  • How would you describe your dog’s tendency to bark? (rarely or never barks, barks once in a while, vocal) Does your dog bark while you away from home? Will he stop barking on command?
  • How many hours will your dog spend alone each day, on average? Consider enlisting in a dog-walking service if you are away long hours, or dog-daycare.
  • Will you keep your dog leashed in common areas such as hallways or property grounds?
  • Always dispose of your dog’s waste when walking him with proper compostable waste bags and trash bins.
  • Is your cat an indoor cat? If not, how will you ensure he does not disturb other residents?
  • How will you deal with excessive meowing / yowling / other noises?
  • Where do you intend to keep the cat’s litter box and how often will you clean it? Ensure that you are cleaning and disposing of waste often. Never flush cat litter down the toilet, as this will clog pipes and result in serious damage.
  • Always adhere to the pet agreement set out in your lease and inform your landlord immediately of any changes.

The Takeaway

Pet-friendly rentals widen tenant pools, giving property owners the advantage of longer-term tenants and the potential to generate more rental income. Having a clear pet policy, outlined in the lease agreement, will help minimize risk and establish clear expectations about acceptable animal behavior in the rental property.  For landlords wishing to list a pet friendly rental property or needing professional property management assistance,  contact a Rent it Furnished property manager today.

Search thousands of Vancouver pet friendly rentals or  Toronto pet friendly listings available now at Rent it Furnished.