The pungent smell of ammonia assaults your nose. The door frames are gone, with only teeth marks remaining. These are the horror stories landlords tell as a cautionary tale to not allow pets.
You need to take these stories with a grain of salt. They are the most extreme cases and do not represent all pet tenants. Before you decide if you'll allow pets in a rental property, consider the pros and cons.
Pro: Larger Rental Property Tenant Pool
You want to attract high-quality tenants to your rental property. Some of the best-quality tenants have pets. Not allowing their furry family members means you have drastically narrowed your applicant pool.
Pro: Longer Rental Tenant Terms
People who own pets have demonstrated that they can make long-term commitments. Cats and dogs can easily live for well over a decade. This stability in their personal life can translate to stability in their living location.
As a landlord, you want your tenants to stay for multiple lease terms. Accepting tenants with pets can help you retain good tenants for longer.
Pro: Increased Profit Potential
Your rental property pricing can increase when you allow pets. First, Georgia law does not restrict you from charging a pet deposit or fee. This can represent an additional income stream or protection in case the pet causes damage.
In addition, you could consider charging a monthly pet rent or increasing the monthly rent. This will increase your monthly income and rental property ROI.
Pro: Consistent Rental Payments
Owning a pet requires the owner to be responsible. They need to ensure the pet gets adequate care.
This commitment to responsibilities translates to other areas of the pet owner's life. As the rental property owner, it can mean more reliable rental payments.
Con: Rental Property Damage
The biggest drawback of allowing pets in your rental is the risk of damage. There are two types of damage. There is the natural wear and tear that comes with pets living on the property.
This damage is minor. You will probably need to clean the carpet or refinish the flooring from nail marks.
The second type of damage is destructive. It typically requires major repairs to address. However, this is why you charge a pet security deposit.
Con: Increased Liability
As a property owner, you have to be aware of Georgia dog bite laws. While your tenant owns the property, not you, you could still get pulled into litigation. In some situations, you could even be found liable for the dog bite.
Regardless of actual liability, defending yourself in court can take years. This is a time-consuming and expensive process. For some landlords, the risk is not worth accepting pets.
Other rental property owners limit their liability by properly maintaining their property and only accepting certain species, breeds, and sizes.
Will You Allow Pets in a Rental Property?
Whether you accept pets in a rental property is a personal decision. As a landlord, you must decide if the pros outweigh the cons. While there is a risk of damage and liability, there are plenty of financial benefits.
Talk with our team of rental property managers who have over 20 years of experience, and learn about other ways to increase your rental property profitability.