Should I Allow Pets In My Birmingham Rental Property?

Hi, everybody. This is with Will Morton with gkhouses in Birmingham, Alabama. & today I’m going to be talking to you about should you or should you not allow pets in your Birmingham rental properties?

I’m going to talk to you about the pros of allowing them and also some risks or cons against having them in your property as well.

Speaking from my personal experience, I am a pet owner. I have a couple of pets of my own.

I Have Rented Properties In The Past!

So, obviously, I’m a person or a potential candidate that would be looking at…only be looking at properties that would allow pets in the property.

Looking at this, one of the numbers that are out there is, basically, 68% of the U.S households have pets.

And if you decide to not allow pets, in essence, you could be cutting off almost two-thirds of the applicant pool from your property.

If you are definitely going to reduce the number of candidates that are available for your property if you do not allow pets.

So it’s definitely something I’d think about.

The more people that you can have look at your property, the more likely you’re going to be able to rent it.

One of the risks of allowing pets in your property would be, obviously, damage.

So anytime that you’re going to allow pets in your property, you’re going to have the potential that they’re going to damage it.

If a tenant has a dog or a cat or whatever the case may be, there’s some odor that is part of having pets, the potential for any type of urine or feces that a pet may have on a carpet or just the odor, in general.

Structural Issues. (Should I Allow Pets In My Birmingham Rental Property?)

Obviously, sheddings or you’re dealing with hair issues from pets, chewing, any type of structural issues that a pet may cause.

So these are all things that you need to take into consideration. Some people are okay with that.

If you have pets, it’s just one of those things that you just understand happen.

No matter how much you brush a dog or how much you, you know, whatever the case might be, there are going to be some remnants of the pet or animal that are in your house, no matter what kind of animal it is.

So you need to make sure that you’re keeping that in mind if you are or are not going to allow that.

Another Thing Is You’re Looking At Increased Wear And Tear.

So even if a pet doesn’t damage your property, in essence, you’re still having another body or another living thing in your property, which is increasing some wear and tear, not only inside your property.

But you also got to look at if you got a dog that’s running around outside a lot, it can really wear a path in your grass and your backyard.

Can run around, do a lot of different things, you know, brush up against the walls.

It’s just normal wear and tear that’s going to happen.

So even if there’s not necessarily damage or urine or anything like that’s in a house.

You need to consider that, you know, allowing another plant or animal, whatever the case is, in your property is going to add to the normal wear and tear than just a tenant would do on their own.

So some things that you could mitigate this risk or kind of help you allow this.

And One Of The Ways That You Can Go About This Is To Require A Pet Fee. (Should I Allow Pets In My Birmingham Rental Property?)

So a pet fee would be a set of the amount that you would charge.

And, for instance, a $250 pet fee, you charge the candidate or future tenant $250 upfront to have a, we’ll just say a dog in the house.

They pay $250 when they move in.

That is like a non-refundable fee that goes straight to you and you would keep that no matter if they damage it, no matter if they don’t.

So pros of that are, obviously, you have $250 in your pocket from the beginning.

Cons To That, If, You Know, A Tenant Has Already Paid The $250, That’s Really It.

Then, you know, they may not be as concerned with the pet do some type of damage to the property.

Because, you know, hey, whether or not it does or doesn’t do any damage, they’ve already paid that money, so it’s kind of out of sight, out of mind for them.

So you know, pros and cons of a pet fee.

Another Option That You Could Go Would Be A Pet Deposit. (Should I Allow Pets In My Birmingham Rental Property?)

Same situation.

      • With this one, you say $250 deposit for a dog.
      • You put it on file.
      • Put it in an escrow account.

If the pet doesn’t do any damage above normal wear and tear, then you could give that money back.

So this may increase or, you know, you would think that it would be on the tenant’s mind to try and clean up a little bit more, pay more attention to the pet.

And so that they could try and get their money back just like they would their own security deposit that’s on the property.

Another Thing That You Can Do If You Do Decide To Allow Pets Would Be To Go On A Case By Case Basis.

So we do this with a lot of our owners here.

You can require or ask that your future tenants would give you a photograph of the animal.

And, then you can actually look at the animal and determine, do you want to allow this pet or do you not want to allow this pet based off of size, based off of breed, based off of, you know, is it a cat? Is it a dog?

Some People Will Allow Dogs, Some People Won’t Allow Cats. (Should I Allow Pets In My Birmingham Rental Property?)

It’s totally up to you. You can be as specific or as generalized as you would like to be.

But this gives you some options and allows you to look at it.

One thing that we do here at gkhouses, is we have a dangerous breeds policy.

A lot of insurance companies will do the same thing.

They’re not going to allow or insure properties based on certain types of breeds.

Look Up The Laws In Your Area.

So make sure you look up the laws in your area and you understand what is and isn’t allowed.

But, you know, some of the dangerous breeds you can look up online and say, “Hey, I’m not going to allow this, but I will allow, you know, a dog, you know, up to 30 pounds,” for instance, and just move forward like that.

So those are a couple of options of if you are going to allow pets in your house, what you can do, pet fees, pet deposits, case by case basis, size, what type of animal that it is.

And those just some things that you can think about when you’re doing it.

So Talk To You About Some Things Kind Of For, Kind Of Against It.

Again, this Will with gkhouses here in Birmingham, Alabama.

Again, I am my pet owner, so I’m kind of leaning more towards that side of it, to give you my argument on that.

But if you’ve got any questions about Birmingham property management, feel free to reach out to us here.

Our phone number is (205) 940-6363 extension 3 or you can look us up online, gkhouses.com.

Thanks for checking us out.