Should I Allow Pets In My Chattanooga Rental Property?

Hey folks, Alex Smith here from gkhouses, Chattanooga. I wanted to do a video for you today about pets and so, Should I allow Pets In my Chattanooga Rental Property?

That is the question.

I bet you didn’t think you would get a little bit of Shakespeare with your property management video today.

So, you’re welcome.

Pets are not a protected class, so if you want to allow pets, that’s perfectly fine.

If you don’t want to allow any pets, that’s also perfectly fine.

The Other Thing To Keep In Mind Is That This Video Is Only For Regular Pets.

So, if you’re dealing with a situation with an emotional support animal or a service animal, those rules are completely different for those two things. So, this is just for regular pets.

Why Should You Allow Pets? (Should I Allow Pets In My Chattanooga Rental Property?)

So, you know, from the number of applications we get, we see about 60% of those, potentially more, of people that have pets and are wanting to bring their pets with them to live.

The Other Thing With That Is In Theory, You Should Be Able To Rent Your House Faster.

If you have a bigger pool of, you know, people looking at your house, meaning people that, you know, have a pet and are bringing it with them to your house that they’re going to rent.

Why Shouldn’t You Allow Pets? (Should I Allow Pets In My Chattanooga Rental Property?)

So, you’re going to have potential wear and tear on the house. I guess let me back up a little bit.

If you decide to not allow pets, you know, as I said earlier, 60%, maybe more, of people are looking to rent a house with a pet.

So, if you don’t allow pets, you’re shrinking that renter base by a pretty big amount.

But, you know, as for why shouldn’t you allow pets, obviously, potentially more wear and tear on the house.

Some Liability.

And then, potentially, some liability on your end if somebody gets injured because of the animal.

This could be, you know, a friend coming over to visit, this could be somebody walking by, this could be a neighbor, anything like that.

So, how are some ways that, you know, you can mitigate your risk for allowing pets?

You Can Do A Pet Deposit Or A Pet Fee. (Should I Allow Pets In My Chattanooga Rental Property?)

The difference between those two is the pet deposit is refundable, the pet fee is not.

So, the pet fee would go directly to you as the landlord.

The pet deposit would be held in escrow, and then at the end of the lease term.

If, you know, you’re satisfied with the amount of damage or lack thereof, you know, from the pet or otherwise, the tenant could get that money back.

Whereas there’s a pet fee, you know, that money is yours, you don’t have to worry about giving it back if or when they move out.

Combination Of Deposit.

You can also do pet rent and forego the pet fee or you can do some combination of a pet deposit, pet fee, and pet rent.

What pet rent is, you’re basically charging an extra, you know, like 10, 20, 30 bucks.

Whatever you feel is appropriate, per month for as long as the tenant’s in there.

So, you know, those are some…

If you want to use one or some combination of all of those, those are a pretty good way to mitigate risk.

And obviously, you can’t, always mitigate all risk, unfortunately.

The Other Thing You Can Do Is Market Your Property With, You Know, Pets On A Case-by-case Basis.

This is kind of the best of both worlds.

So that way, you know, you can decide if you can also… I guess, let me back up.

You can require or you can market your house with pets on a case-by-case basis.

And then you can also require a picture of somebody’s pet on the application.

So, you can say, you know, “This dog’s too big or, you know, this person doesn’t have a dog, I would rather rent to them.”

That’s perfectly fine.  As I said, pets are not a protected class.

The Other Thing You Can Do Is You Can Limit The Size Of The Pets That You Want To Allow In Your House.

So, we do this all the time where, you know, maybe somebody’s not comfortable with a pet in the house and they don’t want any dogs bigger than 30 pounds or they want only cats or they want only dogs under 25 pounds.

There’s a myriad of options there.

And, you know, if you want to allow pets but don’t want a big dog, you know, those are some options for you too.

But that’s pretty much it.

So, if you have any questions, you know, please feel free to reach out to me.

Again, my name is Alex Smith. I’m up here in the gkhouses, Chattanooga office.

You can call me, 423-648-7368, extension 3, or you can shoot me an email, if that’s your thing, support@gkhouses.com.

Thanks. See you.