Should You Allow Pets In Your Nashville Rental House?

Spencer: Hi. I’m Spencer Sutton with gkhouses. I’m here with Matthew Whitaker and today, I want to answer the question or we want to answer the question, “Should you allow pets in your Nashville rental house?”

So this is a question that we get asked all of the time. I’ve taken a number of calls, and so have you, from owners that want to know, you know, that we’re talking about the price of the house, like how much they should lease the house for.

And then ultimately the question comes up, “Do you want to allow pets or not?”

And, You Know, I’m Standing Here Today.

I love my dogs. I’ve always had black Labs. Matthew is standing here. He is not a pet lover.

Matthew: Yeah, I’m not a huge pet lover. And for the same reason, you probably wouldn’t want a pet in your house.

You get dog hair. You get scratches. You have pets tearing up the yard. There’s all sorts of reasons why you wouldn’t want a pet.

And I don’t know why you want to pet, honestly, but…

Spencer: Well, I’ll tell you why you might want a pet if you’re in your rental house in Nashville and that is you open up the pool of potential applicants.

So this is one of the first things that we talk about. If you decide to go against having pets in your house, it’s totally up to you.

However, you shrink that pool, maybe in half.

Matthew: Yeah, that’s the big issue is most people have pets these days. It’s amazing how many applications we take with pets.

I would say it’s even greater than half, maybe more like 60%.

People Love Their Pets! (Should You Allow Pets In Your Nashville Rental House?)

People love their pets and they’re willing to pay money, large amounts of money to make sure those pets.

I mean, you see them on airline flights, you see them traveling with them.

People are in love with their pets these days. So that’s part of the challenge is marrying the risk with the reward.

Like cutting out 40% or 50% of your possible rental possibilities is just a bad way of doing business.

So to me, the whole thing is figuring out what’s a reasonable risk-reward situation.

Spencer: So that’s a great question. So what can you do?

So what can somebody in Nashville do if they’re not really sure, but they want to mitigate some of the risks? What are some of the things?

Mathew: Yeah, pets are not a protected class. I mean, certainly this isn’t a video about service animals or emotional support animals.

This is strict, “Hey, they’re pets.” But one of the things we can do is number one, restrict the breeds.

There are certain dangerous dog breeds that we just will not or don’t want to allow in the house.

We actually shot a video on that, if you want to take a look at it.

The next thing I would do is restrict the size. Like if you wanted to say, “Hey, we don’t want to go any more than 50, 40, 30 pounds.”

Now, we’re not going to get the scale out and weigh the dog but the whole idea is that smaller dogs do less harm than bigger dogs.

Spencer: Yeah. And if you’re taking an application, they mark they have a pet, you can also require or ask for a picture of the pet and put it in your file, things like that.

Mathew: What I’ve found works best is we do pets on an app, on a case by case basis.

And basically we present the pet to the owner and they decide, “Hey, yes or no?”

And I just feel like that’s, kind of, the best of both worlds. It allows you to also see what else is coming down the pipe in terms of demand for your house.

Obviously, just like you…I mean, even though Spencer loves dogs, if two people are exactly equal and one has a pet, it does seem like you would want to rent to the one without a pet.

Spencer: Correct.

Matthew: That puts you in a position when you, say, on a case-by-case basis to be able to choose.

And I just think that’s a great way to handle this type of situation

Spencer: So, now talk about what about pet deposit, pet fee, what else can they do? (Should You Allow Pets In Your Nashville Rental House?)

Matthew: Yeah, there’s two. I had two kinds of rules of thought here.

A pet fee is something that an owner pays that basically goes directly to the landlord or to the property manager.

A pet deposit is something that is basically held in escrow. And then when they move out is, is basically make sure that the dog or the cat or whatever pet doesn’t do any damage.

Normal Wear And Tear!

The idea behind the pet fee is that it’s going to do some normal wear and tear. You’re actually having an extra body living in that home.

The idea behind the pet deposit is it does give the tenant a way to basically get that money back. It makes them be more responsive.

Spencer: An incentive. It’s an incentive.

Yeah, It’s An Incentive.

Matthew: Yeah, it’s an incentive. So if the dog pees on the carpet, the theory goes into a pet fee.

They like, “Well, I’ve already paid for it.” Which is not 100% the case, but under a pet deposit, then they’re worried about getting the pee back up.

Spencer: Yeah. So I think those are some good things to consider.

Like, if you are a pet lover up, I’ve spoken with many owners who are giving us their rental houses and they love pets or houses set up for pets, they’ve got a pet door, or whatever the case is, then this is going to be a no-brainer for you.

But if you’re on the fence, we hope that this has given you some things to think about.

And if you ever want to talk to us about property management in Nashville, we’d love to hear from you.

Check out our website, gkhouses.com and then you can also call us 615-925-3880, extension 3. We’d love to talk to you.

Matthew: Bye.