Allowing animals in rental properties can be a great way for landlords to increase their profit potential and decrease vacancy time. Animals can provide a range of benefits for landlords, including increased rental income, reduced tenant turnover, and improved tenant satisfaction.
According to research conducted by Michelson Found Animals and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, creating a pleasant atmosphere for pet owners has proven to be a highly effective means of achieving their desired goal.
The 2021 Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative (PIHI) Report revealed that people living in rental housing that allows pets stay 21% longer than those living in places that do not permit pets. The report characterized pet-friendly housing as any rental property that allows residents to keep at least one pet, regardless of other restrictions. This should be an astounding figure for landlords trying to decrease vacancy and turn expenses.
Contemplate the financial implications: You have the potential to cut back on marketing and unit turnover expenditures as there is less turnover of your residents. Similarly, 83% of owner/operators surveyed said that pet-friendly units are occupied quickly, which leads to fewer days of lost revenue.
The report elaborates that a ban or restriction on particular breeds or weights of animals does not guarantee that tenants will not have a forbidden pet living in their unit. In fact, it is estimated that 11% of tenants have a pet they are not allowed to possess. This could potentially mean that operators could earn an additional $1.5 billion annually if they allowed these pets and levied fees and pet rent for them.
A Clear Lack of Connection
Although landlords and property managers may believe they are doing enough for tenants with pets, the PIHI report indicates that occupants have a different opinion.
The PIHI report revealed that a majority of owner/operators (76%) stated their properties accept some pets. However, a large proportion of residents (72%) struggle to locate pet-friendly housing that is both accessible and affordable (59%). Additionally, 24% of inhabitants said their pet was a contributing factor for needing to move, and a sorrowful 14% were forced to give up their pet due to housing issues.
It is evident that landlords or multifamily units can open their doors to pet owners and their animals in a secure and prudent way, thereby finding more monetary gain from it.
“Pet owners are perceived to be nice, friendly, caring, and good people by their neighbors. In comparison to others, including neighbors with children, pet owners are preferred by both pet-owning and nonpet-owning residents.”— PIHI
Extending a Warm Welcome
Rather than simply putting out the welcome mat, this phrase implies making a more concerted effort to extend a warm and inviting atmosphere.
What elements should a modern, progressive pet policy possess? According to the PIHI report, apartment communities should consider certain suggestions to appeal to pet owners who strive for a high standard of living for both themselves and their pets.
Some of the proposed ideas are:
- Do away with or minimize pet deposits and fees. As an alternative, apartment buildings and landlords can use a standard security deposit to cover the minor damage pets usually produce. If making such a sweeping change is not feasible, encourage pet owners to apply by offering a complimentary month of pet rent or overlooking pet deposits for new inhabitants. Even reducing initial pet fees to a more management charge is highly effective. While others may charge exuberant fees, renters with pets are more likely to apply for a home with pet fees/rent that are more in line with their budget.
- Relax or get rid of restrictions on dog size and breed. Property insurance regulations are often given as an explanation for such limitations, however, apartment proprietors and operators should make sure their policies actually necessitate these regulations.
- Increase the number of animals allowed in every apartment. If you only allow one animal per unit, consider increasing it to two. To get a better understanding of the situation, consult with your HOA to get a better understanding of their specific limitations.
- Provide a number of pet-related facilities. Elements such as pet-washing spots, dedicated pet parks and exercise spaces, and regularly supplied pet-waste bag stations can add to the lasting pleasure of tenants and will help in advertising campaigns directed towards potential pet owners.
It should be highlighted that simply eliminating or reducing regulations on animal breeds and size does not mean that apartment operators should accept any pet owner without evaluating them. It is essential to scrutinize each pet and their owner to pick up any potential behavior problems. Additionally, tenants should be asked to sign a pet agreement which has the duties of the owner and the penalties for misconduct, such as not picking up after the pet or letting it run around without a leash. The agreement should also mention what steps will be taken if a pet bites another resident or animal.
The Large Overview of Pet Friendly Housing
It is essential to have an understanding of the big picture when making decisions or taking action. Taking a step back to look at the large overview can help to provide clarity and focus on the most important aspects.
It is evident that U.S. citizens have a deep affection for their pets, which is totally justified. The America Pet Products Association states that 7 out of 10 households own a pet, and in 2020, Americans devoted a total of $99 billion for their furry friends. Now in 2023, our personal stats indicate that this figure is like 8 out of 10 renters are pet owners.
It is believed that offering a pet-inclusive atmosphere in apartment complexes will draw and keep more occupants, thus resulting in a greater financial gain for the portfolio.