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Pets or no pets? That’s a question every landlord in Orlando, FL must consider. Americans are a nation of pet lovers. Approximately 66.5 million households have at least one pet, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

It may be worthwhile to consider making your property pet-friendly if it isn’t. That said, pets have their own share of shortcomings. In particular, pets can cause excessive property damage.

Considering the two sides – should you or should you not allow pets in your Orlando rental property?

The only way to make an informed decision is by looking at the pros and cons of each option. So, in today’s blog, we’ll do exactly that to help you make an informed decision.

Why You Should Allow Pets into Your Rental Property

1. You may be able to charge higher rental price.

The goal of any landlord is to make as much money from their investment as possible. If you allow pets into your property, you may be able to do just that.

Why?

Not many rentals allow pets into their properties.

2. Tenants with pets usually rent longer.

It’s the dream of every landlord to have tenants who rent longer. This is because tenant turnover costs can eat into profits. With a pet-friendly property, you can increase your chances of landing a tenant who will stay long-term.

According to The Balance, pet owners typically stay in a rental longer. And the logic behind this is simple: it’s harder for tenants with pets to find another pet-friendly option.

3. Tenants with pets tend to be more responsible.

Caring for a pet isn’t a simple thing to do. Pet care can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive.

pet-friendly-home

Generally speaking, if a tenant is mature enough to care of their pet, chances are high that they will be responsible with your property too.

4. You will enjoy a larger tenant pool.  

There are many studies that point to the fact that a significant proportion of people in the U.S. have pets. The National Pet Owners Survey, for example, states that over two-thirds of U.S. families own a pet.

Zillow even estimates that up to 76% of millennial renters own a pet. Thus, allowing pets into your property may mean having a larger pool of tenants to work with.

5. Pet owners make more money.

65% of pet owners earn over $50,000 annually, according to Practical Apartment Management. The more the tenant makes, the lower the chances that he or she will be unable to pay rent.

That said, always insist on running a credit check on every tenant. A tenant’s income may not tell the whole story.

Why You Should Not Allow Pets on Your Rental Property

Allowing pets into your rental property has its own share of shortcomings as well:

1. Pets can cause damage to your Orlando rental property.

Understandably, many landlords are usually nervous about renting to pet owners. There are some pet owners who may allow their furry friends to cause property damage or disturb the peace of neighbors.

dog-bed

Examples of property damage a pet can cause to your property include:

  • Destroyed landscaping
  • Chewed cables or wires
  • Bad odors
  • Chewed wood
  • Scratch marks

2. Pets can be noisy.

Dogs can be very noisy. Their excessive barking can disrupt the peace of their neighbors.

Imagine multiple pets in the property. Keeping the noise levels to a managed level can be extremely difficult.

3. Pets can cause bad odor inside the property.

Litter boxes need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The tenant responsible for their pet also needs to be able to act on pet accidents promptly. If they don’t, the bad odor can quickly build up in common areas.

4. Pets can cause physical injuries to other people.

There is a risk of the animal biting other neighbors or tenants. In fact, dogs bite 4.7 million people a year, with 800,000 of those requiring medical attention according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5. You may lose other tenants.

Some people are allergic to pets. Other tenants may also decide to move because of the disruption from pets. Remember, tenants have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

cardboard-box-moving

A tenant may move solely on the basis that you have infringed on their right to a quiet and peaceful environment.

Know How to Screen Tenants with Pets

Most landlords in Orlando usually require prospective tenants to meet a certain criteria before allowing them to rent their property. Generally, the criteria when screening them involves checking the tenant’s income, verifying their creditworthiness, and their rental and criminal background.

If you allow pets, make a point of also checking the tenant’s references. Find out from their references whether there has been trouble with their pets or not.

You may also want to see the pet for yourself, as well as ask the owner some few questions. Such questions include:

  • How do you control fleas?
  • Is your pet properly licensed?
  • Has your dog had any obedience training?
  • Who looks after the pet when you are away?

Share with your tenant any pet restrictions you may have. These may include the type of pet, breed, size, and weight of the pet.

Follow the Fair Housing Laws

According to the Fair Housing Law, it’s illegal for any landlord to discriminate against a tenant based on the following protected classes: sex, religion, color, race, disability, national origin, and familial status.

You cannot deny housing to a disabled person, regardless of whether you allow pets or not.

The big question, pets or no pets? There is no direct answer here. You need to make your decision based on what works for you. Hopefully, this information will help you make an informed decision.