All of the pets featured below are dear friends or family members of Mynd!
Whether they live in a mansion, single-family home or apartment, it’s no secret that pets bring great joy and happiness to their owners. And when a pet owner is happy in their residence, they’re more likely to remain in that residence for a long time. It also turns out that a majority of U.S residents in their 30s, who constitute a large portion of the rental pool, own at least one pet. A whopping 75% of people in their 30s own a dog, while more than half own a cat, according to a recent study by Zumper.com.
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Since a significant portion of the rental pool owns at least one pet, property owners who restrict pets at their properties are losing out on significant rental income in the form of shorter-term leases, lower rents, vacancy issues and pet deposits.
Doug Brien, CEO and Co-Founder of Mynd Property Management, says that allowing pets in your rental property is “a no-brainer. It’s simply about setting up a policy that protects you as an owner.” Pet insurance, pet deposits and higher-priced pet deposits are examples of how owners can keep their rental investments safe, sound and protected.
“That’s the bottom line. As an investor, you have to be data-driven. People have long-held opinions about allowing pets in their properties, but I urge them to make data-driven decisions, not emotional ones. There’s a way to allow pets in your property, while limiting your downside,” Brien shares.
Pet Owners Generally Sign Longer-Term Leases
The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare (FIREPAW) created a study showing how having pets in rental properties impacts both residents and owners. According to the data collected by the nonprofit organization, residents remained in pet-friendly units for nearly four years on average, while residents of properties that restrict pets stayed for only 18 months.
Pets Equal Higher Occupancy Levels
Limiting vacancies is often challenging for property owners, especially if they are handling leasing themselves. Allowing pets in your rental property is a great way to boost demand and limit those vacancies. According to FIREPAW, pet-friendly rentals have much lower vacancy rates–10% on average. Meanwhile, vacancies for properties that restrict pets are 400 basis points higher at 14%. That discrepancy represents a significant loss of rental income per month.
Owners Can Collect Higher Rent for Pets
Based on the FIREPAW report, pet-friendly owners are able to charge higher rents. The rent premium found was between 20% and 30% of the average rent. For example, using resident data, pet-friendly owners charged $222 more on average than owners with a policy of not accepting pets. These rental rate findings were based on an apartment that rents for $1,070 a month.
Pet Deposits and Total Deposits Are Larger for Pet-Friendly Rentals
On average, pet-friendly rental housing owners charge a separate pet deposit. The average pet deposit was between 40% and 85% of the total monthly rent. “In general, it should be noted that in addition to a separate pet deposit, the average total deposit was larger for pet-friendly housing,” according to FIREPAW. Even when limiting the type or size of a pet in a residence, you limit your ability to maximize your rents. Rentals with a limited pet policy commanded lower rents (by an average of $100) than non-restrictive pet-friendly housing.
How to Protect Your Investment If You Allow Pets
While there is tremendous upside to leasing your property to a pet owner, there can also be some downside to consider. The main concerns among property owners are two-fold: Pets could cause damage to their rental property and dangerous breeds could present a health and safety issue to residents. Both statements are true, but there are steps you can take as an owner to completely mitigate those concerns.
“Technology is a great start when it comes to protecting your rental investment,” explains Brien. “There are all kinds of data-driven tools and websites that you can utilize to get a pet screened.” PetScreening.com, for instance, helps property managers screen pets, and it helps residents track records on their pets.
Another way to protect your investment is to consult with an experienced property manager in your area. A good property manager understands which pet breeds are considered dangerous and could cause potential damage to your rental. A property manager will also provide you with an idea of how much more rent you can command per month if you allow pets.
For more information about the benefits of allowing pets in your rental property, contact us today.