There are many pros and cons when it comes to allowing pets in your Denver rental, but it’s definitely a choice that should be carefully considered. Both Denver and Colorado as a whole have frequented the “Most Pet Friendly” list over the years and odds are that’s not about to change. So when it comes to deciding yay or nay on allowing pets in your rental, what should you consider?
No Pets Allowed
There are many landlords who choose not to allow pets in their investment property. While they steer clear of potential pet damage, saying no to pets actually has a few consequences. Studies show that over 70% of renters in the US have pets. When looking for a rental, many pet owners will filter their search to exclude properties that don’t allow pets. This means that you reduce the amount of exposure your rental ad gets by saying no to Fido. Seventy percent is a pretty huge pool to miss out on. With fewer people looking at your ad, you can expect your vacancy period to last longer which means money lost out of your pocket.
What About Pet Damage?
One of the biggest causes for concern that landlords have in regards to pets is the damage they cause. Scratched floors, stained carpets, ruined landscaping, etc., can easily cost a pretty penny to repair and can sometimes exceed the total of the deposit. However, studies show that the damage caused by pets in rental properties isn’t much higher than the normal damage caused by renters who didn’t have pets. With that in mind, collected an adequate pet deposit is usually enough to cover the damage.
If you’re on the fence about allowing pets, there are options available that don’t reduce the pool of renters who will look at your property. There’s the ever-common “Pets Negotiable” phrase, which allows you to accept pets on a case-by-case basis. You can also add specific language in your ad to allow what you’re comfortable with, like “small dogs only” or “one dog allowed” or “no vicious breed” etc,. If you’re leaning towards saying yes but are still wary of the potential damage, you can always charge a higher pet deposit, pet rent, or non-refundable pet fees. There’s really no limit when it comes to tailoring your options for allowing pets, except when it comes to service and assistance animals of course.
Pets vs Service/Assistance Animals
Under Federal Fair Housing Laws, service animals and assistance animals cannot be refused. Since they’re not considered pets, you can’t charge additional fees or deposits for a tenant who has a service/assistance animal. Make sure you know the difference or else you might find yourself on the wrong side of a Fair Housing violation. You can read more on the difference between pets and assistance animals here!
Allowing pets in your rental not only opens you up to a larger pool of tenants, but can lead to higher tenant retention, too. Pets are family for many and make a house feel like home. And if your tenants are happy where they’re at, they’re less likely to leave. But allowing pets also comes with its own risks. Pet damage can be an issue, and there are certain liabilities that landlords incur when they allow pets in their rental. So when it comes to answering the pet question for your Denver rental property, make sure to choose wisely and consider all of the facts before making that decision.