Should You Make Your New Rental Property “Pet Friendly?”
There are so many things to consider when you are looking to purchase a rental property. Is it close to public transportation? What’s the bedroom to bathroom ratio? How much should I spend to spruce it up? While all of these are great questions that need to be addressed, there’s one that not a lot of people think about. Should I make my property “pet friendly?”
Does It Make Sense To Make Your New Rental Property “Pet Friendly?”
Three-fourths of Americans in their 30s have dogs, while 51 percent have cats, according to a survey released by research firm Mintel. That compares to 50 percent of the overall population with dogs, and 35 percent with cats. “Pets are becoming a replacement for children. They’re less expensive. You can get one even if you’re not ready to live with someone or get married, and they can still provide companionship,” says Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of “Generation Me.”
Pets In Businesses
Businesses are also getting into the pet-servicing industry. Some bars offer “Yappy hours,” there are pet packages at luxury hotels, organic, gluten-free dog food, etc. They know that pets are a big business and will only bring in more money. While I know that you may be keen on installing some plush rugs, cork floors and some serious landscaping, it may benefit you to think pet forward.
Christine Toes, a top real estate broker for Compass in New York City says it only makes sense to make your rental pet friendly. “Allowing pets into your properties is a smart idea. It immediately expands the pool of renters. If you’re worried about possible damage there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. Ask for an extra pet security deposit on top of the security deposit to cover any possible damages. Consider a weight limit for the dogs or do what some people do and don’t allow certain breeds that can be considered aggressive.”
Tenants that are allowed to move in with their pets are more likely to be happy tenants, and speaking to other landlords, those tenants seem willing to sign longer leases. This is a non-monetary, but peace of mind advantage for landlords.
Maximize Income and Minimize Risk
So what can you do to maximize your income and minimize your risk? The first thing would be to figure out the type of flooring and finish that you want. Tile, concrete, or stone floorings allow for easy clean up and won’t stain if and when your tenant’s pet has an accident. If you don’t like the look of stone or tile and want hardwood, go ahead! Just be aware that a persistent urine stain can ruin parts of your flooring so badly that you might have to get those sections replaced. To protect against that, use more coats of finish, or use a tougher, waterborne finish.
You can also protect your floors with rugs. The right rugs will save you wear and tear on the flooring and make for easy washing if you need. A polypropylene or olefin polyester rug or carpet is very stain resistant. Berber rugs are good if there is a long-haired pet in the house. Also, consider where the highest traffic will be and make sure those areas are protected with rugs.
There are also some higher-end touches that you can add that will set your pet friendly property above the others. Consider smaller, pet (or child) sized pocket door gates that can close off different areas of the house. Standard Pacific, a builder based in Irvine, California has truly taken pet friendly to the next level. Some of their properties offer underground invisible fencing, time-locked outdoor pet doors, specific feeding and washing stations that can be hidden as well as camouflaged cat litter boxes, built to look like cabinetry.
Builders, renovators and flippers are always conscious of the changing market and make adjustments when they need to. With more than half of the new generation looking to live comfortably with Fido and Max, spending a few extra dollars up front could reap large financial rewards in the long run!