One of the questions that you’ll have to answer as a landlord is whether you want to allow pets on your rental properties or not. While some people discourage allowing pets, we feel that you may want to at least consider the option. It’s not necessary, but it could provide additional potential tenants for the home.
Lease Updates and Pet Policy
If you have not allowed pets in the past, then you’ll need to be sure that your leases are updated to reflect the change. The lease and pet policy needs to be clear regarding the types of animals allowed, breed, size, etc. It also needs to be clear about what happens in the event of damage to the property. Typically, this will be taken out of the security deposit. If there will be pets allowed on the property, you may want to charge a pet deposit. The fee for a pet is usually on top of the security deposit and will generally be $100 to $300 per pet.
A pet screening is essentially a background check for the pet. This can give the landlord a better idea of the pet’s behavior, health, and personality. You may want to require a pet screening to ensure you get a better idea of the pets that are going to be on your property. For example, landlords don’t want to have dangerous pets on the property that could become a danger. Part of the screening will be to ensure that the pet fits the standards that have been put into the lease in terms of size, breed, etc. Having an experienced Las Vegas property management company
Why You Should Consider Allowing Pets
Although you don’t have to allow pets on your property, you may find that it’s a good idea if you do. It can provide more benefits than drawbacks in many cases. Often, people are willing to pay a bit more in rent if they’re allowed to have their pets with them. Additionally, it opens up the potential to find more renters since you won’t be excluding the countless number of people who own dogs and cats.
The potential for greater profit and filled units is often enough to convince landlords to allow pets on the property. Just remember to have a pet policy and update your leases.
What is Considered a Pet?
A pet would be any animal that someone owns, cares for, and considers a part of the family or a good companion. It’s important to realize that certain animals, including service animals and emotional support animals, are not considered pets under federal law. We’ll cover this and why it’s important in more detail below.
Our Recommendations on Type, Size, Breed, and Quantity
We recommend that you allow at least dogs on your property. Millions of people have and love dogs. However, you might also want to consider certain other types of pets, even though we tend to be more selective with other types of animals. You may want to allow cats, birds, fish, and reptiles, for example. Ultimately, it will be up to you, but we can work with you to get a better sense of what will work for you.
When it comes to the size, breed, and quantity, it’s your’ choice. You might want to impose a limit on the number of pets available in the home, for example. This will ensure that people don’t fill the house with pets, which could cause serious issues with cleaning. You might want to disallow certain breeds of dog or sizes of dog that may have a reputation as being dangerous, as well.
If you allow pets on your property, you need to be clear about what’s expected of the tenant in terms of cleaning up after the pet and maintaining the home. The lease, as discussed above, should have the pet policies written clearly.
When you’re considering allowing pets on your property, you need to be sure that you’re complying with the law. Federal law, for example, says that you are required to allow service animals even if you have a no-pet policy in place. Failure to do so would be a violation of the law. Although you might not want to have pets on your property, the law states that these animals are allowed since they’re not pets, they’re providing a service. The same is true of emotional support animals, discussed below.
Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals and service animals are not subject to a landlord’s pet policy, as it would violate the federal fair housing law to discriminate against someone who needs these animals. Service animals and emotional support animals are not considered pets. From a landlord’s perspective, they should be considered as a piece of medical equipment.
Additionally, landlords can’t charge a tenant extra pet rent or an extra pet security deposit for service or emotional support animals. The landlords can’t apply other pet policy rules for weight or breed restrictions for these types of animals either.
However, there are two exceptions in place. If the landlord lives in the unit or they or a member of their immediate family is allergic to the animal, they can deny a service or emotional support animal. Also, if that specific animal has been aggressive and threatened someone, they can deny a rental.
Can I Charge Maintenance or Cleaning for Service Animals?
The pet deposit that you charge should be used to take care of the cleaning after the tenant leaves. The tenant is responsible for cleaning up after their service animals that live on the property.
It’s always important that landlords check with the current state and local laws when it comes to allowing pets on the property. They should also check with the HOA. For example, some communities may restrict the type of animals that are allowed. It’s important to know this before advertising a property as being pet-friendly. We know and understand the laws and can ensure that you have a quality pet policy that is fair and that falls in line with the regulations.
If you have any questions about pet policies then give us a call at (702) 536-9000 to speak with our experienced Las Vegas property management company.