The Other Victims of Foreclosures: Pets

Posted by Teresa on April 23, 2010 under Housing Trends, Landlord and Tenant FAQs | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

dog1-300x279Are pets welcome in your rental properties? If so, you may have noticed more tenant applicants who are moving their pets along with their kids and furniture. Pet ownership is up in the United States—and so is the percentage of rental units that are pet-friendly.

But one reason for more pet-owning rental applicants may be the increase in foreclosures in the US. A typical track for pet owners is to get that first dog or cat when they buy their first home. But what about after they lose their job and their home—and must return to a rental lifestyle? Many are finding their pets are not welcome at rental units that otherwise work—and often, these socialized, housebroken family pets are being abandoned in shelters.

The rental market is difficult enough right now—why not remove one barrier to filling those vacant homes and apartments that are not making you any money? If you are a landlord who doesn’t accept pets, why not reconsider that policy? Studies show that allowing pets helps fill vacancies—so it’s good for business. And if you create a solid rental pet policy, you may find that the reasons you weren’t accepting pets (noise, damages, liability) were not valid after all.

Besides, it’s bad enough for a family to lose their home, for kids to move away from their neighborhood friends, and possibly switch to a new school. But it’s even worse when the comfort and companionship of a beloved pet is taken away, as well. Pet owners who are allowed to bring these family members along to a new rental are often so grateful, they are more than willing to agree to even the strictest of pet policies.

We’ve written about pet policies before. Check out the basics, and consider allowing pets in your rentals. You might find that with a large enough pet deposit to cover possible damage, plus clear rules and appropriate consequences established up front, pets in your rental properties can work for everyone!