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"Should I Allow Pets in My Seattle Rental Property?" The Benefits of Renting to Pet Owners

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Many landlords are hesitant to allow pets in their rental properties, but could renters with pets be a smart way to find better tenants (and improve ROIs)? Landlords who are open to the idea of having pets in their rentals will see more people interested in renting from them because many renters have a pet as part of the family, and they want to bring it with them when they move. 

Seattle Washington property owners should be aware that allowing pets can increase revenue, so it's worth considering if you're looking for ways to generate more success from your properties! What should owners consider before offering pet-friendly rentals? Here's what you need to know.

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Good Tenants (With Pets) Are Waiting

When landlords don't allow pets, they might miss out on the best tenants!  

Many people want to live somewhere that will allow their pets, so landlords who are open-minded about this may get more interested tenants. Pet owners are often excellent residents. They understand what it takes for rental owners to allow animals, and it's often difficult to find rentals in Seattle that accept pets. 

When you offer pet-friendly rentals, you broaden your pool of interested, responsible, and quality residents! Pet owners typically follow the rules (including guidelines for keeping pets in rentals), pay the rent on time, and are well worth any fears you might have about bringing pets into your property. These residents also often renew their leases rather than find another property that allows them to bring their beloved pets.

If you're struggling to find quality renters, allowing pets could be the best way to bring better tenants to your rentals!

How Do Pets (and Pet Owners) Boost My Income?

Quality renters are out there, but if you truly hate the idea of a dog or cat in your rental, how does a pet-friendly policy help your income?  

Pet-friendly policies allow you to include pet deposits as part of your lease agreement! Pet owners are usually more than willing to pay higher rent if it includes the cost of having a furry family member with them in the rental property. Many landlords report increased income after adding this stipulation into their lease agreements because many people want to live somewhere where they're allowed to bring their pets. Paying higher up-front costs isn't much of an issue for these types of tenants.

When pet owners decide to renew their lease, Seattle investors also benefit from the opportunity for a slight rent increase and no income loss or marketing costs needed to list a rental and find a new tenant. Quality residents who pay a premium to bring a pet into your rental (and renew their leases) boost your bottom line!

Update the Lease Agreement With Pet Policies

Having a lease agreement in place for pets ensures all parties know what they're getting into and helps with any issues later on down the line! 

Make sure to include provisions for pets, so you (and potential or existing tenants) know what types of animals are allowed and any restrictions. For example, your lease agreement could include information like:

  • Is there a weight limit? 
  • Is it okay if my pet is outside during certain hours? 
  • What happens if the pet damages something at the property? 

Tenants with pets must understand and follow the lease rules to stay in your rental with a pet. If your current lease template doesn't include a pet clause, add a pet addendum that includes the rules, criteria, exclusions, restrictions, and fees or pet deposit amount. 

If you're not sure how to create a legal pet addendum, work with a Seattle, Washington property management company to add it to your lease. A property manager also applies a pet screening process to ensure that any animal living in your property doesn't have a history of aggression, meets your criteria, and is a good fit for your rental.

Golden retriever dog giving five to happy man against white wall

What About Emotional Support Animals or Service Animals?

Some renters might request a reasonable accommodation for a service animal or emotional support animals (ESA's). Can landlords exclude these animals from a rental if they don't offer pet-friendly properties? 

ESA's and service animals are not pets, property owners can't treat them as pets when enforcing the rules. ESAs provide crucial support for people with mental or emotional disabilities and should be allowed so long as there is no concern about harm to other residents. A service animal provides practical support to renters with disabilities, and landlords must allow them in a rental when a resident requests one for daily support. 

If you're unsure whether an emotional support animal qualifies under your lease agreement, contact Seattle Washington property management company to work through the rules and requirements for service animals according to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Property Management and Pets Are a Combination for Better ROIs!

Seattle landlords have a lot to think about when it comes to their rental properties. The last thing you need is the headache of trying to enforce rules for pets in your properties. RentWatch can help! We make sure that pet owners understand and follow the conditions set by landlords, provide screening services, so you don't end up with an unruly tenant who's not qualified for renting from you, and more! 

If this sounds like something you would want us to handle, we'll get started right awayjust give us a call.

Ready to improve your landlord skills? Get our best expert tips in our free resource, "The DIY Landlord Handbook."

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