Rental properties provide a great way to earn passive income and a great way to increase your income capacity is to make your property pet-friendly.
While some landlords may hesitate to allow pets by restricting them in rental properties for fear of damages and liabilities, there are a number of compelling yet practical reasons why pet-friendly rentals can actually offer better returns.
However, by doing so it can lead to missed opportunities for both landlords and tenants.
An increasing segment of the population
For example, according to a survey conducted by Apartments.com, 72% of renters own pets.
This means that by not allowing pets in your rental properties, you could be missing out on a large potential pool of tenants and pet owners are often willing to pay more for pet-friendly rentals, with some studies showing that they are willing to pay up to 20% more in rent and fees.
According to a survey by FIREPAW Inc., 84% of pet owners reported difficulty finding rental housing that allowed pets, and 65% reported having to give up a pet due to rental restrictions.
Pet homelessness issues
Disallowing pets in rental properties can also have negative impacts on both landlords and tenants.
This can be a heartbreaking experience for both pet owners and their companions and can lead to increased surrender rates at animal shelters and higher rates of pet homelessness.
Increased vacay rates
Moreover, landlords may find themselves with high vacancy rates and longer periods of time without rental income if they restrict pets, while tenants may struggle to find suitable housing for themselves and their furry companions.
By allowing pets, landlords can open up their rental units to a larger pool of potential tenants, many of whom are willing to pay higher rent and fees.
Encourages long-term occupancy
In addition, a pet-friendly rental property can encourage longer-term tenants, as pet owners are often reluctant to move due to the difficulty of finding suitable housing.
Moreover, allowing pets can be a way for landlords to differentiate themselves from competitors and attract more renters.
This can also have a positive impact on the community as it reduces rates of pet homelessness and a great likelihood of pets finding loving, permanent homes.
Benefits of owning pets
Owning a pet is a responsibility, and this responsibility can be particularly challenging for tenants who may face difficulty in finding rental properties that allow pets.
Here are some benefits of pets in a rental property:
Pets provide companionship and can reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Dogs, in particular, can provide a sense of security for tenants, which can be beneficial for those living alone.
Some pets, such as cats and dogs, can provide emotional support for people who suffer from anxiety or other mental health issues.
Improved physical health
Studies have shown that pets can have a positive impact on the physical health of their owners. For example, walking a dog can help improve cardiovascular health.
Petting or playing with a pet has been shown to lower stress levels.
Backed by research
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that pet ownership was associated with lower levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety among adults with mental health conditions, while another 2015 study found in the Journal of Holistic Nursing suggested that pet therapy reduced anxiety and depression in cancer patients.
A 2012 research published by the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing noted that pet ownership was associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease, while another study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, and were less lonely than non-pet owners.
However, do take note that despite the evidence to support the therapeutic benefits of pets, it is important to note that the studies listed above are just a few examples.
Additionally, while pets can provide benefits to people, there may be individuals or situations where pet ownership is not appropriate or feasible for some.
It is important to carefully consider the decision to have a pet and to ensure that both the pet’s and the owner’s needs are being met in a responsible and sustainable way.
How to promote a pet-friendly property
Rental property owners and real estate agents can take several steps to better promote and advertise pet-friendly properties for their clients, including:
Highlighting pet-friendly features
When advertising a pet-friendly property, agents should be sure to highlight any features that make the property more welcoming for pets, such as a fenced-in yard, pet doors, or nearby parks and walking trails.
Using targeted advertising
Real estate agents can target their advertising to specific audiences, such as pet owners or individuals who have recently adopted a pet.
This can be done through social media advertising, email marketing, or even by partnering with local pet supply stores or veterinarians.
Including photos of pets
Including photos of pets in property listings can help potential renters visualise themselves and their pets in the space.
Agents can ask current tenants to provide photos of their pets enjoying the property or even hire a professional pet photographer to capture images that showcase the property’s pet-friendliness.
Creating a pet policy
Property owners should work with their agents or property managers to create a clear and concise pet policy that outlines the rules and regulations for pet owners renting the property.
This can include things like size and breed restrictions, the number of pets allowed, and any additional fees or deposits required.
Providing resources for pet owners
Landlords or real estate agents can provide resources for pet owners such as information about local veterinarians, pet supply stores, dog parks, and pet-friendly restaurants and businesses.
This shows that the agent is invested in the well-being of the pet, which can be a major selling point for many renters.
By taking these steps, real estate agents can better promote and advertise pet-friendly properties for their clients, ultimately attracting more renters and helping property owners achieve higher occupancy rates.