Many landlords want to know if it is a good idea to allow a tenant to have a pet. The benefit of a pet policy in Palo Alto allowing tenants to have pets in your residential property is that you have a larger group of renters to consider. A lot of people have pets, and they will obviously be looking for properties that will allow them to move in with their animals.
There is often a fear that the pet will destroy the property. This is an understandable fear but remember that people can do just as much damage, if not more, than a pet. Damage to your property is always a concern when you rent it out, regardless of your pet policy. Generally, if you can find a good, highly qualified tenant who has a pet, you can expect that the tenant will take excellent care of the pet as well as your property. Most of our experience has shown that your best tenants will always take care of their animals and make sure damage to the home is rare.
Here are a few tips to remember when considering your pet policy. These 3 things will help put your mind at ease and keep your residential property in good shape:
Ask for an additional deposit. If you decide to rent to a tenant who has a pet, you can increase the amount of the deposit required before moving in. Be careful not to call it a separate pet deposit. Include it in your regular deposit because if you call it a pet deposit, then you will have to prove that the pet caused damage before you can use that deposit money to fix anything. That is a hassle you do not want to bother with. Instead, put it all together in one deposit. Damage is damage, and the larger your deposit the easier it will be to clean or repair any mess created by the tenant or the pet.
Require renters insurance from your tenant. You could also require a policy with additional liability coverage from your tenants who have pets. If your renter’s dog bites someone on your property, the tenant can then help out with the liability that comes along with that dog bite.
Note on the lease that your property must be cleaned and treated for fleas. If you stipulate this expectation and require the tenant to pay for any pet cleaning and flea treatment, you can minimize the damage that might be done to your residence when a dog or cat lives there.
Allowing pets is a good idea, as long as you find a tenant who is qualified and takes good care of both the animal and the property. A pet policy that allows you to charge a higher deposit, require renters insurance and expect cleaning and treatment for fleas will protect you and your investment property. If you have any questions about how to put a pet policy in place, or any other property management concerns, please give us a call at Real Estate Connections, (408) 873-2100.