We’ve talked a lot about pet policies and whether it’s a good idea to even allow pets on your property in the first place. What many property owners and managers tend to ask, however, is whether pets are a good idea when it comes to student-specific housing. And, the answer, again, is: it depends. Like everything else in business, you need to make all considerations to determine the best decision for your property.
If you decide it’s reasonable to allow pet-tenants, it’s best to view them as just that—tenants—and treat them in the same manner you would any other tenant. This includes:
- Lease Language—The lease is your contract and the lifeline of the property. It ensures protection for both you and the tenant. And, just as you would use a tenant to identify the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant, it should also be used to identify the responsibilities and expectations of pet and pet owner. At a minimum, this should include cleaning up after the pet when outside, responsibility for damages done by the pet, noise-related restrictions, and the like. It should also clearly define any breed or weight restrictions, where applicable.
- Pet Deposit—Just like the standard deposit due at move-in, a pet should also require its own deposit. This money is the insurance a property manager needs to hedge against risk of damage or default. This way, the funds are there to cover repairs that result from pet-related issues. Whether the deposit is fully refundable or non-refundable should be clearly identified and defined in the lease.
- Pet Rent—The widespread practice of requiring separate rent for pets is fairly new. Yet, it’s catching on and many properties are now asking pet owners to pay additional monthly rent, often in the range of $10 to $25. The idea, again, is simply to treat the pet as an additional tenant.
Pets can be a slippery slope of challenges for property owners. That’s why you need a knowledgeable property manager in your corner. The professionals at Class A Management have more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and know what it takes to ensure satisfaction—for 2-legged and 4-legged tenants alike.