Pets are common in many homes, but the decision as to whether or not to allow them in your apartment complex can be a complicated one as while pets are popular, they can damage blinds, carpets, cabinets, and much more. Here are some points to consider when creating your pet policy.

Allowing Pets, Things To Consider:

A lot more people looking to live in an apartment complex for a while will consider you as they can move with their pets. Other tenants like having the option of possibly adopting down the road. While allowing pets is such an immensely popular option, you don’t need to feel bullied into letting everyone with their elephant, kangaroo, or poisonous tree frog in to use your apartment as some sort of farm. You as the landlord or policy director have the power to choose not only what animals you let into the property, but also how many, and what you’ll charge.

  • You can charge pet rent, 25 to 50 dollars per animal is usually considered reasonable. You can charge different depending on whether it is a dog or a cat.
  • Limit the number of dogs and cats a tenant can have, 2 dogs or 3 cats is generally considered as much as is humane.
  • Ramp up the initial deposit or require an additional small deposit per dog or cat. You can also require a non-refundable deposit to replace the carpets regardless.
  • Consider waving pet rent if tenants move in on the first floor. This is a great way to cut down on noise, and get the bottom floor tenanted by someone who’s dog just might not be able to wait for an on-hold elevator.
  • If you don’t want to allow dogs, consider cats only. Don’t like cats? Consider caged animals and fish. This makes your apartment viable to more people, without incurring much animal damage.
  • Have a restricted breeds list of dogs with violent temperaments. If you allow caged animals, consider adding a few exotic caged animals to that list.
  • Do you have a maintenance team up to the task? Damage from pets can happen anywhere, so you need to make sure either your maintenance staff is trained to handle superficial damage or more severe apartment traumas.

Why Not To Allow Pets, Advantages:

Some apartments have a hard time replacing carpets, or simply don’t want to make the investment. Other times, apartments cleverly market a no-pet-policy to tenants who would enjoy animal free living. Many apartments catering to short term clientele, professionals, or students implement a no-pet-policy to provide shorter windows preparing an apartment between move out and move in. Other advantages include:

  • Allergy free campus, no animal dander.
  • Lower rent or deposit due to minimal wear and damage.
  • No poop in the halls or on the property.
  • No need to register dogs or cats.
  • No complications when owner’s aren’t home and maintenance goes in.
  • And yes, no dead fish clogging the pipes.

So Which Policy Is Better? The Jury Is Out:

It is a tough decision whether to allow animals or not. If you choose not to, your residents can look forward to quiet nights free of barking and yowling as well as poop free hallways and lower deposits. If you have the maintenance staff or third party resources however to allow some kind of a pet policy, even if it is just cats or caged animals, you will see an immediate increase in interested future lessees for apartments in all price brackets. Animals bring in more tenants and money, but you ultimately must decide if it is worth the hassle and risk.