When you’re establishing a pet policy, it’s important to balance the risk of allowing pets against the risk of not allowing them. Your Boise rental property lease should specifically state what your pet policy is and how the tenant is expected to maintain your home when a pet is allowed.
Not all pets are going to cause damage. Pet damage that exceeds a tenant’s deposit might happen to one in 10 tenants, or even one in 20 tenants. For example, if a pet causes a lot of damage at your property and you end up with damage that’s $3,500, the tenant’s security deposit of $1,000 won’t cover it. That means you still have $2,500 worth of pet damage to pay for. So, if you don’t allow pets at all, you’ll save yourself this $2,500 for every 10 or 20 tenants who live in your property. What you need to remember is that 80 percent of tenants in the Boise area are pet owners. So in order to find a tenant, you’ll be facing a longer vacancy or you’ll have to lower your price in order to find a tenant without a dog or a cat. Think about the math: if your home is $1,000 per month and it takes you an extra month to find a tenant without a pet, you’ll lose that $1,000. After 10 tenants, that loss climbs to $10,000 because of longer vacancies. So, not allowing pets in order to save that $2,500 could actually cost you $10,000.
When you do allow pets, charge the tenant a pet fee. Put the money you collect in pet fees into your maintenance fund in case you need to fix up the house after an animal has lived there. If you charge $300 for one pet or $500 for two pets, you will be able to accumulate at least $3,000 for every 10 turnovers.
Screen pets with the same detail that you screen tenants. You can really minimize the risk and liability that comes with animals when you do this. Talk to previous landlords and find out if any pet damage was left behind. It helps to find out how the animal has acted in the past.
Contact the experts at Greater Boise Property Management if you need any help putting together a pet policy for your rental property.