There are many different reasons why a landlord should not allow pets making it hard to imagine why someone would want to allow pets.
Potential for Damage
The most common reasons to avoid pets is the risk if damage to the home. Urine damage is very difficult to treat and its often found on baseboards, carpets, and drywall. Each of these surfaces absorb urine like a sponge. On top of it, dogs and cats will usually go to the same areas over and over again making the urine damage more intense. In addition, dogs and cats can increase the amount of wear on carpet and wood surfaces. Their claws can scratch wood finishes and shred through carpet.
Allowing pets into a home also increases potential liability. What if the dog were to bite or attack someone? There is also a chance that the tenant’s cat can get into a fight with a neighbor’s cat and seriously hurt or even kill the other cat. Pet behavior sometimes cannot be predicted even with proper training and the last thing a landlord wants is to be named in a lawsuit for something that they do not have control over.
Allergies and Odor
Lets face it, not all pets are created equal and some tend to smell more than others. While this can be controlled to a certain extent by the tenant, property owners never really know how well a tenant will take care of their pets until they have been living in the home for a while. If not properly cared for, homes can start to smell from prolonged exposures to pets. If you have a sensitivity to or are allergic to pets, this can also be a cause for concern, especially if you are planning to move-into the home later on.
Why to Consider Pets
Despite all the reasons not to accept pets into your home, landlords are better off stating that they are willing to consider pets. This isn’t committing you yet, but it leaves the possibility open so that you do not limit the amount of people who could qualify to rent the property. The majority of tenants have pets and stating that pets are not allowed reduces the pool of possible applicants by at least 50%. This limitation often forces landlords to reduce their asking rent price in order to offset this requirement.
Something else to consider is as a landlord, what would you prefer, a couple with a dog or a family with three small kids. Pets and kids can be equally destructive to a home and each additional kid increases the potential risk. Personally, I would rather a well-trained pet over younger children in my rental property because the risk is lower and the accumulated wear is often less with a pet when compared to a child. In addition, liability can easily be avoided if the lease states that the tenant is required to obtain renters insurance with a specific clause for pets and that the tenant is responsible for their pets actions.
However, if you are firm in your position not to accept pets, you may need to reduce your asking rent rate to help lease out the home more quickly. Unfortunately, in these cases, a landlord cannot prevent a qualified person from moving into the home if they have a registered service animal. Doing this would be considered disability discrimination and you definitely do not want to find yourself caught in a discrimination lawsuit.
Military Personnel And Hawaii
Lets face it, the rental market in Honolulu and Oahu is heavily influenced by the military. In general, most tenants who are in the military generally turn out to be good tenants overall, many of which have pets. By restricting pets, landlords in Hawaii are limiting the amount of military personnel who would otherwise be interested in rent out their property. While the decision is up to you, Certified Property Solutions strongly encourages you to consider pets.
October 21, 2013