Property Management Should You Restrict Pet Breeds in Your Rental? by Holly Welles November 9, 2019February 25, 2020 by Holly Welles November 9, 2019February 25, 2020 If you’re thinking about relaxing your no pets policy, now is a good time. More people are becoming pet owners, and many young renters see their pets as family. Opening your rental property to pet owners will inevitably increase your profits. Yet what are the pros and cons? Plus, which breeds should you allow? Many real estate investors have supplemented their pet policies with restrictions on specific breeds to ensure tenant safety and happiness. However, is this the right choice to make considering activist and owner concerns? Explore the complexities behind the matter and decide which path fits your real estate investment. What Constitutes a Breed Restriction? Breed restrictions ban specific pets from living on rental properties. Some landlords take no issue with allowing animals in general, but they ban certain breeds prone to destroying property or threatening other people. Others prefer not to have animals over a certain weight, which strikes out large dogs. These bans often affect breeds such as: Pitbulls Rottweilers Great Danes Siberian Huskies Mastiffs Many areas across the U.S. uphold breed restrictions through legislative action. People aren’t allowed to own specific breeds or bring them into the city, which eliminates a lot of the decisions you need to make. However, if your area doesn’t implement breed restrictions, it’s up to you to choose which breeds can make a home on your property. Though you may lean towards a breed restriction policy, there are an equal amount of reasons to forgo the practice. Review both sides of the issue before making any decisions. Will your choice uphold tenant satisfaction, or will it drive potential renters away? With 65% of adults under 35 choosing to rent instead of own, you’ll see an uptick in the number of pets on rental applications. Reasons to Use Pet Breed Restrictions Avoid future lawsuits by banning potentially dangerous breeds from the start. Having an animal on your investment property will always be a liability due to their ability to destroy walls, flooring, and more. However, when it comes to bites and attacks, you have a more significant issue on your hands. The law can hold you responsible for any dog attack on your rental property, especially if the injured is uninsured. Securing liability insurance to cover dangerous breeds is costly. You can require each pet-owning tenant to carry renter’s insurance, but not all policies cover animals. If an incident does occur, you’ll be one of many landlords who surrendered a total of $675 million in 2018 on dog bite claims. You’ll have an easier time protecting your real estate investment by restricting liable breeds. Even if you invest in a condo, you’re legally allowed to restrict any breed from your property. However, this can be a controversial move considering many people own service and emotional support animals. Reasons Not to Ban Any Pet Breeds Breed restrictions aren’t merely unfair to owners — they fail to acknowledge the well-being of pets. People with banned animals often leave them at shelters or set them loose rather than find another rental property. Abandoned dogs encounter all kinds of dangerous, unfamiliar conditions on the streets. Breed laws have a track record of impacting pet care. Restricted breed owners may neglect necessary medical needs, such as vaccinations and regular vet appointments, to fly under the radar. These people forsake their pets’ health in trying to protect them, which presents long-term ramifications. Many of these laws are faulty because they judge by appearance and stereotypes. If a dog looks like a Pitbull but isn’t one, it’s still liable to be targeted. This issue becomes more complicated with mixed breeds. Some people abandon non-violent dogs as a result of vague, harmful legislation. The most direct consequence for your business will be profit loss. Renters who aren’t satisfied with your pet policies will go elsewhere, which drives money straight to your competitors. By allowing restricted breeds, you can make a substantial amount from deposits and monthly pet rent. Make a Fair Compromise for Renters Meet renters in the middle by integrating better pet policies without restricting breeds. Landlords have found a variety of ways to allow pets while keeping their properties hygienic and safe for all, including: Pet agreements: Create a contract for all tenants to sign — even if they don’t currently own pets — and clearly outline your rules. Resumes: Ask applicants to supply a pet resume, including vet records, references, vaccinations, and pictures. Interviews: Some landlords do interviews where they meet with the owner and pet to observe its temperament and behavior. Eliminate future stress by ensuring your tenants are caring, trustworthy owners. A great tenant is likely to raise a great pet, which reduces the worry of property destruction and attacks. Limits and guidelines: Specify how many pets can live in one unit and require animals like cats and dogs to get neutered. Keep a strict cleanliness policy to avoid tenants leaving animal waste on the grounds or depositing it where it doesn’t belong. Pet Breed Restrictions for Your Rental Property Now that you understand the ins and outs of breed restrictions, you can make an informed choice about which policies to adopt. Aim for options that preserve your real estate investment while satisfying your tenants’ wants and needs. This article has been contributed by Holly Welles. Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL Guest BlogsTenants 0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestLinkedin Holly Welles Holly is a real estate blogger and an Upstate NY native. She currently runs her own real estate and home improvement blog, The Estate Update. After earning a dual degree in Economics and English, she has blended her love for writing with her interest in the real estate market to begin her freelance career. You can find her work published on Homes.com and ResumeWriterReview.net, Today's Homeowner, and other prominent places around the web. Previous Post What Are the Best Multifamily Markets 2020 with High Cap Rate? Next Post What Is Positive Cash Flow in Real Estate? A Beginner Investor’s Guide Related Posts The Guide to Renting to College Students Are You Cut Out for Owning an Airbnb? How to Estimate Rental Value: The Investor’s Complete Guide What has to be cleaned during turnover time in a rental property? Why Renting Your Property Below Market Value Isn’t a Great Idea How to Make Money From a Rental Property to Buy Another One 7 Real Estate Associations that Every Landlord Should Know About Social Media for Real Estate: A Key to Success How to Solve Rental Property Cash Flow Problems Score a Goal with Airbnb Rental Properties The Expert Guide on How to Invest in Airbnb Overcome the Challenges of Owning Rental Property Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.