The matter of pets can be a tricky one to handle as a landlord, so I’ve got four tips to keep in mind.
When working in property management, the subject of pets is very important. So, what are the best ways to handle pets? I’ve got a few tips on tackling this matter to share with you, today.
1. Allow them. People love their pets, so having a strict “No Pets” policy will deter a significant number of potential renters. There are rare circumstances where this may not be the case, but I generally recommend allowing pets.
2. Have an established pet policy. Setting clear guidelines will mitigate the risk of insurance issues, damage to the property, and more. Weight restrictions are a common standard set within pet policies. Regardless of what your policy is, it’s important to note that you cannot prohibit tenants from having a service animal.
3. Screen the pets. Make sure pets are up-to-date on necessary vaccinations, that they are registered with the city or county, and whether there are any reports of violent behavior against them.
4. Establish appropriate fees. Because of the way Washington landlord-tenant law is structured, you shouldn’t charge a pet deposit. Instead, increase the amount you ask for the applicant’s security deposit. Alternatively, you can charge pet rent. While deposits are refundable, rent is not. My team’s preferred policy is $15 per pet per month.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.