I, myself, love pets. I have owned dogs my entire life. No one can argue the fact that a good dog is truly man's best friend.
I currently have a chocolate lab mix that my wife and I adopted from a local shelter. Although sometimes he may act a big crazy, I would not trade him for the world. That is what a good pet can do for someone.
So being a pet, specifically a dog owner, and as a landlord, I always have conflicting thoughts when it comes to allowing pets to occupy one of my properties with a tenant.
A lot of times the decision is made for me to not allow pets. This is done because most, if not all insurance companies in the State of New Jersey will not insure a property with certain breeds of dogs living there. These would include your large and aggressive breeds such as Rotty's, Doberman's, German Sheppards, Pit Bulls and so on. The reason is these breeds of dogs are more likely to, and are strong enough to either do damage to the property or God forbid, to another human.
If you are not a pet type of person then your decision is easy, you just do not allow them, but for me, it would hypocritical for me to say no, while I own one myself.
If you are like me, then let me tell you what I do. To start, when I show the property, my rental application includes on it a statement that the applicant initials understanding that we do not allow certain breeds of dogs. For the reasons I mentioned above, this is not negotiable.
If the tenant does own a dog and it is not one of the breeds above, I will make an appointment to actually meet the dog. I want to gauge the dog's behavior and friendliness.
If I find a good tenant with a dog that I approve of, the rent immediately goes up $10 per month and I charge an additional security deposit fee. Also with that, in the lease it states that I will with hold $50 above and beyond the normal carpet cleaning charge.
Using these three techniques to insure that I don't get plagued with a lawsuit or a destroyed property from a pet, has helped me tremendously and I believe if you do this, it will help you.
Even though you may hear many horror stories about rentals and pets, most occur because either the landlord does not do their due diligence in regards to the pet, or even worse they choose the wrong tenant.
Do your homework before you make that choice and the percentages of obtaining a successful tenant pet owner increases great.
By: Michael C. Podlesny
About the Author
Michael C.Podlesny is the owner of Rental Property Repair, LLC A rental and investment property repair and renovation company that services Mercer & Burlington Counties in New Jersey and Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
To inquire about their services you can visit them online at http://www.RentalPropertyRepairLLC.com