When we discuss best practices for your pet policy, it is important to remember that in the Portland area, about half of our rental tenants have a pet. You have to consider this because many landlords hesitate to allow pets in their properties, but by prohibiting pets, you are losing out on at least half of the potential renters in the area. As long as you take a few precautions to protect yourself and your property, allowing pets should not be a problem for you. Just make sure you are selective about breeds, limit the number of pets and the size of the animal and charge an additional pet deposit.
Check with your insurance company about which breeds your policy covers, and which are not allowed. You don’t want to allow any dog breeds that are prohibited by your insurance company; otherwise any damage or harm will be your liability completely. For most insurance carriers, dangerous breeds include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and other dogs. Check with your insurance agent before you say yes or no to a questionable breed. You also want to clarify what your policy does cover on the types of dogs that are acceptable.
You can allow pets but place restriction on the number of pets you allow and the sizes. For example, you might decide to accept a tenant who has one 20 pound dog and one small cat. The limits and restrictions you set are completely up to you. Just make sure your lease reflects the regulations you decide to follow concerning how many pets your tenant can have and how big they are permitted to be.
We strongly suggest you always charge an additional deposit when you allow pets on your property. Some landlords ask for a larger security deposit, and others decide to increase the rent every month when pets are in the home. The fee structure varies and can often range from an additional $500 deposit all the way to an extra $1,000.
Whatever you decide in terms of restrictions and deposits, the goal is to ensure you are protecting yourself and your property when you move in a tenant who has a pet. If you have any questions on additional best practices when it comes to pets and pet policies, please contact us at Jim McNeeley Real Estate.