Household pets are part of the family. Everyone loves their dogs and cats. However, pets can cause significant damage to a property if they aren’t cared for properly. Landlords in Ashburn need to balance the protection of their property against the desire of their tenant pool to move in with a beloved pet.
Deciding Whether to Allow Pets in a Rental Home
Property owners can decide whether they want to allow all pets, no pets, or some pets. It’s a risk, because security deposits and pet deposits will not cover extensive pet damage from an animal that’s out of control. However, tenants are likely to have pets, especially if you’re renting out a single family home. Not allowing pets will protect your home from this kind of damage. However, it will also limit the number of tenants who will be interested in your property. A smaller tenant pool can mean a longer vacancy period. That can cost you money.
Pet Policy: Decide on Size, Age, and Breed
Even if you decide to allow pets in your home, you need to have some restrictions. Create a pet policy that outlines the types of pets you will allow. Perhaps you only want small dogs or adult cats. You can restrict the number of pets a tenant moves in with. Be strict with the breeds. Pitbull owners lover their dogs, but many insurance companies consider that an aggressive breed, and may not cover you.
Make sure your lease includes the type of pet that the tenant is moving in with, and make sure that only the pet listed in the lease is allowed at the property. You should charge a pet fee or a pet deposit, and you can also charge pet rent. This will help you keep your Ashburn rental property clean and damage-free.
Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
Service animals are not pets. You cannot deny a tenant who has a service animal, even if you have a strict no-pet rule. Emotional support animals are a little different from service animals, but they are also protected by law. You can require documentation from a healthcare professional, but you cannot charge an extra deposit for service animals or emotional support animals.
Before your tenants move out, make sure they take every possible action to remove pet odors. This can be an issue when you’re re-renting the property to new tenants. Deep cleaning, duct cleaning, and even painting may be necessary after tenants with pets move out. This is why a pet deposit or fee is so important.
If you have any questions about pets and how to handle them, please contact us at Castle Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more.