Posted on 6/5/2024 by Jessie Jacob

Why You Should Allow Pets in Your Rental Property

As the owner of a vacation rental,

it is important for your property to feel welcoming to all guests- including the cute four-legged ones! A lot goes into deciding whether or not to allow pets into your property, such as how it impacts demand, revenue, and property care. You might be surprised to learn that making your rental pet-friendly comes with minimal risk and significant benefits for your revenue, your property's desirability, and maximizing occupancy.

The risks of Making Your Rental Pet-Friendly

Welcoming pets into your property has some inherent risks and liabilities. 

  • Pets can cause damage such as scratch marks, chewed wood, stained carpeting, etc.
  • If a pet is not properly groomed, it can fill your unit with unpleasant odors that may negatively impact future guests. 
  • Untrained pets can put other guests at risk of animal bites and attacks. (Though, with a proper pet policy the potential liability issues would be covered.)

While all of these scenarios sound awful, a study conducted by FIREPAW, Inc. found that the risk of damage is lower than you may expect. This study found that the difference in damage from guests with and without pets was less than $40. The damages caused by guests without pets averaged around $323 and guests with pets averaged around $362.


With those numbers, it looks like human guests are the ones who need stricter policies!

The benefits of allowing four-legged friends

Increased Revenue

  • By renting to pet owners there are a variety of opportunities for additional revenue streams. We recommend charging guests a nonrefundable pet fee. This fee helps compensate for the normal wear and tear that allowing pets into your property may bring. 
  • Additionally, tenants in long-term units can be charged a refundable pet deposit (40-85% of the rent) put in place to cover any pet-related damages.
  • For vacation rental properties, guests are also liable for pet-related damages. This means if any pet-related damages occur, the financial burden is covered!

Improved Desirability

  • Did you know that 75% of renters own a four-legged friend? That means by not being pet-friendly you are only marketable to a fraction of potential renters: those without pets or those who don't mind traveling without them.
  • By adopting a pet-friendly policy your property immediately becomes desirable to a larger sector of the market. This significantly widens your potential guest pool. 
  • Animals help reduce stress and are great travel companions. Allowing guests to travel with their furry friends will make them feel more at home, and increase the likelihood of them rebooking your property for future stays.

Maximized Occupancy

  • Pet-friendly rentals rent often and stay booked, which benefits both your wallet and the overall desirability of your property. 
  • A study conducted on long-term rentals by FIREPAW, Inc., found that the vacancy rate for pet-friendly rental properties was only 10% compared to the 14% rate for properties that don't allow pets. 
  • This success also has great potential in the vacation rental sector. The American Hotel Lodging Association found that while 60% of hotels are pet-friendly, less than 15% of vacation rentals are. By not allowing pets you are leaving money on the table. 
  • Becoming pet-friendly not only helps your unit maximize occupancy but it helps you get the most revenue!

If you have questions regarding the risks and benefits of pet policies, modifying your existing policy, or anything else regarding your rental property, please reach out to your designated Owner Representative.

Are you a prospective property owner who would like to learn more about partnering with Island Realty? Please contact Collins Atkinson, our Vacation Rental Business Development Manager, to learn more.

Previous How To Plan the Perfect Vacation Happy Father's Day Next