Posted on 6/7/2023 by Jessie Jacob

Why You Should Have a Pet-Friendly Rental Property

As the owner of a rental property, it is important to make sure that your property is welcoming to all types of guests: including the four-legged ones!

A lot goes into deciding whether 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 provides significant rewards for your revenue, your property's desirability, and maximizing occupancy.

Risks of Making Your Rental Pet-Friendly

Allowing pets in your property has some inherent risks and liabilities. Pets can cause damage to your property such as scratch marks, chewed wood, destroyed landscaping, stained carpets, etc. If a pet is not properly groomed and bathed it can fill your unit with unpleasant odors that can be a deterrent to future and surrounding guests. Lastly, unauthorized pets can cause damage and put other guests at risk of animal bites and attacks. With a proper pet policy, the potential liability issues would be covered.

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

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

Benefits of a pet-friendly rental

Like any good business decision, where there is a risk, there is reward. By renting to pet owners there are plenty of opportunities for additional revenue streams. As demand and bookings increase from becoming pet-friendly, we recommend charging guests a nonrefundable pet fee. This fee is charged to help 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 potential pet-related damages. For vacation rental properties, guests are also liable for pet-related damages. That way if any pet-related damages occur, the financial burden is covered by taking these precautions.

Did you know that 72% 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 will immediately become desirable to a more significant sector of the market than before. This significantly widens your potential guest pool as well as creates a happier environment for your guests. Animals help reduce stress and are great companions for all types of people. Allowing guests to travel with their furry friends will make them feel at home, enjoy their vacation more, and increase the likelihood of them rebooking your property.

Pet-friendly rentals rent often and stay booked, which is great for your wallet and the 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%, which is significantly lower than 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 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 and book faster but helps you get the most revenue possible.

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

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

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