Landlords and property managers often express concerns about allowing pets. Some of these are addressed below.
Discuss your pet policy with potential tenants. Ask for references from previous landlords, veterinarians, dog trainers, pet-sitters, etc.
Some cats are prone to scratching furniture. If you are providing a furnished suite, choose furnishings with a smooth surface, which are less appealing to cats.
Depending on your local laws, you may be able to charge extra fees or a higher security deposit (damage deposit). You may aso be able to specifically state in the lease agreement that the renter is liable for any damages caused by their pet. Consult with the proper authorities to determine what you can do to help protect your rental unit.
Dogs who bark excessively can be frustrating to everyone, not just other tenants, but also the pet owner and other pet lovers! Training can help to resolve barking problems. Alternately, "doggy daycare" centres are an option for pet owners who want their dogs to have companionship and stimulation while the owners are away.
Cats should be kept indoors to prevent them from being a nuisance to other tenants or neighbours. Indoor cats lead longer and healthier lives, and can be perfectly happy with window ledges, scratching posts, toys, etc.
If permitted by law, you may want to add an addendum to the lease that states what steps are necessary to prevent pets from disturbing other tenants or neighbours.
If you are concerned about exposing other tenants to pet wastes, set aside a separate container for pet-owning tenants.
If you live in an area where fleas are a concern, ask potential renters with pets how they will control fleas. There are many types of products available to keep pets flea-free. Again, if local laws permit, you may want to add a clause that allows you to charge the tenant for any professional services required if the unit is found to have fleas.
Dogs should be assessed individually - not rejected (or accepted) based solely on size or breed. Ask for references from veterinarians, dog trainers, pet-sitters, former landlords, and so forth. Ask if the potential tenant's pet has ever bitten anyone or has had a history of aggressive behavior. Dogs should also be spayed or neutered to reduce the risk of biting (among other reasons).
Consult with a qualified legal professional on including a clause to proetect you and your company should a tenant's dog injure anyone.
Landlords should also be aware of any municipal regulations regarding dog breeds. Some areas have enacted 'breed-specific legislation' that bans certain dog breeds from the municipality, or requires owners to comply with a strict set of rules.
People with pets, especially those who have rented before, know how hard it is to find a suitable rental unit that accepts pets, and are usually conscientious about keeping the rental unit in good shape. Responsible pet owners also realize that keeping a clean living area is important to their pet's health.
Again, tenants and their pets should be evaluated on an individual basis. People with long-haired pets are not necessarily going to allow their units to get dirtier, nor are big dogs necessarily going to make more of a mess. Have a chat with the tenant to try and get a good feel for what type of pet owner he is. It is typically the pet owner, not the pet, who is a better indicator of whether or not they will be good, suitable tenants.