Lots of property owners get nervous during discussions on pets. The idea of having live animals such as dogs, cats, birds, snakes, fish and small rodents crawling around your house can certainly make you uneasy. However, there are often benefits to renting to tenants who have pets. Don’t be too permissive – you don’t have to allow all animals all the time. Allowing pets in your rental property requires a sound and consistent pet policy.

The most important benefit to allowing pets is that you can charge extra for tenants who bring in pets. Instead of charging a one-time deposit or a pet fee, we like to charge the pets rent every month. In addition to their regular rent, we require about $20 to $40 for pets every month. This will make you more money than a deposit in the long term.

Tampa property managers and landlords have insurance companies to worry about. Insurance companies require a lot of liability coverage thanks to the hurricanes, floods, high winds and other natural disasters that are known to occur in this state. Pets are just additional concerns that you need to have liability coverage for. You don’t want to allow a tenant to bring a dangerous dog breed into your home, otherwise you could find yourself liable for dog bites, attacks and other problems in addition to the damage such a dog could cause to your property. Be very careful about the types of animals you allow your tenants to take with them when they move in.

The best way to protect yourself and your property is by getting a good insurance policy in place. At Cavalier Estates, we require tenants with dogs to get a liability policy that names us as an additional insured. If you are a property owner renting to tenants with dogs, make sure you are listed on their liability policy as an additional insured. This is the only way to prevent lawsuits if something happens with the tenant’s dog. These insurance policies are expensive, but the tenant has to decide whether the cost of the policy is worth it. Many people think of their dogs as part of the family, so they are probably going to be willing to pay for that insurance coverage.

Cats may not require expensive liability insurance policies, but they can be a nuisance. They scratch at the floors, doors, appliances and furniture. If they urinate in your house, getting rid of the smell is nearly impossible. When you have tenants with cats, make sure they go out and buy a product like Urine Off, which can help eliminate the odor.

Pets and Pet PoliciesAt Cavalier Estates, we have a hard time allowing tenants to have anything other than a dog or a cat. Birds are horrible mess makers. They are trapped in their cages all day and night, doing nothing but pooping, eating and chirping. Their cages can also be a problem for your floors or your carpeting. We also have a policy of not allowing snakes. These are dangerous pets that can be hazardous to the neighborhood if they manage to slither outside of the house. Maintain very high standards when it comes to the animals you will allow inside your rental property.

If you’re not sure how to create a pet policy, or you have questions about how to manage pets in your rental property, please contact us at Cavalier Estates.