Pets bring many people joy, but as a property manager, they can also bring some added headaches.
There are many pros and cons for allowing pets in apartments, with valid arguments on both sides. Here are a few pros and cons to help you decide whether or not to allow pets.
Pro - Larger Prospective Tenant Pool
Allowing pets opens up the opportunity for a large pool of prospective tenants to rent at your building. It's estimated that 57% of Canadians have a pet, and allowing pets provides inclusiveness for all. Due to this inclusiveness, you will be able to have fewer vacancies (on average apartments that allow pets see a 10% vacancy vs 14% without). This will help you prevent gaps in vacancies, and lets you advertise your rental property to a much larger demographic.
Con - Damage to Your Property
Pets, especially when they are young and still being trained, tend to enjoy destroying things for fun. When your tenant's furry family member decides that some drywall looks like an appetizing treat, they are going to cause damage which will require repair. This is one of the largest arguments against allowing pets, as the damage caused can range from scratches on a door, to large holes in walls, to lingering odors. This is why many apartments allow cats but not dogs, as the potential damage caused by a cat is significantly less than what a large dog could do.
Pro - Pet Friendly Apartments Typically Can Charge More
Pet friendly apartments open up the opportunity for more prospective tenants, and if pet friendly apartments are not common in your area, you can typically charge a higher rent due to supply and demand. If you have a large pool of tenants with pets, but few apartments that allow them, this creates a premium demand for pet friendly units, allowing you to raise the price higher than other rentals in your area. Furthermore, property managers can also charge a pet rent deposit, which typically is applied to any damages that a pet may cause over the course of the renter's tenancy.
Con - Disturbing Neighbours
This applies more to dog owners than cat owners, as dogs tend to bark when they are excited or feel defensive. When your tenant's four legged friend sees a squirrel, he or she may bark and disrupt your neighbours which can cause some issues for a property manager. In an apartment complex this can be particularly annoying, as you're much closer together. This is the case even in single family units when you want to be courteous of everyone in the community. If you're on the fence about pets, you should lean towards only allowing cats if you're in a neighbourhood that may have issues with excessive noise.