One of the very first topics we often talk about with new clients is pets. Sometimes, property owners have a bad experience with a tenant who had pets and the torn up carpets or damaged walls have left a bad taste in their mouth. They kind of swing to the other end of the pendulum and they don’t want to accept any pets ever.
We talk them out of that. If you decide you don’t want pets, you’re drastically reducing your tenant pool. At least 80 percent, if not more, of the applications we receive have at least one pet listed. If you perform due diligence up front and have safeguards in place, you will be able to protect yourself against pet damage.
Take a look at the weight, breed, age and size of the pet. One thing we also require is a picture of the pet taken with the owner. You’d be surprised how many terrier mixes there are out there that aren’t really terrier mixes. They’re more Pit Bull. Make sure the animal living in the property is the same as what’s on the application. If we need to enter the property or a vendor has to go there, it’s important to know what kind of animal we’re going to find. The pet deposit we charge is based on the size and weight of the animal.
Service animals are a hot topic issue. We understand the Americans with Disability Act laws and regulations. When a tenant lists an animal as a service animal, we take a hands-off approach. We don’t collect a pet fee or a nonrefundable deposit. We don’t even list the animal on the pet agreement. Instead, it’s listed as an occupant on the lease. That policy comes from the education we’ve received and our knowledge of best practices across the country in the property management industry.
If you have any questions about pets or service animals, please contact us at Moxie Property Management, and we’d be happy to tell you more.