You have decided to become a landlord, and some of the phone calls you are getting are asking if you allow pets. It’s a valid question since more than 60% of American households have at least one pet. So, do you let people with pets move Fido in?
Animals are part of the daily lives of millions of people. They are companions, service providers and in some cases a way to earn money to support a family. Cats, dogs, small animals and birds provide a plethora of benefits to people. Therapy and service animals literally save lives. A simple companion pet reduces stress and gives people unconditional love.
They can also be destructive to a home. Even the best pets can cause damage. Cats need to claw. They do so in order to shed the outer layer of their claws, and they will use whatever they can find: furniture, floors, carpeting and even walls. Cats, especially males, also like to mark their territory. They do so by spraying urine. Cat urine is very distinctive and very hard to remove. If it gets into flooring and subflooring you have to replace all of it. Cats shed hair all over everything too, so filters for heat and ac may need to be changed more often.
Dogs can also be rather destructive. Sometimes it depends on breed, but any dog can do damage. They can break through screens to get out, chew holes in walls, doors or cabinets, scratch floors, doors or walls. A dog’s nails grow as well and need trimming. Long nails scratch hardwoods, tile and get caught in the loops of carpeting damaging it. Any dog that has repeated accidents leaves smells that are hard to remove.
Small animals like rodents (mice, rats, guinea pigs and hamsters), lizards, snakes and other more exotic animals can also be very destructive. Small rodents, snakes and lizards can get loose and get into walls. If they die in the walls the smell is nearly impossible to get rid of without removing and replacing drywall.
So when you get those phone calls asking about pets, your best bet is to say no. In some cases, as with service animals, you might not be able to do so, but if you do allow them get a substantial pet deposit to cover inevitable damage.