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Property Management | Leesburg Landlords: Is It Time to Welcome Pets?

Posted by Gunn Property Services on May 28, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Fido is fluffy, and kittens are cute—but as the best property management Leesburg offers, we know you have to think carefully about the benefits and drawbacks of having pets in your rental properties. Maybe your property is brand-new, and you worry about the impact of wear and tear. On the other hand, perhaps you fear that there won't be enough rental applicants to find the right one.

Your choices will have an impact on long-term wear and tear on your property, to be sure—but they also may affect the ability to market your Leesburg rental home effectively! Here are some elements to consider whether you're working with property management, Leesburg landlords, or flying solo.

Please note: This blog is not intended to act as legal advice. When in doubt, reach out to your skilled attorney or trusted property management, Leesburg landlords!

Dog welcome homeThis Is Crucial: Be Aware of Assistance Animals

The first thing to know is that assistance animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, are considered to be a different category from other pets entirely. These animals—if you aren't familiar with them—are recognized by the American Disabilities Act, and are very intensively trained to help their owners positively navigate the world.

Given their extensive training, these animals are unlikely to be a source of wear-and-tear than would otherwise happen to your property, and would actually make great "tenants." If it seems unclear whether a particular rental applicant's animal is a pet or an assistance animal, you should immediately turn to property management, Leesburg landlords!

A professional property manager in Leesburg can help you stay on the right side of the ADA—even if you typically don't allow pets—by getting to know the critical elements of an assistance animal's protected status. 

Does the Leesburg Market Support Pets?

Your neighborhood may have such a demand for rentals that you'll be inundated with applicants—whether you allow pets or not. However, some areas are pet-owner hotspots. These neighborhoods may yield a much lower rental price for non-pet-friendly rental properties—making it harder to make money from your rental property. Additionally, pet ownership and pet adoption have spiked as a result of COVID-19—making it increasingly likely that you'll encounter more pet owners as applicants.

See whether the majority of the comparable rentals in your area are pet-friendly, and think about tradeoffs. For instance, being "pet-friendly" doesn't mean that you allow every kind of "pet" under the sun with no additional fees or rules! In many cases, you can charge a reasonable "pet rent" fee, and that money will cover any wear-and-tear on the property caused by the animals you do permit.Cat and dog lying together under blanket on sofa

Work out a Professional Pet Addendum

Should you decide to allow pets, as property management, Leesburg landlords, we always recommend a professional pet addendum to the lease. Clarity on this front is vital since you don't want a tenant claiming, for instance, to have only one dog and paying a single fee when they actually have two and are subject to a larger fee.

By having your renter sign a contract with key elements of pet rent or fees, you set yourself up to collect all of the fees owed to you, and to enforce the lease if your tenants refuse to abide by the pet rules or to pay the appropriate amounts. 

Consider What Pet Rules Enforcement Will Look Like

One element to consider, in your pet lease addendum and otherwise, is how your pet rules are enforced. Some tenants are willing to hide a pet and hope you don't notice it, so specifying what kinds of pets are allowed—and the consequences of concealing a pet (such as full payment due for all of the pet fees they've missed)—is key.

  • Use your legally-sound inspections of your Leesburg rental as an opportunity to ensure that pet policies are being followed.
  • If you discover an unauthorized pet on the premises, do not confront your renter directly. Instead, make a note of the violation.
  • You can pursue the penalties outlined in your pet addendum with your renter professionally once you have left your Leesburg property.

Professional Property Management Is Here to Help

There are a lot of individual, even personal, choices that go into the decision to allow or disallow pets in your rental property. Talking with trusted property management, Leesburg landlords, can give you insight into your particular neighborhood—and whether a non-pet-friendly property will hurt your ability to attract quality applications from future tenants.

Your property manager will have other kinds of insight from their years of experience as well: they'll have seen the different potential damages different kinds of pets can cause, they'll know the standard pet fees for other similar properties, and they understand what questions to ask when screening your tenant and their pawed, clawed, or finned friend.

You don't have to navigate the world of pet-friendliness versus pet-prohibition by yourself! A great Leesburg property manager's experience and depth of understanding will give you all the tools you need to make a good decision for your Leesburg rental home. Contact us today to learn more!

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Topics: Rental Property, Pet Policies, Property Management (Leesburg)