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Research Shows Pet-Friendly Rentals May Be More Profitable

By: Kelly Leighton on in

No pets allowed?

Property managers may want to rethink their pet policies, if possible. Research shows it could benefit the property owner as much as the renter. FIREPAW, Inc. found that rental units that allow pets are able to charge a premium between 20% and 30% of the average rent of the area, which typically (but not always) outweighs the potential costs of having an animal in the unit. The report found that pet-friendly housing charged $222 more, on average, than non-pet-friendly units.

Eighty-two percent of pet owners said they had a difficult time finding a rental that would allow them to keep their pet, which is not surprising, considering less than 10% of rental housing reported allowing pets with no limitations on size or type. So, once they find a living situation that allows them to keep their companion, they are less likely to move. FIREPAW, Inc. found that renters in pet-friendly rentals stayed, on average, for 46 months, compared to just 18 months for rentals that did not allow pets.

Additionally, vacancy rates among pet-friendly rentals was found to be lower. Ten percent of pet-friendly rentals were vacant, compared to 14% of rental units that did not allow pets.

Of course, there are concerns about having pets in a property, and landlords reported that damage was their greatest concern about allowing pets in rentals. On average, landlords that reported damage said it cost $430. However, the report also found that damage was caused to all rental units by most tenants, regardless if they had a pet, and was generally covered by the security deposit.

Noise is also an issue concerning landlords, they said, however, only about one-third said there were noise issues. Fifteen percent said they had no issues from allowing pets.

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Comments (6)

Comments

  • Andrew Lasner   March 3, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Doesn’t charging a premium for pets run afoul of Fair Housing for discriminating one group over another? I suggest to my landlords to be careful on how they handle this issue. One price regardless of tenant and get 2 months security for the first year. No separate pet deposit.

    Reply to Andrew Lasner
    • Kelly Leighton   March 3, 2020 at 9:27 am

      Andrew –
      “The Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Act does not allow for a separate pet deposit (aside from a security deposit). A pet deposit is viewed in the same manner as any security deposit and the landlord is subject to the same limitations which are described above, that is, no more than two months’ security deposit may be held for the first year of the lease and, after the first year of the lease no more than one month’s security deposit may be held.”

      Source: https://www.avail.co/education/laws/pennsylvania-landlord-tenant-law#are-there-pet-laws

      Reply to Kelly Leighton
  • Melissa Sieg   March 3, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I believe, unless it’s an EMS animal or service animal, you are allowed to charge extra rent for pets. Just having a pet doesn’t make you a “protected class” under the Fair Housing laws. Many owners will reduce the pet deposit, if the tenant is also paying pet rent each month.

    Reply to Melissa Sieg
  • Andrew Lasner   March 3, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Kelly, That’s what I was trying to say. You and I are in agreement. I disagree with Melissa’s statement. The courts don’t care if you call the escrow collected a pet deposit but if you exceed 2 months of escrow in the 1st year you will be violation of the LTA. What I was trying to infer is if you market 2 different rents for people with or without pets you may be in violation of Fair Housing and could be accused of discrimination. You might want to consult an attorney.

    Reply to Andrew Lasner
  • Katie Grieco   March 6, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Clarification wanted. Total security deposit, including a pet deposit, cannot exceed 2 months rent in the 1st year – correct? I see rental agents indicate that pet deposits are NOT refundable, but pet rent is at the end of a lease. Please clarify if pet rent legal and how handled.

    Reply to Katie Grieco
    • Kelly Leighton   March 6, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Katie,
      According to the Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Act, it “does not allow for a separate pet deposit (aside from a security deposit). A pet deposit is viewed in the same manner as any security deposit and the landlord is subject to the same limitations which are described above, that is, no more than two months’ security deposit may be held for the first year of the lease and, after the first year of the lease no more than one month’s security deposit may be held.”

      Source: https://www.avail.co/education/laws/pennsylvania-landlord-tenant-law#are-there-pet-laws

      Reply to Kelly Leighton

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