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A Pet-Friendly San Diego Rental – A Good Move?

Pet-Friendly Rental Property In California

Pet-friendliness is one of a number of considerations you will have to make as a landlord. With 68% of US homes owning at least one pet and the fact that Americans spent over $60 billion on their pets in 2014, it’s clear that making your San Diego rental pet-friendly could work in your interest. To ensure the benefits of a pet-friendly rental property and minimize the downsides, here are some things to think about.

A bigger target group of tenants

If you allow pets, the pool of potential residents in your rental is significantly expanded. The bigger the pool, the higher the chances to find the right tenants. The number of pet owners among renters has been on the rise in the last couple of years, but the number of pet-friendly rentals doesn’t follow this trend. These renters still encounter difficulties when they are looking for rented housing.

Higher income

Rentals that allow pets tend to have a higher rent fee, because a pet fee is included on top of the regular one. They generally cost a minimum of 10% more.

There are a few options for this. Simply higher rent is the first. Or you can establish a tariff for different pets – you can charge around $100 for large breeds of dogs, such as Great Danes, and $50 for smaller ones, like Chihuahuas. Before setting a pet fee, you should get informed on any local regulations concerning this.

In order to make sure you find the right tenants for you, the background check can include screening the pet. Prospective residents should provide vet records stating the pets are healthy and vaccinated. You can also ask for references from previous landlords and property managers. It would also be good if the renters have some insurance that can cover pet-related damage.

Less tenant turnover

Pet owners appreciate good pet-friendly accommodation. Having in mind that such a combination is difficult to come by these days, your rental is more likely to be occupied for longer. This means you can receive a higher income than with regular tenants and for a longer period. In fact, pet-owning tenants have been found to stay between two to four years in a rental in comparison with tenants without a pet.

Protected from pet-related damage

It is true that landlords who allow pets may experience certain damage incurred by the pet. However, what is done to prevent big losses is having a pet damage deposit from the beginning. You should also include articles about possible pet damage in the lease contract, specifying what damage is the tenants’ responsibility and how the damage will be repaired.

In some surveys, it has been reported that pet owners that are straightforward and timely are more responsible than tenants without pets. Remember that ordinary tenants can also incur damage to your property, sometimes even more so than a pet can.

Making your rental pet-ready

The biggest item on this list is having a very explicit lease contract that outlines what the duties and responsibilities of the tenant are when the pet is concerned, such as what damage will be remedied by the tenant and what pet behavior won’t be tolerated, as well as the consequences for breaching the contract. The pet addendum should also include restrictions like the number of animals, types, and breeds of pets that are allowed.  The contract can also include cleaning services the tenants should have done before moving out (like having the carpets service-cleaned).

If you have signed the contract, you should talk with the future tenants about the habits of the pet. With dogs, especially big ones, it’s advisable to leave no exposed flooring as they can scratch it easily, while cats might claw your carpets.

If you have a multi-tenant rental in a building, it would be good to install some dog waste stations around the property or close to it. That will make sure other tenants and the neighbors don’t grumble.

Fewer risks

Accommodations that are not pet-friendly take on the risk of tenants keeping pets anyways, but discreetly and without notice. If that happens, the landlord misses on all the benefits and risks all the downsides without proper compensation.

A good and reasonable pet policy ensures you find responsible, possibly long-term tenants, and charges them for the pet/ pets on top of the regular fee.


If you have a rental that you would like to have professionally managed, don’t hesitate to contact Realevate Specialists. We have a nationwide experience that spans more than 25 years. Our local agents are knowledgeable experts who offer comprehensive property management services at a very reasonable cost. Contact us online today and find out why so many rental owners and renters trust us to make everyone happy!

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