The Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting to Pet Owners

December 4, 2022

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What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Renting To Pet Owners?

As a landlord, one difficult decision you have to make is whether or not to allow pets to live in your rental. 

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on your business. 

The advantages are plentiful: you can make more money, you have access to a larger pool of renters, and tenants with pets will love you. 

On the other hand, there are obvious disadvantages: the risk of pet-caused damage, loud noises, odors, fleas, and possible allergy issues. 

In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of allowing pets to help you decide what’s best for your business. 

The Advantages 

There are five major advantages of renting to pet owners: 

More Earning Potential  

Pet owners understand they need to pay more to live with their pet. As a landlord, you can often charge pet fees that will add extra weight to your wallet. In some cases, you can bump rent up by 20% to 30%.  

This also helps counteract potential damage or inconvenience caused by housing pets. Be sure to know applicable laws, though, so that you stay within your rights and avoid legal issues. 

Longer Tenancies  

Pet owners usually rent units for extended periods of time because it’s not easy to move around with pets and many landlords don’t allow pets. Thus, if tenants with pets find themselves in a good situation, they are less likely to leave. This leads to lower turnover in your rental, which helps you avoid vacancies.  

More Responsible Renters 

This isn’t necessarily true in every instance. However, a Michigan State study showed how owning a pet teaches responsibility, trust, and improves social skills.  

Generally speaking, pet owners must be more on top of things because they’re responsible for another life. They typically tend to be happier as well because pets reduce stress and encourage playfulness. 

Increased Pool of Applicants 

Pet ownership in the United States continues to increase. Almost 70% of households own a pet these days. And Zillow reports that over 76% of millennial renters own pets. Allowing pets enlarges the number of people you can rent to. You also have less competition because not every landlord allows pets on their property. 

The Disadvantages 

There are three major disadvantages to allowing pets on your property: 

Pet-caused Damage 

One of the most common reasons cited for having a no-pet policy is the potential for property damage. Dogs and cats can scratch furniture and wooden floors, tear soft furnishings, and rip up carpets. Of course, you can get well-behaved pets just like you can get responsible tenants. However, the wear and tear in an apartment tends to be more significant when a pet lives there. 

Noise Complaints 

Dogs that bark, cats that hiss, and birds that caw can all cause massive headaches for neighbors and landlords. Pets always bring the risk of disturbing noises. These issues can become severe problems for other residents if they interfere with sleep or impact them often. In some cases, neighbors could even cite a breach in their right to quiet enjoyment. This is obviously something every landlord wants to avoid. 

Odors, Allergens, and Fleas 

Animal-related odors are another factor that prevents some landlords from allowing tenants to bring their furry pals with them. Getting rid of strong smells that pets often leave behind is too much for some landlords. 

And, other problems, like fleas, can remain in a property in soft areas and carpets long after pets leave. Furthermore, allergens get trapped in air ducts, requiring expensive cleanings. 


You will have to weigh these advantages and disadvantages to decide if allowing pets is worth it. While pets have obvious benefits, they come with natural downsides as well. 

It’s important to consider your business and what allowing pets means for it.  

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