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How To Design Your Rental Unit To Be More Pet Friendly

December 4, 2022

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Design Your Rentals To Be Pet Friendly

Nearly three out of four Americans own a pet.

So, it’s beneficial to set up your rental to accommodate pets.

Not only does it help your bottom line by making you more appealing to a wider pool of potential tenants, but it also makes more tenants happier.

And there are a lot of ways to make your rental more pet friendly.

We’re going to cover three of the best ways in this article.

Install Pet-friendly Floors

Pets are hard on floors. They scamper all over them. Claw and scratch them. And sometimes have accidents on them. For these reasons, carpet isn’t your best option. Wear and tear take a noticeable toll on carpeting. Carpet is harder to clean than many other surfaces as well.

Better options include vinyl, linoleum and tile floors, which are impermeable, resistant to scratching and clawing, and durable. These are the exact qualities you want if pets are going to be in your rental.

Concrete is also gaining popularity these days due to its durability and resistance to stains when finished. Adding a water prevention layer is prudent when it comes to concrete because it can prevent moisture absorption.

Lastly, it’s important to mention that solid wood is still a great option if affordability is a large factor. Wood floors are resistant to surface moisture, spills, and other kinds of stains. Polyurethane is a good addition to keep in mind as well because you can use it to seal wood floors for a layer of protection.

Protect Damage-prone Surfaces

Flooring isn’t the only part of your property you should consider when making a rental more pet friendly. Walls, doors, and windows should also be taken into account. Consider staying away from walls with shiny finishes or wild textures that might attract pets’ attention and encourage scratching. Avoid black paint because it’s difficult to clean. Semigloss paint is a better option because it’s much easier to clean, and the texture keeps pets from chewing or scratching on it.

Another good idea is to add a scratch screen to doors and windows. Additionally, if the aesthetics of a kick plate don’t bother you, it may be in your best interest to add this to the lower portion of the front door to reduce damage from scratching.

Consider Your Surrounding Land

If your property includes a bit of land, this section is for you. You should consider fencing in a yard so that tenants can easily let their pets out. A little land gives pets a safe space to release energy and get some exercise, which makes them less likely to cause issues in your rental.

Hardscaping will also help create a more pet-friendly outdoor environment. For instance, a brick patio gives animals less room to dig and burrow. Mulched spots limit the amount of grass in the yard, which helps prevent damage as well. Chunky wood chips may be a better choice than shredded bark mulch because they aren’t as easy for animals to toss around. A short fence around your flower and vegetable may help discourage pets from messing with gardens.

It’s important to note that many common landscaping plants, including azaleas, lilies, hydrangeas, and yew shrubs are dangerous if consumed by dogs. Some plants can cause nausea, vomiting, or even death. The ASPCA has a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants that you should check out to ensure dog-friendly backyard garden choices.

Lastly, it may behoove you to consider installing a clover lawn instead of grass. Clover lawns barely need to be mowed, require less weeding, are drought-tolerant, don’t require fertilizing, and don’t discolor from dog urine. Furthermore, clover lawns are much more affordable (about $4 per 4,000 square feet).

Keep Your Rental in Good Shape

Prior to a tenant moving out, make sure to inspect the unit with the tenant. Take photos, videos, and note anything their pet may have damaged. Provide your tenant with a copy of the review.

After a tenant and their pet move out, clean, consider painting the walls, take care of minor repairs, and update the landscaping. The idea here is to keep the rental pet friendly. All of your hard work can be for naught if you don’t take the necessary steps between renters. Upkeep is in everyone’s best interest.

Conclusion

Making your rental more pet friendly is advantageous to your bottom line and your tenants’ satisfaction. And it’s better for pets. It’s a win-win-win.

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