San Diego is known nation-wide as one of the most pet-friendly cities. We love our pets like family and understand why people make decisions about where they lived based on their pets. And while we all love own animals, that does not mean we are all comfortable with how they may affect our rental properties.
Being a pet-friendly owner is not only good for the dog-loving image of our city; it is also profitable. Allowing pets makes finding and obtaining tenants easier. Statistics even show that renters with pets stay longer and tend do less damage to the property. However, adding cats and dogs complicates property management and requires a little more paperwork.
Choose your limitations by area regulations:
Keep in mind that property owners cannot apply a no-pet policy to any renter with a documented disability and service animal. In addition, you cannot charge an extra deposit or rent for this animal, regardless of breed or size. You may request verification of the resident’s disability and that the animal assists its owner with the disability. However, You cannot ask about the nature of the disability nor the services performed by the animal
Before selecting pet limits, take a look at the city, county, neighborhood, and building ordinances. Both San Diego County and city are very liberal with pets. However, private communities and condo buildings may have separate regulations. Some buildings specify no pets over a specific weight limit or no animals of certain breeds. These restrictions should be clear for potential renters.
Set a deposit and rental fees:
The deposit is meant to cover the risk of any additional damage caused to the property. Unfortunately, pets add to the potential risks of damage. Typically, a deposit is around one month’s rent. If the tenant has a pet, we suggest increasing the security deposit as much as 50%. You can subtract any damages from that amount at the end of the contract. Can will return any unused portion of the deposit to the tantent when they move out.
Pet rent is a recurring monthly fee for having pets in the home. It promotes responsible pet-ownership and makes allowing pets more profitable. Typically we suggest charging $25-$100 /pet/month.
If you are worried about additional damage to the property, check your references. Call up the prospective tenant’s previous landlord and ask about damages to the property. This should put you at ease, or give you a reason to reject the applicant. There is no need to charge more.
Creating your rental agreement:
The lease agreement with a pet policy requires special consideration. It holds the tenant responsible for the behavior and health of their animals and keeps the neighbors happy. As we mentioned above, you’ll want first to take the time to know the rules of the city, neighborhood, and building. Your contract should clearly state the rules and consequences of violating the renter’s agreement. Include a penalty for having unauthorized pets on the property. Some rules we suggest are.
- No pet may be left outside unattended.
- All animals must be properly vaccinated in accordance with city and county laws.
- All pets must wear city identification tags and collars when outside the house.
- Pet owners agree to be responsible for solving any complaints from other residents/neighbors.
- You must clean up after your pet when walking it outside.
- Pet owners must show proof of a professional carpet cleaning and air-duct cleaning performed at the end of the lease, no earlier than 1 week before moving out.
- If carpet stains or odor are found as a result of pet urine or excrement, the carpet is subject to cleaning, repair or replacement at the pet ow” ner’s expense.
- “Pet sittingof someone else’s pet is strictly prohibited.
- All pet-owners should show proof of renter’s insurance with an attached pet liability clause.
At the end of your contract, collect the information of the pet including the name of the animal, type of animal, weight, and breed. Only animals included in this section of the agreement will be permitted to reside there.
Scheduling routine maintenance:
Once the initial contract is signed, property management is easy. However, to make sure tenants comply with the agreement, and to keep the property in its best shape, set regular times to inspect the property and perform routine maintenance. Residents will be happy to see you take an active role in changing the furnace filter and light bulbs, and you can keep an eye on property damages. If you find the renters have an additional pet or are not properly cleaning up after their pet, you can send them reminders and violation notices sooner.
Hire a property manager:
If you are looking to rent out your property and need help managing it, Buy Sell Rent San Diego will:
- Protect you by being familiar with local, state, and federal laws regarding pets
- Prepare necessary forms including custom applications and rental agreements with a pet policy that fits your needs and comfort level
- Select tenants carefully after calling all references
- Coordinate and supervise all household maintenance and property check-ups
- Conduct move-out inspection to determine any repairs required
- Identify problems or violations and correct them before they impact your property or wallet
Managing properties with pets can be a little extra work, but it means the world to your tenants to have their fluffy family members at their sides. Tenants are often willing to pay more for a landlord that not only accommodate their pets, but welcome them. We want what is best for both tenants and owners alike, which is why we charge a flat-rate fee regardless of pet policy. If you are interested in learning more about managing properties with pets or finding a property for rent with a pet-policy to fit your family, contact Claudette Cooper at 619-825-1974 today.