Should I Allow Pets in my Lancaster County Investment Property?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA RS134746A

Should I Allow Pets in my Lancaster County Investment Property?

This is a great time to purchase an investment property!  Prices are low, interest rates are at an historic low, and there are many choices of inventory.  One of the things a landlord needs to consider is whether he or she will accept tenants with pets.

The obvious downside is that pets may damage the property and cost the landlord money to rehab the home when the tenant leaves.  However, there are more things to consider.  For one thing, there's no guarantee that tenants without pets won't damage the rental, either.  An extra pet security deposit may (or may not) cover pet damage.  An added  pet rent premium acceptable to the tenant may also be negotiated.

With the current level of foreclosures, there are plenty of families who used to own their own homes who now need good rentals to live in.  Many of these families own pets, and most rental homes and apartments don't allow pets.  This means that if you do allow pets as a landlord, you will have a greater pool of potential tenants, and hence a lower vacancy rate between tenants.  Tenants with pets may also be more loyal and stay longer, since it can be hard for them to find other landlords who accept pets.

There are about five breeds that insurance companies don't want to cover at all because of their dngerous records.  I have long had a policy of not accepting pets of any kind other than small, caged animals like birds or hamsters.  Having said that, I've endured plenty of damage from tenants without pets, or those that started out without one and acquired one later without permission.

These days I'm more inclined to think that a well-qualified tenant with a reasonable pet, and an extra security deposit,  might be a better policy than waiting vacant longer between tenants.

If you'd like to discuss how investment property in Lancaster County,  PA can bring you tax advantages and a great retirement income, feel free to contact me.

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Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/

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Comments (14)

Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I agree with you about renting to people with pets. I prefer people with pets with good credit than people without pets who have been evicted.

Jun 17, 2012 11:10 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Gita, you're right, good credit and good previous landlord references are absolutely essential, regardless of pet policy!

Jun 17, 2012 11:23 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Brian, great information and most landlords would prefer no pets, but many have them.

Jul 28, 2012 12:45 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Joan, you're right - while the ideal tenant would probably have no pets, in the real world many do, and the question for the landlord is how to best deal with that at the outset.

Jul 28, 2012 09:37 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Brian most families are going to have pets.   I run into the situation very often where pet owners can't find a rental.  Those owners who allow pets, by taking additional security usually don't have the vacancy rate like the  no pet apartments. The most import consideration should be the credit worthiness of the potential tenant.

Sep 13, 2012 06:00 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Jennifer, I'd want to see their previous 2 landlord references as well.

Sep 16, 2012 11:44 PM
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Hello Brian! This question comes up a lot. I sometimes work with people looking to rent, and the pet issue is always a biggie. There aren't enough rentals here, so they go fast. When there are multiple lease applications on the property, the ones with pets usually lose out.

Dec 06, 2012 07:49 AM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Rose, I agree, most landlords wouldn't want pets if they have a choice of tenants to pick from.

Dec 06, 2012 01:15 PM
Simone Bercu
Metro Referral - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Not state specific Real Estate - GRI, e-PRO, AB

Brian, you and I have come around.  I was never going to accept pets in my properties.  after my recent experiences with so many pet owners that I turned down, I decided that in the next house I buy, I will invest less in the updating and accept pets with a deposit. Now, lets see if I can do that and benefit from the larger number of applicant.

Dec 25, 2012 12:44 AM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Simone, I started out with the idea that I would not accept any pets larger than a gerbil.  However, prior tenants without pets have caused so much damage to my properties that I have come to rethink the rule.  Perhaps prospects with good qualifications (and a significant pet deposit) may turn out to be more loyal and not turn over as often.

Dec 25, 2012 11:02 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I think the no pet rule is the best choice.  I have seen the dmage they can make.  (Even your picture of a Coat, or is that a Gat)?  LOL

Nov 15, 2014 12:51 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Larry, since a coat means something else, I'd have to say the graphic must be a Gat, LOL.

Nov 15, 2014 10:29 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Brian, you are right.  There are many potentially great tenants who have pets, especially families with kids that cannot find a home to purchase in our Seller's market.  Affordable "good" homes for lease that allow pets are hard to find in Dallas.

Nov 16, 2014 12:54 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Sharon, I agree - accepting otherwise good tenants who have pets - with a sufficient extra security deposit - may decrease vacancy rates and attract loyal tenants who have trouble renting elsewhere.

Nov 16, 2014 03:45 PM