Pets Or No Pets?

Super-Cute DogDeciding whether or not to allow pets can be a hard decision to make for many landlords. You want to bring in as many perspective tenants as possible, but you also don’t want to risk damage to the property. There are good arguments for both sides of this question.

Turn Over Rates

Allowing pets can attract a greater number of renters to your building. There are numerous families with pets and only a minimal amount of landlords allowing them to rent. Pet owners are also more likely to stay in their rental longer than those without pets. There is a large group of people you’ll miss out on immediately by saying “no pets allow.”

With more perspective tenants interested in your apartment, you can be much more selective when it comes to choosing renters. By doing background checks and interviews with these applicants, you can choose responsible pet owners. A responsible person is more likely to admit if anything does get damaged by their pet and be willing to pay for it.


Many landlords object to having pets in their units. They fear that the animal will cause to much damage that will later need repaired. In reality, as long as you ask for a deposit fee, this will cover most damages created by small pets. Also keep in mind that renting an apartment out to a pet owner is always more profitable than having a unit sit empty.

With a higher demand for pet friendly apartments, you have the ability to charge a slightly higher rent. Whenever there is a greater demand for a product, prices increase. A 2003 survey done by a group called Firepaws found that owners who allow pets get an average of $3,000 more each year per apartment than those who have a strict no pets policy. Apartment buildings that invite pets typically ask for 20 to 30% more than those who don’t.

Advantages of a No Pet Policy

Although there are numerous pet owners looking to rent, many perspective tenants are happy to be where there is a no pet policy in place. They know they don’t have to deal with barking dogs in the night or allergic reactions to pet dander. It is also welcoming to people with fears of certain pets.

As the landlord, you’ll have fewer worries about damages to your property. You will also save yourself from future arguments with tenants over clean up issues or complaints from neighboring tenants who are disturbed by the animals.

Protect Yourself With Rules

There are ways to allow pets and still rest assured that it won’t turn out to be a bad experience. Advertise as allowing some pets at the landlord’s discretion. This gives you the privilege of turning down one’s that you are uncomfortable with. You may find the miniature poodle to be no problem, but the family with several large dogs can be an inconvenience to everyone involved.

Clarify with perspective tenants that they must keep animals quiet, clean up after them, and always have pets on a leash whenever they are outside of the apartment. Make sure that it is understood that any future pets brought into the apartment need to be approved by you as the landlord. Include these rules along with the number and types of pets they currently own in the lease. This way everyone understands exactly what is expected of them, and you’ll have a legal document to back you up.

Tulsa Property Managers is a team of Broken Arrow property managers offering professional property and real estate management, consulting and sales services throughout the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.