At Ravago Group Property Management, we always go on record recommending that property owners agree to consider pets. We have had an unprecedented number of pet applications recently, and that tells us that our market here in Henderson and Las Vegas demands rental properties that allow pets. Property owners have to remember that this area has been the foreclosure capital of the world. Many of the tenants looking for homes are former homeowners who have pets. These people have been displaced and because they cannot buy another home right away, they need to find a rental home. They’re going to want to be able to take the pets they had in their homes with them.
When you allow pets in your property, you open the rental pool up considerably. You’ll find that in this market, 75 percent of the applicants have at least one pet. When you agree to allow pets, you need to protect yourself and your property with a solid pet policy.
An important distinction: when we talk about pet policies, we are not talking about service animals. How a landlord needs to handle a service animal is a completely different topic, and we do recommend that you read up on the applicable laws or talk to an experienced property manager on the specifics of what a service animal is and the repercussions that can result if you deny a tenant’s application because of a service animal.
If you allow a pet into your property with a tenant, it’s a good idea to ask for a pet deposit. At Ravago Group, we require a deposit of between $300 and $500 per pet. We also collect a pet rent every month in addition to the tenant’s rent. Pets are not a protected class. You can charge a higher rent when you accept a pet. Ask your applicant for a picture of the pet so you know what kind of animal you’re dealing with. There are several breeds that are
considered vicious, and you probably do not want to allow them. If you are a dog owner yourself, you probably know that Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and German Shepherds can be loyal, protective breeds. However, your insurance company will probably not allow them, and you don’t want to lose your coverage.