Renting to Pet Owners: What to Know As a Seattle Home Owner

By Real Property Associates

Is it worth it to allow renters to bring pets into the best home rentals Seattle offers? If you've ever considered it, you know that it can be tricky to navigate!

Understanding the laws about pets vs. service animals and how to develop a pet policy can be challenging without the right insights and guidance. Real estate investment professionals want to increase their return on investments, but animals in rental properties can lead to costly damage and unhappy neighbors and other residents.

Determining whether you allow your renters to bring pets is an important decision. Here are some of the key factors investors should consider when renting out a property with pets on board!

More Potential (Quality) Renters to Pick From

What if you had more excellent potential residents to pick from? Opening your properties to pet owners can accomplish that for you! When you generate a larger renter pool, you produce the most extensive network of renters to choose from. 

Sick dog

Excluding pet owners and not offering pet-friendly properties limits your options for quality renters. When you allow pets, you will make your rental unit desirable to a larger population of quality renters. In most cases, pet owners make excellent residents! They're responsible, take good care of your properties, follow the rules, and clean up after their pets. 

In Seattle, WA, it can be challenging to find good rental homes that allow pets. When renters find a place where they can bring their animals, they work hard to be excellent residents that property owners want to keep! Excluding these good potential residents by not offering pet-friendly properties can make it harder to find good renters and increase vacancy times. 

Lower Turnover Rates

Since it's challenging to find rental homes that allow pets, not only will rental owners find more quality residents—pet owners are also more likely to stay long-term! Seattle renters who can bring pets onto the property are more likely to typically renew their lease agreement than try to find another pet-friendly home.

Reducing turnover rates leads to more income and better ROIs for property owners who deliver the best home rentals Seattle offers. When investors don't have to find a new resident, they save money on marketing costs to list a property. There's no need to pay for advertising or real estate rental listings when you don't need to find new residents. Investors also see steady cash flow when they have consistent lease renewals because there is no gap in receiving monthly rent payments.

Choose Pets (and Owners) Wisely for Success

Although many pet owners are reliable, investors shouldn't allow "just any" pet into your rental unit. It is just as critical to perform pet screening as it is for renter screening! Rental property owners can be selective when allowing pets into a rental, but they must also stay away from discriminatory practices. 

Screen Every Pet (and Owner)

Seattle property managers recommend a thorough screening process that applies to pets when offering pet-friendly properties. Develop pet criteria to document the types of pets you allow (and don't allow), weight limits, and other details that are clear before a pet owner applies for your rental. These criteria should also be clear to any current residents who want to adopt an animal during their tenure in your rental. 

The pet screening process also helps property owners identify pets with a history of biting or causing property damage. These are critical details investors should know before offering a lease agreement to a potential renter.

Seattle property management professionals can help you detect problems with pet owners and their pets before signing a lease. When you allow a bad pet to live on your property, your property and income are at risk! With a standard pet screening process, you do not have to worry about this happening. 

Golden Retriever with family at home

Be Sure Renters with Pets Get Approval

Unauthorized pets lead to potential property damage and other issues in your rental property. Pets without permission to be in your rental are also a lease violation. 

Make sure it's clear that all pets must be approved before they live in your properties. Using a pet addendum to your lease agreement helps you maintain the authority to approve or reject any animal. It's also the best way to document the rules, an applicable pet deposit or fees, and the penalties for violating the rules regarding pets. 

Seattle area property managers should also understand the laws in the Seattle area about pet ownership and what rights renters have before making any decisions. For example, some areas have specific rules on how many animals are allowed and what kind of pet qualifies as an exception. In other places, renters and homeowners may require a particular size yard for each animal living on the property.

Enjoy Better ROIs With Pets and Seattle Property Management!

In most cases, allowing pets is an excellent way to find quality renters and improve ROIs! However, pet-friendly properties come with added responsibilities that can become overwhelming to manage on your own. 

Working with an expert Seattle property manager is the best way to manage renters, pets, and policies to maximize returns! If you're considering letting residents have pets in your properties, let Real Property Associates help you develop a pet policy, screen residents and pets, and enforce the rules to protect your investments (and ROIs)!

To learn more about how you can maximize your return on investment, download our free resource, the "Biography of a Perfect Investment Property: How to Find a Property That Will Get a Return On Your Investment!"

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