As a landlord, if you decide to allow pets into your Vancouver rental property, you need to be careful with your pet policy. Most of the time, Vancouver landlords are afraid that if they allow an animal into their property, there will be damage. They fear that carpets may be destroyed or their hardwood floors will be harmed. Usually, that’s not the case, but it’s a good idea to put a policy into place that includes an extra security deposit that will compensate you for any possible damage.
You should always include a size restriction in your pet policy. We recommend that you allow dogs and cats that are 25 pounds or less, unless your property is out in the wilderness. In an average suburban house, 25 pounds is reasonable, and you should also include breed restrictions. Check with your insurance company because there may be certain types of pets you cannot allow.
If you are an owner who elects to not allow pets, be aware that it will take longer to rent out your property. That’s because most people renting the average three or four bedroom home will have at least one small dog, maybe a Yorkie. So, it will be harder to find a tenant and it will take longer to get your property rented.
Pets can help you make some extra rental income. In addition to charging an additional deposit, you can charge monthly pet rent. The most you can charge is between $25 and $50 per month. Make sure you take an additional deposit and not a fee. When you take a pet fee, which is not a deposit and therefore not refundable, some tenants will feel like they can do all the damage they want since the fee has already been paid. Charge a deposit instead, and their desire to get that money back will ensure they keep an eye on their pets.
Do not confuse pets with service or companion animals. If you deny someone’s service or companion animal, you could find yourself in the middle of the lawsuit. Think of the animal as a wheelchair, not a pet. You wouldn’t charge an extra deposit or extra rent for a wheelchair, so you cannot do that for a service animal.
These are some of the things to consider when you’re crafting a pet policy. If you have any questions or you need help with Vancouver property management, please contact us at SunWorld Group Property Management.