When we begin working with new clients, they often ask if they should allow pets, or they tell us they don’t want to allow pets at their rental property in Chicagoland. We always advise them to keep an open mind. You have a large part of the population with at least one pet, and those tenants are looking for rentals that will accommodate their families and their pets. It’s becoming more common for rental properties to allow pets.
When accepting a pet, there’s a higher level of risk. To offset that risk, landlords can do one or two things. You can charge an additional pet deposit, you can charge a pet fee upfront which is nonrefundable, and you can ask for additional pet rent, which is a monthly fee. If you do one or two of these things, you can reduce your risk as a landlord and cover any incidentals or damages that may be the result of a tenant living in your property with a pet.
Some homes are simply built better for pets. The less carpet you have, the more pet friendly your property is. It will be difficult to conceal the evidence of a pet when you have a house full of carpet. Keep this in mind when you’re making upgrades or updates to your property between tenants.
Animals Some animals are protected, and not considered to be pets at all. Service animals are protected by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These
may be animals that support a tenant with a specific disability, or they could be an emotional support animal. These situations are becoming more and more common in our field.
In general, you’re going to have to decide if you want to accept a pet or not. Go through the risk evaluation and figure out how it will impact your vacancy time. We think that it’s wise to consider pets. Avoiding them altogether will cost you time, so keep your options open.
If you have any questions about pet policies or Chicagoland property management, please contact us at GC Realty & Development.