Managing Pets in a Rental Property: A Nashville Landlord's Guide

Managing Pets in a Rental Property: A Nashville Landlord's Guide

When you first advertise a rental property in Nashville, you'll start getting inquiries. After some time, you'll notice a pattern emerge from those questions. One repeated question will be: do you accept pets?

It's hard when you're put on the spot like that. Should you answer yes or no? Managing pets in a rental property comes with plenty of challenges, but there are ways you can make it work. Here's a guide to show you how.

Create Landlord Pet Policies

You'll have a lease agreement, but standard ones won't cover much about pets. So, you'll need to add a specific pet policy that tenants can read and sign. This policy should outline the type and number of pets allowed.

If there are specific breeds you want to ban, make that clear. You'll also want to lay out some rules about tenant responsibilities for pets' behaviors.

When writing this pet policy, ensure you set out sanctions if the tenant violates the rules. This should be progressive sanctions with the potential for a tenant to be evicted for persistent issues with pet behavior or property damage.

Establish a Pet Screening Procedure

You'll already have a tenant screening process. You must show the same diligence when checking any pets on the property.

Ask for documentation from your tenant to show evidence the pet is up to date with vaccinations and has all the appropriate licenses. You may also seek out information from previous landlords about issues concerning the pet's behavior.

Provide Pet-Friendly Amenities

Providing amenities that help pet owners is more than a courtesy. It's a sensible way to manage and protect your property. For example, pet flaps will prevent damage from scratching door frames.

A pet waste station is another valuable addition to any property, helping to keep the interior clean.

When marketing your property, you can add things that appeal to tenants, such as pet play areas and wash stations. This could give you a larger pool of potential tenants searching for pet-friendly rentals.

Arrange Regular Property Inspections

A property inspection is essential for any rental. It helps you keep on top of property maintenance and catch potential issues early.

It's a vital step in managing properties with pets, as you can use this time to assess for damage problems and check for unauthorized pets. If you find a problem, communicate it to the tenant and allow them time to resolve it.

Include a Pet Security Deposit

Accepting pets inside a property comes with risks.

It's more likely that you'll face property damage or complaints from neighbors. So, you must offset this risk in the security deposit. Hence, you have a financial cushion if you face repair costs later.

Include a separate security deposit line item for pets. You may also want to include a cleaning fee for when the tenant moves out.

Pets in a Rental Property

Pets in a rental property can cause worry for landlords. But it doesn't have to equate to chaos. Setting clear rules at the start can make it work for you.

At Evernest Property Management Nashville, we are here to help navigate every rental property management challenge. We've worked with thousands of owners and know what it takes to succeed. View our extensive suite of services to see what we can offer to you.