WE LOVE OUR PETS: BENEFITS AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR PET-FRIENDLY PROPERTIES

National Love Your Pet Day is on February 20th, a nod to our culture’s celebration of our beloved furry and feathered friends. With more than half of households owning a pet,

it is worthwhile for commercial residential property owners and board members to consider the benefits of managing a pet-friendly property and the importance of including pet rules to help keep their property and residents safe.

The positives of managing a pet-friendly property

With most U.S. households owning at least one pet, it stands to reason that property owners and management companies that allow pets are including a much wider pool of prospective residents than they would without a pet-friendly policy.

Allowing pets within the community can provide a competitive edge when prospective residents are considering their next home. In a survey conducted by the American Apartment Owners Association,more than 80% of respondents
agreed that a pet-friendly policy was a significant factor in where they chose to live.

From a resident’s perspective, pet ownership can contribute to feelings of improved happiness and well being. Additional considerations can be found on the American Apartment Owners Association website
here.

Considerations for protecting property and tenants

Alongside the many positive benefits of a pet-friendly policy, there are some cautions to consider, such as damage to property inflicted by pets, or liability concerns for ill-behaved or even aggressive animals. Some tips for how to mitigate these concerns may include:

  • Including language around pet agreements in your leases. Some management companies choose to place parameters around size and/or breed of animal. You may also consider outlining the responsibilities of pet owners within the lease.
  • The inclusion of a one-time pet fee, pet deposit or monthly pet rent. This will allow for additional fees to cover any damage or additional wear-and-tear caused by a pet.
  • Meeting the tenant’s pet before signing the lease.

It is important to note that service and assistance animals are not considered pets, and restrictions and additional fees cannot be imposed regarding these special categories of animals. Property owners and managers should always consult their local state laws regarding such policies.

Supporting courteous pet owner behavior through stewardship

While allowing pets will undoubtedly be a significant upside for animal-loving residents, it is important to foster courteous pet and pet owner behaviors in order to ensure that all residents are happy. Some approaches that property owners, HOA’s and management companies may take include:

  • Posting rules throughout the property, including reminders about proper use of leashes and cleaning up pet waste.
  • Including areas on the property dedicated to pets, such as fenced-in dog runs, where “pets can be pets” without infringing on the safety or enjoyment of other residents.
  • Implementing baggie stands throughout the property to encourage waste cleanup. Even the most responsible pet owner can find himself or herself caught unprepared without a waste bag on occasion!
  • Organizing pet-friendly events that foster a sense of community. This will allow residents both with and without pets to socialize while getting to know their human and non-human neighbors.

Speaking of getting social. . .

Announcing our Facebook pet photo contest winner!

Congratulations to Noel and her owner Tina Reynolds for receiving the most likes on their photo! Thank you to all of the other pets and paw-rents who participated in our photo contest. With so many adorable pets, we consider everyone a winner.





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