Our topic today is how to set appropriate policies in your rental property that attract a large number of tenants but also keep the property protected. Two of the most important policies to have in place are policies on pets and on smoking.
By default, we will typically say “no pets” in all of our advertising. However, we do have landlords who are pet friendly and do not mind having cats and certain breeds of dogs in their rental properties. When we work with property owners who are willing to allow tenants to move in with their pets, we always recommend an extra security deposit and higher insurance coverage from the tenant. Having a pet in the property does bring a higher risk of damage to the residence. Dogs and cats may scratch the floors or the walls. This risk can be offset by charging a higher security deposit before the tenants and their pets move in. In California, there are security deposit limits to pay attention to. By law, you can only charge double the amount of monthly rent as a security deposit. Sometimes, that amount will not cover the damages that can possibly be caused by a pet.
If you want to say no pets, you will probably not have the same market share of potential tenants because a lot of people do have pets, and when they look for rental housing, they will look for places that allow their animals. These are the advantages and disadvantages you will have to consider before deciding on a pet policy for your own property.
Similar to the way we handle pets, we automatically say “no smoking” when we advertise our properties for rent. The non-smoking policy is really not a huge issue since a lot of buildings and cities in our area are banning smoking in common areas. When it comes to attracting tenants to rental homes that do not allow smoking, it does not seem to be a big deal. People who smoke are usually more than willing to step outside to do so. The only thing you want to pay attention to is that they are not smoking on public property.
If you have any questions on how to come up with good policies for things like pets and smoking, please contact us at Windsor Pacific Property Management. We’d be happy to help you figure out what will work best for your rental property.