Pets can be a nuisance, damage property and disturb other tenants. But, if you refuse to allow pets in your income property you could be limiting your local tenant pool. With the proper guidelines in place, pets and their owner's can be easy to manage.
Typical guidelines often set limitations on the type, size, and number of pets allowed; list requirements for damage deposits, use of leashes, and cleanup of animal wastes; and reiterate legalities related to licensing and vaccinations. The pet guidelines can be a separate addendum to the lease, part of a tenant handbook or written directly on the lease. When pet guidelines are written on the lease, they tend to be easier to enforce.
Many pet owners complain that their options for housing are limited due to strict "no pet" policies they encounter while apartment hunting. Pet owners are often willing to pay a premium monthly rent and put down larger security deposits in order to find a place they like in the neighborhood they want to live in. Once they find a place, they tend to stay longer and resign more often than non pet owners.
Next time you're sitting on a vacant unit in the off-peak rental season you may want to consider allowing pets if you don't do so already. The pros might just outweigh the cons.