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Should You Allow Your Rental to be Pet-Friendly?

To be pet-friendly or not to be, that is the question.

Shakespeare may not have been specifically referring to pet-friendly Cape Cod rentals, but it is a fair question to ask and one that has puzzled many landlords over the years. If you love pets and the answer is easy for you, this article won’t do much good for you. But for many, the choice of allowing pets is a difficult one.

We can help break it down for you by offering pointed pros and cons when you decide to list your Cape Cod rental.

Puppy laying on kitchen floor

Pros of Making Your Cape Cod Rental Pet-Friendly

There are some pretty clear pros with hosting pet-friendly Cape Cod vacation rentals. The first is that you can widen your pool of potential tenants. Many people have a pet- the latest estimate nationally is just over 50%. One of the first things possible tenants may do is review Cape Cod rentals that allow pets because it is a deal breaker for them. This is especially so for long-term stays, which are often the most profitable for landlords.

Consider another angle. Owning a pet is expensive- and you need money to care for a pet. You also need money if you plan to travel with your pet. Both of these realities mean that people who both have a pet and want to travel with one often have the extra income to handle it. These possible tenants are ideal, especially if you want to provide a luxury rental experience. Your rate should attract visitors with surplus money, and pet owners often have exactly that.

Finally, you can charge a higher rate. This is a feature many tenants would love- and they would be fine paying more because they expect pet fees. Consider the hotel chain, La Quinta, one of the only hotel chains to universally allow pets. La Quinta rates are higher than comparable hotels in any given region that don’t allow pets.

Dog sitting in chair

Cons of Making Your Cape Cod Rental Pet-Friendly

The cons are a bit more obvious but worth covering. Obviously, the damage is very possible, if not likely if you have numerous tenants a year. This could include accidents on the floor, scratches, damage to furniture, and anything in between.

You also need to consider your neighbors and the community. Consider late night barking, afternoon escapes out the door, and even fights with other neighborhood pups. In short, any animal can cause problems ranging from minor (a floor scratch) to major (biting a neighbor and a possible lawsuit).

While these cons are certainly something to consider, keep in mind that Cape Cod property management is designed to protect and care for all Cape Cod rentals. You can use property management to align protective measures, such as the use of a pet deposit (and the collection of it), monthly cleaning, and more. So while having a pet-friendly property has its drawbacks, you can utilize property management to account for many of them.

Be Aware of Laws and Restrictions

Now you can’t legally restrict all pets. For example, the Fair Housing Law enforces that service animals must be allowed. You are freely allowed and legally obligated, to offer some kind of lease agreement or house renting terms. This protects all parties. It can also involve other aspects, such as pet insurance.

Whether you want to allow for pets or not, remember that you have options. “Dangerous breed” clauses can remove certain breeds from the home or “weight class” lists can only allow for dogs less than 50 pounds. But if you let all pets come, no matter size, shape, or breed, you welcome pet lovers from all over the world!