Canada's Property Management Podcast

Benefits of Allowing Pets in a Rental

September 21, 2021 Carla Browne & Adrian Schulz Season 1 Episode 1
Canada's Property Management Podcast
Benefits of Allowing Pets in a Rental
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss the benefits and risks associated with allowing pets in a rental property. We also talk about the revenue opportunities associated with this debated topic.

Announcer:

Welcome to Canada's Property Management Podcast, your number one resource for investing, managing, and maximizing the value of your real estate assets. And now here's your hosts, Carla Browne and Adrian Schulz, Canada's rental property experts.

Carla Browne:

Hi, Adrian. Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite topics.

Adrian Schulz:

Let me guess. Pets.

Carla Browne:

Yeah. Yeah.

Adrian Schulz:

Animals.

Carla Browne:

Pets. You've met George, right? You've met my dog. I was one of those COVID pet people who ended up obtaining a new family member through COVID and there are lots of them out there. Seriously though, property management and pets, this is something that we encounter every day from inquiries that come upon us. And when we're talking to owners, they're often saying to us, "I don't want pets in my property." What's your take on pets?

Adrian Schulz:

Well, I think pets are wonderful things. And in the property management world, I think they're wonderful because they enable you to increase your revenue on your rental property. There's rent premiums. There's the ability to collect additional security deposits. And best of all, it can really lower your unit turnover because people with pets stay longer.

Carla Browne:

Yeah. That's a really key point there and I can definitely vouch for that. When people have pets, when tenants of ours have pets, it's almost like the pets are their children. They are a family member bottom line, and that pet knows where the door is. They know where they go outside. They know where the walk is in the neighborhood and all of these things. They're going to be disrupting the pet to move. It often has that retention level.

Carla Browne:

And if you look for advertisements for pet friendly properties, what do you find? Not a lot. Everyone is advertising no pets, no pets, no pets. When we talk to an investor, we say, "You got to be open-minded." Did you know, Adrian, that over 40% of Canadians own a pet?

Adrian Schulz:

No, I didn't. I just have three kids and that's enough.

Carla Browne:

I'm going to get you a dog yet.

Adrian Schulz:

Apparently it's coming. I've been warned. I've been warned. We're we're all highly allergenic, yet we seem to be getting a dog.

Carla Browne:

My dog is hypoallergenic. It's the perfect breed for you. I can hook you up.

Adrian Schulz:

What kind of dog is it?

Carla Browne:

It is a Yorkipoo, non shedding, hypoallergenic. It's made for you and the family.

Adrian Schulz:

We're going to jump all over the place, but you said Yorkipoo. I'm not sure if you've heard of PooPrints, but there's actually a company that equips property managers with a tool that helps you control your dog's waste in the common area lawns, et cetera. And once the pet is registered with PooPrints, that's really what they're called, and then the landscapers find dog poop on the lawn that is then tested and they figure out whose pet it is.

Adrian Schulz:

There's ways that you can actually manage some of the negative aspects of pets on your multifamily property. I'm sorry. I went down the poop rabbit hole, but let's continue.

Carla Browne:

I did not know that. I did not know that.

Adrian Schulz:

Very cool company.

Carla Browne:

That's like a genealogy and fingerprinting for dogs.

Adrian Schulz:

Nevermind vaccine passports. This is a poop passport.

Carla Browne:

Yeah, exactly. Interesting. Well, I wouldn't have gone there. But seriously, people often come to us and they don't want pets at their property. We are really adamant about trying to explain to them the benefits of being open to pets. Now, they may have a bad experience with a cat or a bad experience with a dog. Okay. Well, then just allow one or the other in the property. But as a rule, we do not see damage from pets. We really don't.

Carla Browne:

You can overcome that by doing some regular inspections in your property if you're really worried about that. You could ask for pictures of the pets. Better understand the age. If you're getting a puppy or a kitten, you want to be a little bit careful there, of course, because maybe their training isn't under control yet. But as a rule, I want to go back to that statistic where over 40% of Canadians have a pet. You're essentially excluding almost 40% of the potential renters into your property.

Carla Browne:

This is something that is really key for them to understand to kind of just be open to it. And then I think we can kind of get over some of those hurdles.

Adrian Schulz:

Now, the risks, right? That's the number one thing that rental owners are concerned about is, what will the pets do to my property? The reality is what's your exposure? Some paint and flooring once again, right? They're not drastic things.

Carla Browne:

Yeah, exactly. And that goes back to what does your property look like to begin with? Do you have a rental proof type of property so it is lower maintenance when things might happen? I've seen way more damage from properties I have taken over from adults and children than I have from pets. I'll be really honest there. I think pets just have a bad stigma. I will tell you that there are a lot of very well-behaved pets.

Carla Browne:

And now the other interesting thing where I talked about the COVID pets and the fact that I have George, the COVID dog, a lot of people are working from home and this is a trend that's going to continue. As they're working from home, now really the risk is even much lower because they're home with the pets. They're letting the pet out throughout the day, which is where a lot of people get hung up is that.

Carla Browne:

If they're going to be leaving in the morning and not coming home until the end of the day, can this pet be left alone all day long by themselves? The risk is much lower there as well. I'm hoping that we can get to the point where that no pets really isn't that much of an issue besides in maybe buildings. Condos, apartments, sometimes that gets a little bit trickier because you do have such close neighbors. And just like kids sometimes cry, dogs do bark.

Carla Browne:

But the risk I feel is so low and you've really just opened your scope of who you can attract as tenants by allowing the pets. For me, pets. Allow the pets, Adrian.

Adrian Schulz:

I'm with you. We've talked about on some level some of the detractors to having pets. Let's talk about the benefits. What kind of revenue or income opportunities do you see with a rental property when pets are in fact allowed?

Carla Browne:

Well, this is going to vary from province to province. You do need to make sure that you understand the rules that you're regulated by, depending on where you are in Canada from where you're listening to us today, but some provinces allow for a pet deposit. That pet deposit is there so if there happens to be any damage at move out, you can then take that from there. Some charge a monthly charge for pets. That's very common as well.

Carla Browne:

It's included in the rent, but it is an additional rental charge to have the pets and that will cover some of that. Those are the two most common ones that we see, I guess. Have you seen anything else in your experience?

Adrian Schulz:

No, those are for sure the ones. Something else that we do see though, or that we have seen implemented is a screening process, right? Just like you screen the applicant, you screen the pet. You can ask obviously the prior landlord how was the pet you can explain to the tenant if you have any specific pet policies with that rental. And most importantly, just like you meet the tenant when you're showing them the unit, ask them to bring the pet along and meet the pet, right?

Carla Browne:

100%.

Adrian Schulz:

There's value to that to get that full picture of the applicant and the tenant and really the person, the family that you're going to have a relationship with as a landlord with that tenant and them with you.

Carla Browne:

Yeah. There was something else though that popped into my mind when you were talking about the pet screening. Yeah. There are actually companies out there, more prevalent in the US than in Canada yet, a pet screening company. They actually log the history of this pet. So kind of like doing a landlord reference check, you can now do pet reference checks, which is... There's something to it, right? I haven't seen active yet in Canada, but in the US it's there. It'll be moving up here.

Adrian Schulz:

Well, especially with the growth of single family rentals, right? That's growing in Canada. It's already huge in the US. And all of the amenities and services to protect both the tenant and the landlord, the auxiliary services such as the one you're describing, they are making their way up into Canada, just like we're seeing single family rentals growing here.

Carla Browne:

100%. I think we've covered off pets.

Adrian Schulz:

Yeah, but we both agree. Bring your furry friends, right?

Carla Browne:

Bring your furry friends. I'll introduce you to George. I am going to introduce you to George, so that your family can hopefully get a sibling of George's in the near future, Adrian.

Adrian Schulz:

Yeah. And you know what? George could be our very first guest.

Carla Browne:

Yeah, that's true. That's true. He's open to that. Now that's real property management.

Announcer:

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