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Pet Safe Landscaping for Landlords and Their Rentals

Allowing pets in your rental can be beneficial for landlords in several ways. The applicant pool can be increased significantly and a premium rent charged for pet friendly housing. Pet owners may require a fenced, private back yard that is only available with a single-family residence and landlords may see reduced tenant turnover as they have fewer living options available to them.

Pet Friendly Features in Your Yard
Focus on making simple and cost-effective changes. Making pet friendly changes doesn’t need to be expensive. The goal is to protect your yard and fencing while still giving the pet a place to play and release energy. Try these suggestions:
• Cover bare dirt with mulch or wood chips so dirt (which is often mud here in Oregon) isn’t constantly tracked back into the house.
• Create walking paths for dogs. We have all seen that they tend to patrol fence lines and wear paths in the grass or anything else in their way.
• Only use herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers that are labeled as safe for pets.
• Patch bare spots in the grass as they arise.
• Select plants that aren’t harmful if eaten. This includes blueberries, wheat grass, oat grass, lavender, rosemary and mint. Avoid potentially harmful or poisonous plants like monkshood, foxglove, or iris.

Premium Rent for Pet Friendly Properties
The smaller pool of available rentals and desire by tenants to have pets creates and opportunity to increase your rental rates. The trend now is to charge “pet rent” on a per pet basis and to have an additional pet deposit. Monthly charges per pet can range from $35 upwards and a deposit of $250 is common.
One study showed an average tenancy of 18 months for non-pet owners while pet owners stayed an average of 48 months. The likely conclusion is the difficulty in finding pet-friendly rentals. The same study showed half of the landlords allowing cats while only 9% allowed large dogs.

Pet Rental Risks and Costs
The most common concern landlords have regarding pets is damage. There is obviously increased risk of damage both inside and outside the home. Pets can (and will) track more dirt into a home, potentially damaging carpets and floors. Landscaping and fencing can suffer. Even walls and cabinets may accumulate heavier dirt deposits.
Owners and managers need to assess the value of the property and compare that to the estimated increased income. The property’s current condition, including whether or not it has housed pets before, will play a significant role in the decision process.
If you have any questions about pet-friendly rentals and the rent potential please contact your local Real Property Management Classic office today.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.