Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in London, Ontario Rental Properties

Realtor talking to 2 people

July 5, 2024

Deciding whether to allow pets in your rental property can be a challenging decision for landlords. While pets can attract a larger pool of potential tenants, they also come with their own set of challenges. Here are the pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental property, especially in London, Ontario.

Pros of Allowing Pets

  1. Larger Tenant Pool: Allowing pets can attract a broader range of potential tenants. Many pet owners struggle to find pet-friendly rentals, so your property may become more desirable.
  2. Higher Rent and Fees: You can charge higher rent or additional pet fees. Pet owners are often willing to pay extra for the convenience of having their pets with them.
  3. Longer Tenancy: Pet owners may be more likely to stay longer in a rental that accommodates their pets. This can lead to reduced turnover and vacancy rates.
  4. Increased Tenant Satisfaction: Allowing pets can increase tenant satisfaction and improve your relationship with tenants. Happy tenants are more likely to take care of the property and be cooperative.
  5. Pet-Friendly Market Advantage: In areas where pet-friendly rentals are scarce, your property can stand out. This can give you a competitive advantage in the rental market.

Cons of Allowing Pets

  1. Potential Property Damage: Pets can cause damage to the property, such as scratched floors, chewed carpets, and stained furniture. This can lead to higher maintenance and repair costs.
  2. Allergies and Odors: Pets can trigger allergies in some tenants and leave behind odors that are difficult to remove. This can be a concern when trying to attract new tenants.
  3. Noise and Disturbances: Pets, especially dogs, can be noisy and disturb neighbors. This can lead to complaints and conflicts between tenants.
  4. Insurance Issues: Allowing pets can affect your insurance policy and premiums. Some insurance companies may have restrictions or higher rates for properties that allow certain types of pets.
  5. Liability Concerns: Pets, particularly dogs, can pose liability risks if they bite or injure someone on the property. This can result in legal issues and increased liability for the landlord.

Managing Pet-Friendly Rentals

If you decide to allow pets, here are some tips to manage pet-friendly rentals effectively:

  1. Clear Pet Policy: Develop a clear pet policy that outlines the types of pets allowed, size and breed restrictions, and any additional fees or deposits. Ensure tenants understand and agree to the policy before signing the lease.
  2. Pet Screening: Screen pets as part of the tenant application process. This can include verifying vaccinations, checking references from previous landlords, and assessing the pet's behavior.
  3. Pet Agreement: Include a pet agreement in the lease that specifies the tenant's responsibilities for pet care and property maintenance. This can help protect your property and set clear expectations.
  4. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections to check for any signs of pet-related damage. Address issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the property remains in good condition.
  5. Pet Deposits and Fees: Charge a pet deposit or pet fee to cover potential damage and cleaning costs. This can provide financial protection and help offset any additional expenses.

In conclusion, allowing pets in your rental property in London, Ontario, has both pros and cons. By carefully considering these factors and implementing effective management strategies, you can make an informed decision that benefits both you and your tenants.