Originally published by Amelia Glynn (Email, Facebook) | November 03 2010 at 10:47 AM

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As a prospective landlord, meeting the pet in question is key. – mlive.com

Many landlords shy away from renting to pet owners. In fact, the mere mention of the words “dog” and “cat” can send cold chills running down the spines of property owners who have had less-than-stellar experiences with tenants who assumed that cleaning the litter box once a month was plenty or that leaving their barking dog home alone all day was okay.

But in some cases, deeming a property “pet friendly” can be a smart way to attract responsible tenants that stay longer and take better care of your property than a non-pet-owning person would. Finding the right pet owner to rent to may take a little more time and energy, but it can be well worth the investment.

Here are five reasons to consider renting to people with pets:

  • Expand your tenant pool: Since many landlords don’t accept pets, you will instantly have more tenants to choose from if you consider furry family members. There is even a small group of landlords who prefer renting ONLY to pet owners because they find them to be a more responsible bunch.
  • Lock in longer tenancies: Tenants with pets are more likely to stay put for longer periods of time since it is often more difficult for them to find another pet-friendly landlord. This will mean lower turnover rates and more stable rent payments for you.
  • Bring in more $$: When you rent to a pet owner you can legally request a pet deposit to help ensure your property is safeguarded against potential damage caused by the pet. In addition to the pet deposit, you can also often increase the monthly rent by a reasonable amount. Many pet owners are willing to pay a little more than their petless counterparts to secure a desirable apartment. A 5% increase in rent is generally considered fair to both the landlord and tenant.
  • Attract high-quality tenants: Well-groomed and well-mannered pets usually indicate people who are conscientious and who care about the quality of their environment. That’s why it’s important to meet the pet in question before he or she moves in. If you are lucky enough to have a prospective renter whose dog has attended obedience classes, seriously consider them. Dogs with temperament testing and obedience titles (such as “Canine Good Citizen“) are more likely to be well-behaved in the home.
  • Know what you’re getting: Excellent references from previous landlords, vets, groomers, trainers and other pet professionals will also give you the inside scoop about both the pet and the owner. Also, people who have anticipated your concerns by providing pet resumes as well as a plan in the case of any accidental damage to your property may be better candidates for keeping your property looking tip-top than the average petless Joe or Jill off the street.

Renting to pet owners can be risky, but it can also bring great rewards for the landlord who chooses a responsible pet owner. With careful consideration and interviewing, landlords can find top-notch renters who take their responsibilities for their home environment as seriously as their responsibilities to their pet.

If you own property, do you rent to pet owners? What influenced your decision? And if you are a renter with a pet, what helped you land your lease?

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/pets/detail?entry_id=76114#ixzz14J7zlUcv

5 reasons to rent to people with pets