Vacation Rental Owners

Rental Properties and Pets (The Pros and Cons for Owners)

The Pros and Cons of Pet-Friendly Rental Properties

Even if you’re not an animal lover yourself, chances are you’ve wondered whether making your vacation rental property pet-friendly would increase your profits! In this article, we’ll go over all of the pros and cons of pet-friendly rental properties in depth. Then, we’ll provide plenty of tips and advice for those of you who decide welcoming your guests’ furry friends is the right choice for you!

Benefits of Running a Pet-Friendly Rental Property

First, let’s get into the upside of making your rental property pet-friendly. There are quite a few perks, from earning additional profits and five-star reviews to standing out from similar properties in the area.

Earn Additional Profits

About 67% of United States households have pets, and about 78% of those with pets prefer to travel with them. That’s a huge market! But even with so many travelers in search of places to stay with their furry friends, there are very few pet-friendly rental properties to choose from. It’s simple supply and demand: With a low supply of pet-friendly rental properties and a high demand for them, welcoming pets to your vacation rental means you can raise your nightly rate.

Stand Out from the Competition

Another advantage of making your rental property pet-friendly is that you’ll stand out from the competition. This is especially beneficial if there are multiple similar properties in your area. Making your vacation rental pet-friendly gives it a huge advantage over competing properties. For those who want to travel with their furry friends, choosing your property over similar no-pets-allowed options will be a no-brainer! For more tips on making your property stand out, check out this article.

Appeal to a New Group of Potential Guests

By making your rental property pet-friendly, you’ll open up your listing to a whole new group of potential guests. Those who would have scrolled past your listing before will now be enticed to click on it!

Enhance Your Guests’ Experience

Enhance Your Guests Experience

When you have a pet-friendly property, it allows you to enhance your guests’ experience on a whole new level. By optimizing the property for pets by choosing specific design elements (like an easy-to-clean laminate floor, for example) and providing supplies like dog waste bags and food and water bowls, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Promote Repeat Guests

Since pet-friendly rentals are typically few and far between, there’s a good chance that your guests will come back to stay at your property again in the future. Plus, they’re likely to recommend your listing to friends who are interested in traveling with their pets as well.

Increase Five-Star Reviews

For many travelers, going on vacation is all about spending quality time with family and loved ones. Considering many people think of their pets as part of the family, the simple added element of having a pet with them on vacation can greatly improve the experience. This can translate into more five-star reviews for your property!

Attract Responsible Guests

In many cases, people who are responsible enough to care for a pet are also responsible in other parts of life. This means they’re likely to treat your rental property with respect and be good guests overall.

Avoid Guests Sneaking In Pets

Unfortunately, with a no-pets-allowed policy, there’s always a chance that your guests will attempt to sneak their pets into the rental. But when you have a pet-friendly property, you’re much less likely to run into this issue.

Drawbacks of Running a Pet-Friendly Rental Property

Of course, along with the numerous benefits of running a pet-friendly rental property, there are also several drawbacks to consider.

Potential Property Damage

Property damage is often the main concern for vacation rental owners who are considering opening their doors to pets. There’s always a risk that a visiting cat or dog might have accidents in the house, scratch up some furniture, or otherwise cause damage. This is definitely something to consider, although most pet-friendly rental property owners report that they’ve had overwhelmingly positive experiences.

Additional Cleaning

Additional Cleaning

Anyone who has had a pet knows that they can create messes, and those messes can lead to a bit of an odor when they’re not cleaned up promptly. Plus, many cats and dogs tend to shed. This means you’ll probably need to spend a little bit of extra time cleaning your rental property in between guests. You may even wish to hire a cleaning service to ensure everything is cleaned and sanitized properly. The last thing you want is for a guest to check in to your property and discover a lingering odor or pet hair scattered all over the floor, couch, or bed!

Allergy Problems

Another potential issue with owning a pet-friendly rental is that many people are allergic to cats and dogs. Even after a thorough cleaning of the property, it’s possible that dander and fur left behind can trigger allergy symptoms. Therefore, you may miss out on some potential guests if they have severe allergies and need to stay at a pet-free location.

Issues with Neighbors

Finally, there’s a chance you’ll run into some issues with your neighbors in regards to your pet-friendly rental property. Some animals may make a lot of noise, and there’s even a small chance of injury if a neighbor is scratched or bitten by your guests’ pets. The worst-case scenario would be if a guest’s dog bit a neighbor and they decided to sue; for this reason, it’s a good plan to look into your current insurance policy to see whether this type of situation is covered. You should take initiative to address vacation rental property neighbor complaints before taking legal action.

Tips for a Five-Star Pet-Friendly Rental Property

Have you decided to make your rental property pet-friendly? Here are some strategies that are sure to make your venture a success!

1. Determine which animals to allow.

The first step is to decide which pets you’ll accept at your rental property. Are you okay with both cats and dogs, or only one or the other? As far as dogs are concerned, will you specify a certain size or breed? Are less common pets like birds and snakes acceptable? Be sure to include any specifications upfront so that they’re clear to your potential guests.

2. Look into insurance policies.

Look into insurance policies

Since you’ll be taking on a bit more liability with a pet-friendly property, it’s wise to speak with your insurance provider and see what your current policy does and does not cover.

3. Decide whether you’ll add a pet fee.

Adding a pet fee to vacation rental fees is a great way to cover any extra expenses, repairs, or cleaning fees associated with your non-human guests. Many rental property owners charge between $10 and $25 per night, or they may choose to charge a flat rate of around $75 to $100 for the entire stay. Most people who want to travel with their pets expect to pay extra to do so, and because of this, pet fees don’t often deter potential guests.

4. Write out your pet policies.

Next, be sure to lay out any rules and regulations you have regarding pets at your rental property. You’ll want to include these in your listing, and be sure to share them with your guests as well. Here are a few common rules you may want to include:

  • Guests must stay with pets at all times; pets are not to be left at the rental property unsupervised.
  • Pets must be on a leash whenever they’re outside.
  • Empty the litter box/clean up all waste in the yard before checking out.
  • Note any areas of the property that are off-limits to pets.

You should also mention that those with severe pet allergies may not be able to stay at your property, as it’s nearly impossible to 100% remove pet dander, even with good cleaning practices.

5. Choose pet-friendly floors and furniture.

If possible, choose easy-to-clean flooring like laminate or tile rather than carpet. You may also want to select durable furniture rather than easily scratched materials like leather. Furniture covers can be a good investment as well.

6. Provide pet supplies and cleaning supplies.

Provide pet supplies and cleaning supplies

Pet owners who may have forgotten various items will appreciate simple supplies like food and water bowls, cat and dog food, and dog waste bags! You could even go above and beyond by providing treats, toys, or pet beds. It’s also a great idea to stock up on cleaning supplies so that your guests can clean up any accidents straightaway.

Main Takeaways

When considering whether to make your vacation rental pet-friendly, here are the most important things to consider.

  • The main advantages of a pet-friendly rental are increasing your profits, standing out from the competition, appealing to more potential guests, and enhancing your guests’ experience, which can even translate into more five-star reviews for your property.
  • A few drawbacks to consider are possible property damage, additional cleaning, allergy problems, and issues with neighbors.
  • In order to succeed, you’ll need to have clearly laid-out pet policies, including a potential pet fee. It’s wise to select pet-friendly floors and furniture, and your guests will thank you for providing lots of pet supplies and cleaning supplies.
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