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PETS OR NO PETS?! Denver Colorado Landlord Advice

Web Admin - Monday, September 25, 2017

The residential rental market in Colorado remains relatively weak. The supply of rental units would seem to exceed the number of tenants needing housing. That being the case, the landlord has a business decision to make regarding pets. Probably two-thirds of would be renters for single-family homes have a pet (we are talking dog or cat here). By automatically excluding pets the landlord is drastically reducing the number of potential renters available. The balance of this article will look at the pros and cons of such a decision.

THE REASON TO ALLOW PETS

In the metro-Denver area, it can take six to eight weeks to get a home rented. Remember that each lost week of rent can never be made up. Lost rent is similar to an empty airline seat. Once the plane leaves, the income from that seat is lost forever; hence the reason airlines will sometimes offer transportation below their actual cost. Getting the unit rented in only one week is guaranteed to put more money in the owner’s hands.
It is common to get a higher dollar amount for the security deposit when a pet is involved. You should NOT identify this additional amount as a “pet deposit”, as that may limit how your total security deposit can be used when the tenant vacates the property.
Remember that service animals are not considered a pet. Also keep in mind that service animals may be needed for psychological reasons and may well be protected under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you are not familiar with the ADA then speak with your real estate attorney for advice and direction.

THE REASON NOT TO ALLOW PETS

For the last 25 years, every tenant I have talked to about his or her dog, tells me the same thing. Their dog is Lassie (for those of you not knowing who Lassie is—sorry). Their perfect dog would never mess in the house, never chew or scratch the doors, etc. Their cat is equally well trained, never touching the drapes or failing to use the litter box. 
 
In fact, pets cause damage that can be very expensive. I tell my clients that this is a business risk decision. The previous landlord may or may not give you an accurate picture of the pet’s behavior. If the carpet is more than five years old and the doors are not perfect to begin with, allowing a pet is not as difficult. With brand new carpet, it is a very difficult decision.

It really comes down to the owner deciding how critical is it to get the unit rented sooner rather than later. As a residential property manager in Denver, my job is to give my client the pros and cons and let them make the business decision. 



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Meer & Company, Inc.
4545 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220

Phone: 303.322.1550
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