Pets & Move-Out Policies
As professional property managers, and as residential real estate investors ourselves, everyone at our Minnesota property management company knows that two of the issues that cause the most concern for home rental property owners are pets and tenant move-outs. Both issues are always on the mind of most landlords, who are naturally concerned with the condition and maintenance of their property. What we’ve learned in our years of property management has helped us to advise our many clients on these issues and helps our clients make the best possible decisions.
For every residential rental property owner, the question of whether or not to allow tenants to keep pets in their home can be a difficult one. We all love pets, but as property owners, it’s natural to worry about possible damage to your home by cats, dogs, and other pets owned by your tenants.
Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Home?
Over the years, as professional property managers and real estate investors, we have learned that deciding whether or not to allow pets in rental properties can have a significant impact on the cash flow from those properties. Here are some of things to consider:
- 60% of renters are pet owners – If you have a policy against pets in your rental home, you’re saying no to over half of your potential tenants. This can cause delays in the time required to find a tenant when your home is vacant. Typically, our property management company in Minnesota sees an extra month of vacancy when there is a “no pets” policy.
- Extended vacancy periods affect cash flow – If your home rents for $1,500 and if it turns over every three years, as is typical for homes managed by us, not allowing pets can mean an average of $500 of lost rental income per year over those three years. If you rent your home for thirty years, you could lose a total of $15,000 in rental income by not allowing pets.
- Pet deposit fees offset pet damage – We assess a $500 pet fee for each pet. We’ve found that this fee covers most damage caused by typical pets, through our volume discounts with vendors. Additional damage can also be debited from the tenant’s security deposit, or even debited from the tenant’s bank account, as agreed to on the ACH debit form signed by the tenant. In our experience, there has always been adequate money to cover pet damage to properties we manage.
- Pet limitations also control damage – Our leases do not allow some dog breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, Dobermans, or wolf hybrid breeds. We can also exclude puppies and kittens to further reduce damage and liability risks. Excluding large pets, over 25 pounds, can also reduce risk. If you allow tenants to keep pets, our lease makes that a privilege. If pets don’t behave properly or cause problems, that privilege can be revoked.
- Allowing pets has advantages – If you allow pets in your rental home, you’ll benefit from shorter vacancy periods. Our lease language, pet deposit fees, and damage control policies also protect your assets. The decision of whether to allow pets is always yours to make
Our Professional Property Management Handles Move-ins & Move-outs
Whenever tenants move into or move out of a rental home we manage, the value of our experience in property management in Minnesota helps us to make that transition process as stress-free as possible. For property owners and tenants alike, our fine-tuned process and documentation system is designed to identify and reconcile any damages at the end of a tenancy. For the property owner, it’s important that any damage is paid for by the departing tenant. For the tenant, normal wear and tear is something that is expected. How move-outs are handled, along with the disposition of tenants’ security deposits, is covered by a number of laws, as well. Professional property management by 33rd Company assures you that this process is handled correctly. Here are some of the factors that make our management methods work:
- Move-in inspection and exception checklists – When new tenants move into a property we manage, we check the tenants in and walk through the entire home with them. We take high-resolution digital photos to record the condition of the home during this walk-through. All condition issues are recorded on the move-in checklist, which is signed by the tenants. All discrepancies are noted, and the tenant agrees on the condition of the property, as recorded. All information and photos become part of the property record and the tenant’s signature confirms the information.
- Pre-move tenant instructions – Two months before a scheduled move-out, we provide detailed move-out instructions to tenants. This provides them with a list of cleaning and other chores they should perform to bring the home back to its original condition when they moved in. When professional services are needed, we can arrange for discounted services through our maintenance network.
- Move-out inspections – When tenants vacate a home, we repeat the walk-through inspection, typically with the same property managers who conducted the move-in inspection. We compare the move-out condition with the move-in checklist and photos and note all discrepancies and damage.
- Damage repair and assessment – Aside from normal wear and tear, which isn’t the tenant’s responsibility, we have our maintenance vendors repair damages and provide an itemized cost sheet for the repairs.
- Damage mitigation – All damages caused by the tenant are repaired and charged against their security deposit. The original pet deposit covers pet damage. If damage repairs cost more than the deposits, we collect those costs, as well. In the case of disputes, we have the detailed photographs and checklists to support the damage charges. We will take all legal steps required to collect legitimate damage repair costs. Your property investment is always protected.
- Your home is ready for a new tenant – Our goal is always to have your Minnesota rental property ready to rent to a new tenant as soon as possible after a move-out. In many cases, we can put it back on the market the same day. If repairs are needed, our maintenance and repair vendors get right on the job. The sooner your home is rented again, the sooner your cash flow returns to normal.
Trusted Home Rental Property Management – Minnesota, MO & KS
Handling your own rental property chores can take up more of your time that you’d think. Our competitively priced property management services free you from the complexity and concerns of landlord duties. If you think about what your time is worth, it’s easy to see the benefit of professional property management. At move-in and move-out time, those benefits are even more obvious. Our detailed checklists and inspections take the confusion and conflict out of tenant transitions. We handle all legal issues, record keeping, and security deposit management. As a 33rd Company client, your valuable rental property assets are in good hands. Contact us to discuss your property management needs and for a free, no-obligation consultation.