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JoAnna Lou
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Pet-Friendly Apartments Are Lucrative
There are many benefits for landlords that welcome pets

When I rented my last apartment, pet-friendly buildings were, on average, more expensive than the ones that didn't welcome pets.

It's unfortunate that a few irresponsible people seem to have given pets a bad name. In my search, I even found that many landlords stopped allowing animals because of property damage or complaints about barking. I've seen this with hotels too.

However, in these hard economic times, some real estate experts are recommending that non-pet-friendly landlords consider reversing their policy. According to the National Association of Residential Property Managers, upwards of 70 percent of tenants have some kind of pet. So clearly non-pet-friendly landlords are losing out on a large market.

A 2003 study by the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare (FIREPAW) found that pet friendly apartments actually gained an average of nearly $3,000 per apartment, per year. Additionally, welcoming pets allows landlords to be more selective, since they're picking from a wider pool of prospective tenants.

While the study is a bit outdated, the statistics are compelling and makes a good case for landlords to become pet friendly.

  • Vacancy rates for pet-friendly apartments was 10 percent versus 14 percent for non-pet friendly units
  • Pet friendly apartments rented in an average of 19 days versus 29 days for non-pet friendly places
  • Tenants in pet friendly rentals stayed an average of 46 months compared with 18 months for non-pet friendly apartments
  • Pet friendly apartments were able to charge 20 to 30 percent more in rent than non-pet-friendly units
  • When controlling for children, apartments with pets cost landlords less in damage than rentals without pets

I understand that there are other factors to consider, like insurance issues, but I hope that more landlords will see both the economic incentives for changing policy and the many responsible pet lovers out there.

Have you found that landlords are more pet friendly these days?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by kate*/flickr.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Daniela Lopez | July 25 2011 |

Maybe, it took me a while to find a reasonably nice looking apartment that would accept my 45lb pup. Most only allow under 25lbs, some even said under 10lbs! Plus, a lot of places just aren't cared for or are not in the nicest parts of town (at least around here). Now that I found my current apartment, I'm sticking with it.

Submitted by Anonymous | July 26 2011 |

I live in NYC and it is very difficult to find a pet-friendly apartment that isn't a total dump. And the ones that are decent, only allow pets under 45lbs (I have a 55 lb dog). And to make matters worse, I have a (FRIENDLY) pit bull mix. No landlords even care that he is friendly, quiet, and non-destructive. Once they see that "pit bull" word, or his picture, I get denied apartments immediately. I've been trying to move out of my current apartment for 3 years straight, and can never find anything in this city...and trust me, I am willing to pay a good amount in rent, so it's not like I'm being cheap! Sorry to rant, but I have found it impossible to find a great apartment in this city with my dog, even looking on CL, using agencies, etc.

Submitted by Bubba | July 28 2011 |

I have rented to pets for years. I feel good that I can offer pets and their owners a safe and healthy place to live.
The size of the dog makes no difference whatsoever. My only complaint is that tenants do not pick up the poop in a timely fashion. Barking dogs are not permitted, or a bark collar is required. It works out fine.
The problem is not the pet, but the owner. And yes, one can charge more for the unit.

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