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3 Ways to Manage Pet Damage in Your Rental Property

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I decided to write this post after a friend of mine had a bad pet experience with one of his rental property tenants.  My friend had to evict his tenant, but it wasn’t until after the eviction was finalized that the fun really began.  You see, my friend let the tenant have a dog.  And unfortunately, the dog basically destroyed the apartment.  The carpet was filthy, the walls and doors were scratched, the molding was chewed, the backyard was filled with holes, and the entire property smelled like urine.  He had to fork out almost $5,000 to cover all the damage.  Bye-bye, cash flow!


After hearing about my friend’s experience, I thought it might be a good idea to write about ways to reduce this type of damage.  As you may or may not know, I am against allowing pets in apartments for this very reason.  But, I can see how sometimes it might be advantageous to allow this in, for example, a depressed rental market.  Thus, what follows are some suggestions for managing the situation.

First, if you plan to allow pets, you might want to consider some flooring alternatives.  Carpet is generally the most expensive, and vulnerable, flooring material.  The stick-on linoleum squares that you can buy at Home Depot would make a nice, inexpensive option.  

Second, you’ll want to give some thought to what’s on the walls.  Stick with washable acrylic-based paints, and avoid wallpaper and other coverings that tend to absorb moisture.

Third, think about ways to potentially improve ventilation.  If the ventilation is poor, moisture can build up, resulting in mold.  Additionally, poorly-ventilated areas will not help in terms of eliminating odors.  In fact, if you’ve had a dog in one of your apartments for a long period of time, you probably should have the ventilation system cleaned to eliminate any built-up odors.

In the final analysis, your willingness to allow pets is up to you.  I personally don’t allow this, but every landlord situation is different.  The bottom line is that if you do allow pets, follow the suggestions in this post.  Otherwise, you could be looking at a steep bill when your tenants move out…just like my buddy.  Good luck!

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