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Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Your Rental

With two-thirds of U.S. households owning a pet as of 2024, there’s no doubt that pets are considered beloved family members in many homes. 

Approximately 78% of these pet owners travel with their furry companions annually, and 58% of newcomers to pet ownership express a need for pet-friendly accommodations. 

This growing trend presents a dilemma for rental property owners: whether to allow pets. This post dives into the advantages and disadvantages to consider when setting the terms and conditions for your rental home in Idaho.

Pros of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

Opening your rental property’s doors to renters with pets can offer a cascade of benefits, from increasing the property's attractiveness and profitability to making travel more accessible for families with pets. 

Beyond the initial financial gains, allowing pets in your rental positions you as an open and welcoming landlord, which can help you build a loyal customer base. Here are some other benefits you don’t want to miss out on.

Maximizes income from higher rent and pet fees

Although much depends on the market in which your property is located, you may charge an extra fee of $20 to $50 monthly for long-term rentals or nightly when providing short-term accommodation. You can also charge higher rent rates for pet-friendly units. 

These fees compensate for the added wear and tear your home may suffer and can contribute to greater profitability.

Expands your tenant pool

The number of individuals and families choosing to bring pets into their homes is growing steadily. By allowing pets in your rental property, you instantly expand the demographic of potential tenants. This move ensures your property is always booked or rented, providing you with a more reliable income stream.

Secures longer tenancies and long-term loyalty

Pet owners often find it challenging to secure accommodating rentals that meet their unique needs and preferences. So, when they do find a pet-friendly option that ticks all the boxes, they may prefer to stay longer and book their stay again. 

Owners who travel with their pets tend to stay in the same accommodation longer than the average traveler and show greater loyalty to their chosen residence. In other words, by allowing pets, you’d be tapping into a market where the demand is increasingly high and the supply is limited. 

Boosts tenant satisfaction

Although rental properties are a good investment in today’s market, it is also important not to underestimate the competition. Not only is the sector crowded, but it is also dotted with great options for renters and savvy owners who are capable of optimizing their property’s potential. 

Because of this, it is important to understand your tenants' experience within your property and find ways to achieve greater satisfaction. Allowing pets expands accessibility and shows that you welcome families of all types, leading to higher satisfaction.

Attracts more responsible tenants

Being a pet owner demands a significant level of responsibility. Although this is not always true, tenants who own pets would likely extend this care and attentiveness to their living space. After all, guests traveling or moving with their pets typically want to ensure they are well-trained and capable of handling different situations and environments. Families with pets are also less likely to throw parties, invite guests over, or cause trouble for the landlord. 

Minimizes risk with known pet agreements

By allowing pets through formal agreements, you are also minimizing the risk of unreported pets living on your property or guests who decide to bring along their pets while overlooking your policies. 

Make sure to have structured pet terms, conditions, and agreements. This formality clearly outlines essential information for tenants, like extra charges, equipment provided, and hygiene requirements, thus reducing the risk of complaints or damage to the property.  

Cons of Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property

There are several benefits of owning a rental, but there are also risks to your assets, profits, and reputation. When you choose to allow pets within your property, you may face some of the challenges described below:

Higher risk of property damage

Pets can unintentionally cause considerable damage to your property, from chewed-up fixtures to scratched floors and walls. In turn, the repair expenses tend to be higher than standard cleaning costs, which can impact your budget and your rental’s profitability. 

Possible unpleasant odors and hair

Pets often leave behind odors and hair that are hard to eliminate with standard cleaning practices. These odors can transfer to carpets and upholstery, negatively impacting other guests’ experience. 

Noise disturbances to other tenants and neighbors

Although you may trust that tenants and their pets are well-behaved, you should expect that problems may happen. Barking dogs and other pet noises can disrupt the peace, leading to complaints from other tenants and neighbors.

Risk of allergies for future tenants

Dander, bacteria, and hair remain in the air and build s up on surfaces, even after a pet has left the property. These particles can affect the functioning of your HVAC system and clog air filters. This phenomenon can trigger allergic reactions in future tenants, presenting a health concern and limiting your potential pool of renters.

Possible injury to other tenants or pets in the area

Pets can unintentionally cause injuries to people or other animals, even if properly trained. This risk–or past episodes of injury and damage–can lead to several disadvantages, including:

  • Having to restrict the pool of other tenants around that unit to families who don’t have fragile elders or small children
  • Carrying legal and financial liabilities 
  • Impacted reputation of your rental property and business as a whole

Possible insurance challenges and limitations

Although you may be able to find comprehensive insurance policies that will safeguard you against the financial impact of pet damage and accidents, having pets in your rental property can complicate getting the right insurance. Many policies have restrictions or higher premiums for properties that allow pets, reflecting the increased risk of damage or injury associated with pet-friendly rentals.

Tips Before Accepting Renters With Pets

As the rental market in Idaho continues to grow and expand, catering to pet owners can set your property apart. With the right strategies, you can navigate this market successfully and avoid pitfalls, risks, and liabilities. Here are some helpful tips for property owners:  

  • Get animal liability insurance: This protects against potential damage or injury caused by pets.
  • Set clear pet policies: Spell out the conditions, including any deposits or additional fees, to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Include pet-related questions on the application: Communicate information on the number of pets, breeds, sizes, behavior, training, certifications, etc.
  • Require documentation: Ask for up-to-date vaccinations, proof of spaying or neutering, and other relevant health records.
  • If possible, meet the pet: Alternatively, request pet references from former landlords to better understand the pet's behavior in a rental setting.
  • Assess if your property is suitable for pets: Consider the available outdoor space, fences, proximity to parks, and other pet-friendly areas to determine whether your rental property could comfortably accommodate pets.

Legal Considerations

Welcoming pets into your rental property also means understanding the legal implications of this choice. Although you may opt not to host guests and renters with pets, there are some limitations worth knowing about. 

For example, as per the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodation for service and emotional support animals should be provided regardless of usual pet restrictions. If you have questions about crafting pet policies aligned with federal mandates, be sure to work with a lawyer.


Allowing pets in rental properties has both pros and cons. On one hand, it expands the pool of potential tenants and can lead to higher satisfaction and longer tenancy periods. On the other, it brings greater risk of damage, increased maintenance costs, and potential legal liabilities. 

If you are looking for expert guidance, contact Rooftop Rentals today. We have extensive expertise in property management and can help ensure you experience all the benefits of owning a pet-friendly rental property in Idaho while minimizing the drawbacks.

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