Pet-Friendly Apartment Complex

Managing a pet-friendly complex might seem challenging. You have to appease pet owners and non-pet owners alike. We'll show you how to do it.

Owning or managing an apartment complex can be, shall we say, a bit complex.

From finding renters to collecting rent to making repairs, managing tenants is serious business.

Managing a pet-friendly apartment building doesn’t have to be any harder than running one where pets aren’t allowed.

You just have to know a few tricks to do it successfully.

Ready to learn the best practices?

Here are 5 expert tips for managing a pet-friendly apartment complex.

1. Create a “Pet Agreement”

You wouldn’t let your tenants move in without signing a lease. So don’t let tenants with pets move in without signing a pet agreement.

In this agreement, detail all of your existing rules regarding pets. This should include any restrictions on size and breed. It should also include the need to have up-to-date vaccinations. If you limit the number of animals allowed to one or two per apartment, include that as well.

Don’t forget to mention any pet fees you intend to collect as part of the monthly rent.

Landlords have every right to charge more for tenants with pets. If you impart an added fee for animals, make sure the dollar amount is included in the agreement before the tenant signs the contract.

Remember this: having the agreement isn’t enough.

Property managers also need to know and understand all of the details in the agreement. That’s the only way you’ll be able to make sure that your tenants are abiding by the rules.

2. Be Proactive

When you have animals in an apartment, there’s a chance that they might do damage.

Don’t wait for problems to arise.

Instead, do preventative maintenance checks to make sure that the rules are being followed at all times.

Everyday wear and tear is to be expected. And your tenants will need to pay for that when they move out. But there’s no need to wait until your tenant leaves to discover a problem.

It’s always more affordable to fix a small problem than a large one.

Have scheduled maintenance checks to look for signs of damage that go above and beyond typical wear and tear. Make this policy known, and make sure your tenants agree to those scheduled checks before signing their lease.

Preventative maintenance checks can also help you to determine if your pet fees are enough to cover the cost of typical damage and repairs. You may find that pets are doing more damage than you expected and that you need to raise the pet fee for future tenants.

3. Set a Clear Policy About Cleaning Up Dog Waste

If there’s one rule that you need to make loud and clear to every tenant, it’s that they must pick up after their dog.

To make this rule easier to follow, add a waste station outside the complex with plastic bags and a receptacle for waste disposal. If you have a designated outdoor area for dogs in your complex, place a waste station there as well.

Keep in mind, having the rule and enforcing it are two very different things. So if you see a tenant who’s not cleaning up after their pup, address the issue with them immediately.

If you get complaints from other tenants, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the “suspect” tenant. Should you decide to slap them with a fine or an extra fee for not cleaning up, you’ll need some evidence to back up your claim!

4. Keep Common Areas Clean At All Times

Just because your apartment complex is pet-friendly certainly doesn’t mean that every tenant will own a furry friend.

And for those that don’t, you’ll want to keep the building as clean as possible. No one wants to live with that “wet dog” smell or walk on carpets and floors coated in pet hair.

Make sure that the lobby, hallways, stairwells, and elevators are clean at all times. Have carpet cleaners or a professional cleaning crew tend to common areas on a regular basis so that they look fresh and smell their best.

Pay attention to outdoor areas, as well. Especially entranceways and grassy areas near the front door — prime real estate for dogs looking for a quick way to relieve themselves!

The trick to maintaining a successful pet-friendly complex is to keep it as pristine as you would one that doesn’t allow pets.

Welcoming pets is a great way to entice pet owners as new tenants.

Just don’t let your pet-friendly policy become a deterrent for people who don’t like cats or dogs.

5. Keep Your Tenants Informed of Acceptable Pet Behavior

You can’t expect tenants to be perfect pet parents if you don’t define what a perfect pet parent is. So it’s important to let your tenants know what pet behaviors are acceptable on the property and which are not.

It’s unavoidable: dogs will bark. And while it may seem as though that’s something you can’t control, you can (sort of).

What you can do is establish some rules about noise levels (including acceptable levels of barking). In most cases, dogs bark because their parents are doing something wrong.

For example, let’s say you have a tenant whose dog barks all day long when they’re left alone while the tenant is at work. You can’t exactly blame the dog, but you can suggest some ways to remedy the situation to the tenant.

Suggest that they get a pet sitter or a dog walker. Recommend or provide references for dog trainers.

Let the tenant know that you expect them to do whatever is in their power to make the situation more comfortable for other tenants.

Managing a successful pet-friendly apartment complex means going above and beyond. You need to accommodate both tenants with pets and those without.

Remember to:

  • Have pet owners sign a pet agreement that explains all the rules.
  • Do preventative maintenance checks to assess any potential pet damage.
  • Set a clear policy about cleaning up doggie waste.
  • Keep common areas clean at all times.
  • Encourage pet owners to provide their dogs with the training or care they need to be quiet, healthy, friendly neighbors.
So go ahead, open up your apartment to all the cute kitties and fluffy dogs out there!

Just make sure you’re proactive in your approach and have policies in place that make it a comfortable place for every tenant to live.

Author Bio:
Broadstone Brickell ensures you won’t need to venture far to satisfy all your professional and social desires. Live up your lifestyle, surrounded by first-class shopping, dining, arts and entertainment. Come tour this stunning Miami property, where life is truly exquisite.