Considering cats? Debating dogs? If you’ve been pondering whether or not to allow pets on the premises, you may not want to take those “Beware of Dog” signs too seriously. If managed properly, your tenants’ four-legged friends may actually enhance your building, increasing both revenue and interest in your property.

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

According to the Humane Society, approximately 65% of Americans are pet-owners. Opening up your doors to man’s best friend will significantly boost your property’s appeal and unleash a whole new world of potential tenants. Throw yourself a bone by emphasizing that your building is pet-friendly in local advertisements, and see how the interest increases. Pet-owning tenants and residents are also more likely to renew leases to avoid the difficulty of finding another pet-friendly building, as well as the need to transition and adjust their pets to a new and unfamiliar home.

Fetch Extra Funds

Pet-Friendly buildings are in the minority and in demand, which means people will pay more for the ability to room with their animal companions. According to a PetFinder study, properties that allowed pets had rent prices that were 20-30% higher than those that did not. While the rent difference is often allotted to amenities (which you’ll read about below!), additional building maintenance and cleaning, or to repair occasional accidental damage (such as carpet stains or scratched floors), chances are you will still produce a pretty profit. Another route to consider is to keep your rent rates the same, but adding a one time, non-refundable “pet fee”. This option may be best if you’d like to keep your rates reasonable and competitive for all tenants, but charge more solely for pet-owners.

Be the Cat’s Meow

While allowing pets on the premises is a great start, going above and beyond to make your furry tenants feel at home will really make your building stand out. Invest in some animal-friendly amenities at your property, such as a mini pet park, outdoor clean-up stations, or even a puppy pool for those dog days of summer. While these options require an upfront investment, they will quickly pay for themselves by tenants who appreciate both the convenience and luxury they provide for both themselves and their favorite pets. Keep in mind that these amenities do require on-going maintenance and care, so be sure you have the staff on board to ensure your property stays clean and well-kept. While many of your residents may love seeing pets around the property, they won’t love seeing any evidence of them. Ensure that your employees are regularly emptying waste stations, vacuuming common area carpets and furniture, and freeing your floors of muddy paw prints!

While there are many benefits to opening the doggy doors to your property, it’s crucial to lay down the law to ensure all tenants stay safe and happy under your care. Enforce leashes in public areas, have a strict clean-up policy, and be sure to include very specific waivers and disclaimers in your pet and lease agreements.  Remember to not only aim to please your pet-owners, but also those who would prefer more of a pet-free environment.

This article was written by Jillian O’Connor (Marketing Communications Manager) for Planned Companies, the industry leaders in janitorial, maintenance, concierge/front desk, and security services in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Catering to both residential and commercial properties, we proudly provide services throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. For more information about our services, please visit our website at or call us at 888-706-8600.