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Single-Family Home Investors: Yes or No to Pets?

Do you allows pets?

Many landlords and owners of single-family home investment properties allow pets, with non-refundable and/or refundable fees, of course.

A renter’s decision on where to rent their single-family home (or apartment) may rest on whether you allow Fido or Frisky as part or your rental agreement.

According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, 50% of Americans have pets—but they are not just pets—they are royalty, or at least treated as such.

According to a recent survey by, nearly two out of three rental seekers have had difficulty finding a home or apartment that accepts cats and/or dogs.

The survey found that apartment building's pet policies played a major role in the decision about where to rent for nearly nine out of 10 pet owners.

Seventy percent of pet owners said their choice of where to rent was influenced by nearby pet amenities, such as dog parks, veterinary facilities and pet stores.

The benefits of renting to pet owners accrue primarily to the higher potential income from non-refundable pet fees. First, if you are looking to increase the likelihood of renting an empty property quicker, and therefore increasing your income, by all means, accept pets with a fee proviso. Second, by having a non-refundable pet fee, you keep the deposit as extra income – on average, pet fees of the non-refundable variety are $250 to $300, according to landlordology.

The downside: cats and dogs may befoul your investment property, they may chase neighborhood cars, or bark at all hours.

There is always the chance that some renters may scoff at your no-pets policy and bring them in anyway.

States vary on whether you can charge pet deposits or pet fees – so please do check your local listings. (Pet fees are generally considered non-refundable; pet deposits are typically of the refundable variety.)

John Burns Consulting created the pet insight infographic below.

For more information on why your should consider investing in a professionally managed portfolio of single-family homes, please contact Harold Willig at 917-209-4452 or

Harold Willig is the Manager of SpringView Investment Management, LLC, which he founded in 2012. Mr. Willig also served as HFZ Capital Group’s Chief Financial Officer, and was responsible for the oversight of HFZ's Finance and Accounting team. He has over 16 years of finance and accounting experience. Mr. Willig also ran a consulting practice and provided valuation, analysis, and transactional support services to multi-billion dollar real estate companies. Previously, Mr. Willig served as the Senior Controller and Vice President of Financial Analysis and then the Chief Financial Officer of the Athena Group, a multifamily development company and fund manager.

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