Carlberg: Summit County landlords missing out on pet-owning tenants
October 2, 2014
This letter is in regards to the most abundant phrase found in any Summit County rental ad: "NP." More disheartening is the passive aggressive tense: "Sorry, no pets."
Increasingly, landlords categorically deny high-quality pet-owning tenants without conducting a proper vetting process. I understand, Johnny from wherever moved with his 1-year-old Lab, which he swore up and down was "a great, well-behaved dog," which great-and-well-behaved all over your carpet, through some drywall and in the neighbor's garden. Meanwhile, the neighbors are concerned that Johnny "exercises" his dog by letting it out the back door and tells them "squirrels eat dog pooh!" While this story may be familiar, it can be easily avoided.
The general housing shortage in Colorado and the desperate efforts of breed-specific communities spells the end-of-days for the "yard-dog" mentality. More than ever, owner/tenants tend to be more responsible, more community-minded and less impulsive than non-owners. Landlords in pet-progressive communities (which is defined more by owner behavior than amenities provided) are able to make more money on their properties by placing the following prerequisites on the tenant: 1) Require proof of pet liability and damage insurance and vaccinations within seven days of lease signing; 2) Require letters of recommendation and pet references; 3) Require a non-refundable pet move-in fee; and 4) An additional pet rental fee.
Don't get me wrong, pet owners are in no way entitled to private property. I do, however, believe the extra effort affords at least the opportunity to apply for the space, and can greatly benefit both parties.
I urge landlords to take a second look at pet owners. Following the process outlined above, you will find awesome tenants who will take care of your property and be a positive influence in their community.
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