We are a nation that loves our pets. According to Statista, 70% of US households, at least 85 million families, have at least one pet as of 2020. While we all love our furry friends, as a vacation rental property owner should you allow them in your home? As a vacation rental property manager we at Haustay have seen it all. We share with you the Pros and Cons of allowing pets in your vacation rental home.
Pros of Allowing Pets into Your Vacation Rental Property
1) Your Property Gets More Booking Exposure.
One of the most search amenities on Airbnb in 2019 was “pets allowed” (followed by pools and wifi). By allowing pets in your vacation rental you increase the size of your audience searching to stay at their next vacation home. The larger the audience, the higher likelihood of bookings, and if demand is high enough, the more you can increase your rental rate.
2) Guest Turnover Will Likely Be Lower
We have found that travelers who bring their furry family members typically stay longer. It is difficult to find a vacation rental that allows pets, so when they do find one they are typically in no hurry to start the search over again. If the plan is to have longer tenants then allowing pets may be a good idea.
3) You Can Typically Ask For A Higher Nightly Rate
If there are few pet friendly options available online in your area you can typically charge a higher nightly rate. Demand for your accommodation should be higher and there may not be many other pet friendly options for the guest to choose.
Cons of Allowing Pets into Your Vacation Rental Property
1) Higher Risk Of Property Damage
As much as we love our pets they can damage their surroundings. We have had guests allow their pets to sleep in the bed with them, resulting in all the bedding needing to be replaced to due stains and tears. Pups can chew on furniture, all ages of animals can stain carpets and rugs. As a property owner, expect to replace linens, towels, and other items in a vacation rental more frequently when pets are allowed.
2) Higher Risk Of Injury/Liability
While most pets are well behaved, some pets may not be as friendly. If a guest has a pet that bites or injures a neighbor, or someone else in the area, the injured individual may pursue the property owner for their injury caused by the property owner allowing a guest with a pet onto their property.
3) Pets Can Disturb the Peace & Quiet Neighbors Enjoy
Some pets like to be heard and nearby neighbors may not want to hear them. A barking dog late at night can be quite the nuisance. More and more cities have become stricter on vacation rental permit holders due to noise complaints. Allowing pets on your property increases your chances of having a noise complaint.
How To Mitigate Risks Associated With Allowing Pets In Vacation Rentals
1) Require a Pet Fee or a Security Deposit
When guests pay additional money to book a vacation rental in the form of a Pet Fee or a Security Deposit, they typically will take extra effort to ensure they get their deposit back. This can be in the form of keeping a closer eye on their pet, cleaning up more frequently after their pet, or both. Guests like to get their deposit back and a deposit is a good idea for hosts to help hold guests accountable when renting with their pets.
2) Specify What Breeds Are Not Allowed
We recently had a guest who without our knowledge had a large Rottweiler stay with them in one of our one bedroom condos. The Rottweiler did at least $500 in damage requiring all bedding to be replaced in the condo. A way for property owners to better protect themselves is to not allow certain larger breed dogs. A vacation rental owner will have lower risk of property damage from a Chihuahua vs a Pit Bull.
3) Require Tenants To Provide Proper Pet Documentation
Require tenants to ensure their pets wear proper identification tags and provide proof of current vaccinations (optional). Registered and certified Service Animals (animals that assist guests with their special needs will have proper, up-to-date documentation.
Haustay Vacation Rentals Are Your Vacation Rental Property Management Experts
If you are thinking of engaging a property manager to manage your vacation rental, and if you are on the fence on if you should allow a pet, give us a call at (858) 522-9127 to discuss. We can share with you stories, results, and we can help you make the best decision for your vacation rental property.