Why Be Pet Friendly

The multi-family industry has become increasingly pet-friendly. Most new apartment communities are being built with fenced dog parks, pet stations and pet focused amenities, designed to attract and retain pet owning residents.

According to the 2021 Pet Inclusive Housing Initiative Report, 76% of multifamily operators allow some pets. However the Report concludes that residents don't consider most rental housing to be pet friendly enough:

* 72% of residents say pet-friendly housing is hard to find

* 59% say they'd pay a higher lease rate to be in a pet friendly community

* 14% have surrendered their pet as a result of their housing situation 

The PIHI report offers operators a sensible plan for how multifamily communities can increase occupancies by being more pet inclusive: 

* Reduce or eliminate dog weight and breed restrictions.

* Implement a screening process and pet agreement focused on well behaved pets and owners.

* Secure an insurance policy that doesn't have pet-related restrictions.

* Eliminate pet deposits and fees. Instead incorporate those into the regular security deposit.

* Set a formal policy for the number and types of pets allowed. Be forward thinking. If you allow one per unit, consider allowing two.

The PIHI report indicates that residents in pet-friendly housing stay 21% longer which reduces turn costs and marketing expenditure as units aren't being vacated as frequently.

And 83% of pet friendly vacancies are filled faster and easier to fill.

Some management groups have indicated that the renewal rate among pet owners is 80%.

By extensively outfitting your community with dog parks, dog stations, water bowls and other per friendly features, a pet-inclusive approach will produce a high return on investment and a healthy bottom line.