Should You Open Your Lease to Include Support Animals?

Should You Open Your Lease to Include Support Animals?

In the US, more than 200,000 people report owning a support animal. These critters come in all types and can help with a wide range of problems. 

When faced with the question of whether to allow support animals into a home, many landlords aren't sure what to do. There are benefits and downsides to both decisions.

Want some help making a choice? Read on. We've put together this quick guide with all the information you need to know. 

Service Vs Support Animals

Before making a decision on this issue, it's important to understand the difference between support animals and service animals. Many people get the two confused, but there are some key differences.

Support animals don't have specific training and in many cases aren't certified. A person might choose to describe their cat as a support animal if the cat helps them with anxiety.

Service animals meanwhile have specific training to help a person. For example, a guide dog or a trained physical disability support dog. Landlords have to allow tenants with service animals to rent their properties, as per the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Weighing the Ups and Downs

There are lots of pros and cons to allowing support animals inside a home. One of the most common worries for landlords is that an animal could cause damage to the property. This is solved fairly easily by requesting a pet deposit or altering a lease agreement to charge a little extra pet rent.

One of the biggest issues could be if an animal annoys other tenants in the building. A support dog that spends all its time barking might not be a wise addition to the building!

Additional Factors With Support Animals

Recent years have seen a wide variety of different animals serving as supports for their owners. Some US airlines had to crack down on allowing emotional support animals on flights after pigs, horses, and even snakes were seen traveling on planes!

If you do decide to allow support animals, you'll want to think carefully about the type of animal you allow into your property. A well-behaved greyhound should cause no issues. But an anti-anxiety turkey may not fit in too well!

A Long Term Money Saver?

Many landlords are reluctant to allow animals into their property. But there is a significant potential benefit to doing so.

Tenants with support animals may find it difficult to find a suitable property for themselves and their companion, so if you allow them to rent your property, they're more likely to stay for the long term. 

Property Management Services Make Life Easy

Support animals can be a bit of a headache for landlords. When you're a landlord, a lot can go wrong. It's hard to keep on top of everything, especially if you're managing multiple properties or working full-time.

There's an easy way to take pressure off yourself. Hire an experienced property management company to handle your properties for you! Contact Home River Group today to find out more about our property management services.

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