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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Dogs and cats are priority No. 1 for potential renters


Tenant Demand for Pet-Friendly Apartments

Pet ownership among renters has surged significantly in recent years, making pet-friendly apartments a top priority for many tenants. According to a recent study by Zillow, in 2023, 59% of renters reported having at least one pet, up from 46% in 2019. Notably, 40% of renters now have at least one dog, an increase from 31% in 2019.

Twice as many renters filter their apartment searches for pet-friendly accommodations compared to other amenities such as air conditioning, pools, in-unit laundry, and on-site parking. Nationally, 55% of Zillow’s rental listings are advertised as pet-friendly. Cities in Texas, such as Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, lead the nation with the highest percentages of pet-friendly rentals, at 79%, 77%, and 75%, respectively.

Implications for Investors

Investors and property owners should consider the growing demand for pet-friendly apartments when managing and marketing their rental properties. Allowing pets can significantly expand the potential tenant pool and reduce vacancy rates. Here are some key points for investors to consider:

1. Increased Demand and Higher Occupancy Rates:

Pet-friendly apartments attract a larger number of potential renters. Given that 59% of renters have pets, accommodating these tenants can lead to higher occupancy rates.

2. Competitive Advantage:

Offering pet-friendly units can provide a competitive edge in the rental market. With many renters prioritizing pet accommodations, properties that welcome pets are more appealing.

3. Potential for Higher Rental Income:

Pet-friendly properties can often charge higher rents or additional pet fees, which can enhance revenue streams. These fees can offset potential additional maintenance costs associated with pets.

4. Legislative Trends:

Some states are considering legislation that may mandate more inclusive pet policies. For instance, Arizona is debating a bill that would prohibit breed restrictions, and California is reviewing a bill that could require landlords to accept all common pets. Staying ahead of such regulations can position investors favorably in the market.

5. Consideration of Pet-Related Risks:

While there are benefits, property owners should also weigh the potential risks, such as property damage and increased maintenance. Implementing pet policies, such as requiring pet deposits and setting clear rules, can help mitigate these concerns.

Given the strong and increasing demand for pet-friendly rentals, it is worthwhile for investors to consider allowing pets in their properties. The potential for higher occupancy rates, increased rental income, and a competitive advantage in the market outweighs the manageable risks associated with accommodating pets. As the rental market continues to evolve, catering to pet owners can prove to be a strategic and profitable decision for property investors.


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