Even dog owners need a place to live, so take the time to pat yourself on the back for deciding to consider renting your home to people with pets. But before you let any furry tenants move in, it's a good idea to take steps toward protecting your home from pet damage. Here are some options to consider that will help you keep your home free of unnecessary wear and tear:
Have Your Decks Stained
Dog stains on the deck can be tough to get rid of if they have a chance to set in, so it's a good idea not to take any chances. Have your decks professionally stained with moisture resistant products that will repel urine and inhibit it from soaking into the wood.
It's important to have the decks re-stained once a year to keep them resistant to moisture. Don't be afraid to factor the costs of your yearly stain services into the rental rates that you charge since a big reason you need to stain in the first place is to protect your decks from the pets.
Create a Dedicated Fenced Area
Whether or not your property is already fenced, consider creating a small fenced area in the yard to be used just by the dogs. This will allow you to grow trees, flowers, and food gardens on your property without having to worry about the landscaping being damaged by careless dogs.
If you expect your renters' dogs to stay within the dedicated space, you'll want to provide them with enough space to run and play because chances are that they will spend a lot of time there. The fenced area should also provide enough space for a dog house and a place for food and water bowls without crowding the dogs themselves out.
Maintain Some Ground Rules
If you don't set some ground rules for your renters to follow, they may not have a full understanding of what your expectations are. So create a list of rules that renters should agree to before moving in. Put those rules in writing and incorporate them into your rental agreement for protection if the rules are broken. Here are some basics to get you started with your own list:
- Dogs should never be left loose in the yard.
- No dogs allow on carpeted areas.
- Pets should always be up to date on their vaccinations.
Make sure that every pet living with your tenants is accounted for by having them declared in writing during the application process. Control your home's dog population by ensuring that your tenants understand they can't bring any more pets into the home than what's agreed upon at the time of applying for the rental.
Schedule Regular Inspections
There are several types of inspections that you should schedule throughout each year that a tenant is in your home. Here are some of the most important:
- Do a visual inspection by simply driving by the residence periodically. This will give you an opportunity to spot extra dogs that aren't supposed to be there, and to ensure that the yard is being properly cared for.
- Schedule a safety and cleanliness inspection a couple of times a year to get some insight into the conditions of your home both inside and out. This will give you an opportunity to look for and correct problems like severely pet stained floors.
You'll also want to do a move-in and move-out inspection, making sure to document the condition of everything even if it doesn't have to do with the pets— like the door jambs and window sills.
These methods and techniques will help to ensure that you don't end up regretting your decision to let renters share your home with their dogs.