Landlord rules play a huge role in creating a balance between a happy renter and a peaceful living environment. Moving too far in one direction may result in conflict and, ultimately, tenants leaving and a decrease in profit.
While there are many landlord rules that serve an important purpose, there are also a few that tenants find unfair or simply inconvenient.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of four landlord rules that turn off tenants.
Prohibiting Pets in Rentals
Pets are a part of many American households with over 72% of American renters owning at least one. However, some homeowners continue to impose policies restricting or outright forbidding pets from their rental units.
A study conducted by FIREPAW, Inc. reveals that at least 50% of the rental properties in the US are considered pet-friendly and only 9% allow pets without limitation on size or type. While this may sound encouraging, there is a tradeoff, however. For property owners, this conducive policy atmosphere will cost tenants 20-30% higher than a comparable non-pet-friendly home.
As a result, half a million pets are surrendered to shelters each year separating them from their owners.
While fear of damage and noise complaints are understandable, there are a few things you can do to offset the risk. This may include:
- Requiring a pet deposit for damages incurred by pets
- Signing a pet agreement detailing the responsibilities of the pet owner
- Screening pet owners thoroughly
Consider that welcoming pets can be good for business, that is, If you’re still adamant about disallowing pets in your rental property, The study found that renters in properties that allow pets stay 28 months longer than those in pet-prohibiting rentals. The vacancy rate for properties that allow pets (10%) is also 4% lower compared to homes that prohibit them (14%).
This demonstrates that not allowing pets into rental properties can affect the probability of your property landing in the renter’s list of choices and the profitability of your business
Too Strict Curfew Hours
This policy is more common in college towns where rowdy students are often blamed for late-night noise and parties. However, when implemented, this policy may also affect renters with late-night shifts and those with a desire to go out at night on some necessities or personal need to wind off.
Not everyone’s schedule revolves around the traditional 9 am-5 pm. Some need a night out with friends, or dinner with families, and even inviting night visitors which may upset some tenants and force them to find a new home. Renters should have the freedom to come and go as they please for as long as they do not disrupt the peace and quiet of the community.
A better solution would be to address specific noise complaints as they happen rather than impose curfew on everyone. This way, you can avoid clashing with and penalizing renters who are not causing any problems. Additionally, you’ll attract more renters who may need to be out past curfew hours.
Too Strict Guest Policy
As a homeowner, you have the right to restrict guests on your property if it’s reasonable to do so. This is expected because it is very common for a leasing agreement to have a tenant guest policy addendum. Such reasons include:
- Guests who continue to violate your house rules
- Guests who stay longer than the number of days specified in your rental agreement with your renter
- If the number of guests exceeds the agreed-upon number of people who can occupy your property
Some homeowners, however, prohibit guests from staying overnight for any reason while others require tenants to register any overnight guests.
While setting boundaries with your renters is important to avoid long-term guests, a too strict policy like this may be off-putting to some renters.
A better way to deal with guests is to set a maximum number of days they can stay.
Most tenant guest policies allow guests to stay for 10-14 days in a six-month period or spend 7 consecutive nights. If it goes beyond that, you can revisit your leasing agreement with your renter and list the long-term guest as a tenant.
You can also implement that your renter’s guests be registered only if they stay for more than two nights to avoid invading their privacy.
This way, you can address any concerns you may have about the guest without being too nosy and restrictive.
Prohibiting Social Gathering in Rentals
While rowdy parties and gatherings that go out of control must be avoided, some landlords are taking a step further by banning all social gatherings that involve the consumption of alcohol in their rental units.
This policy may be unfavorable to many renters as it significantly limits their ability to entertain guests in their own homes. Instead of an outright ban, consider setting a limit on the number of people who can gather in your rental unit at one time.
You can also include what types of social gatherings are permissible in your leasing agreement and discuss it before the move-in. By taking these measures, you will still allow your renters to have social gatherings while also maintaining some control over the situation.
Imposing policies on your property is often seen as a way to protect your property from damage and unlawful acts. However, some of these policies may do more harm than good by causing an unpleasant rental experience or even discouraging renters from leasing your unit in the first place.
Instead of being too restrictive, a better way to ensure your property’s security and maintain peace and quiet is to select the ideal renters through a thorough screening process or hire a tech-enabled property management company like Poplar Homes that offers a fast and free tenant screening process before leasing them your property.
By being more flexible with your policies, you can create a rental environment that’s welcoming and inviting for everyone.