Nearly three-quarters of renters own animals. Most of these are pets, while others are service or emotional support animals. If you're a real estate investor, you need to know the difference.
You can legally ban regular pets from any rental property. Only allowing pets that are certain breeds or sizes is also possible. You can also prohibit tenants from owning certain animals.
This isn't the case for service or support pets. Legally, you must allow real service or support animals from your rental properties. Read on to learn the difference between these owned animals.
What Are Service Animals?
Service animals are animals that help their owners cope with various disabilities. Service dogs are the most common form of this assistant animal. However, miniature horses can also be service animals.
Examples of Service Animals
Seeing-eye dogs are a common type of service animal. They guide the blind around certain areas. Warning people of seizures and fetching objects for handicapped people are other common tasks.
Service Animal Creation Process
Certain services train these animals. Then workers at these companies match service animals with their perfect owners. If an animal does not have the right paperwork, it isn't a service animal.
What Are Emotional Support Animals?
Emotional support animals are not trained. However, they still help their owners with their health issues. They just provide for their emotional, not physical, needs.
Who Emotional Support Animals Help
People who have anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions can benefit from emotional support animals. These animals can help keep them calm. This is why psychiatrists often prescribe these animals to their patients.
The Prescription Is Necessary
This prescription is legally necessary. A potential tenant with a support animal must provide you with a letter from their doctor. If they can't, the animal they have is just a pet.
What Are Pets?
Pets are animals that aren't service or emotional support animals. Most people choose cats and dogs, while others prefer more exotic pets like birds and reptiles. Some places even allow people to own certain wild animals as pets.
Can Cause Damage
Allowing pets in your rental property has its pros and cons. Yes, animals can cause a lot of damage. You can cover the cost of this with a pet deposit, but the damage could be more extensive than what this amount can cover.
Pet Owner Benefits
On the other hand, allowing pets can decrease vacancy rates. Pet owners are less likely to find another rental property that allows pets. If they care for their pets, they'll stay put.
Plus, owning a pet is a lot of responsibility. Responsible pet owners are likely to also be responsible tenants.
Try Our Property Management Services
You don't need to know pets from service or emotional support animals on sight. If a potential tenant claims to have a service or emotional support animal, ask for the animal's paperwork.
However, you may face some issues if the tenant doesn't back down. If that happens, we at PMI Metroplex Properties can help. We've helped hundreds of Bedford clients manage their properties.
Get started today with a free rental analysis.