Should Landlords Allow Pets?

As a property owner, one of the biggest questions you might be considering is whether you should allow your tenants to have pets. Unfortunately, many property owners avoid allowing pets in their rentals because of the chance of damage. They're worried that a pet will leave a noticeable odor in the carpet, for example, or that they'll chew up a doorframe or dig up the yard.

While it's understandable to have concerns about pets in your rental property, you might miss out on some good opportunities by denying pets. Additionally, some tenants will use emotional support animal laws to get around the "no pets" rule, so it's important to be aware of best practices for animals in a rental property.

At the end of the day, the choice of whether to allow pets in any properties you're renting out to tenants is yours. Here's what property management professionals recommend when deciding about pets in your rental properties.

You Could be Missing Out on Quality Applicants

If you don't allow pets, you could be missing out on a much larger pool of renters for your properties. More and more renters have pets, and they definitely don't want to give them up when they need a new place to live. Especially if someone is moving out of a difficult living situation, having their pet with them can help them feel better.

A bigger pool of applicants for your rental properties could mean more income and shorter vacancy times. Both are great for additional profit. Additionally, having tenants in your rental properties instead of lengthy vacancies can help protect those properties from break-ins and deterioration.

Consider this: would you really want to turn down a middle-aged woman with a six-figure job, a high credit score, and a great rental history just because she has a cat? Or what about the mid-20s man who just moved to San Antonio on a transfer with his company as part of his promotion and brought his well-trained, small dog with him?

Both of those people and many others could be excellent tenants. However, not giving them a chance because they're pet owners could cost you long-term revenue.

Creative Tenants Can Get Around Your Rules

Saying that you won't allow pets doesn't completely remove the potential to have an animal in your rental property. With the classification of "emotional support animal" or ESA, some tenants will get creative with those regulations to bring an animal into the property.

When it comes to emotional support animal registration, Texas has guidelines for medical professionals to follow. However, it's generally not difficult for potential tenants to get their cat, dog, guinea pig, or other pet classified as an ESA under current emotional support animal laws.

If they do that, property owners can't deny them their animal, as it's no longer a "pet" under the law. That means your policy not to allow pets won't apply, and they can keep their animal in your rental property.

However, the best property management San Antonio offers can help you navigate fraudulent attempts to get pets into your properties if you prefer not to allow them.

We can help you set policies to find good tenants and screen pets, so you feel comfortable with everyone and everything living in your rental homes.

Allowing Pets Lets You Set Guidelines From the Beginning

We hate to see property owners miss out on good tenants by excluding all pets from properties. So, we approach this issue by working with rental property owners to set up good pet criteria and screen every tenant and pet to protect properties.

When you allow pets in your rental property, you can set the guidelines and rules for those pets right from the beginning. We typically recommend allowing at least one small dog on the property. Many property owners also allow a cat or two.

This makes it easier for people with pets to rent from you without trying to get their pet registered as an ESA to get around a "no pets" rule. Additionally, it lets you put restrictions on the kinds of pets a person can have, which can help you exclude certain breeds or sizes of animals.

While someone may have a legitimate emotional support animal or service animal, you'll have fewer people trying to break the rules with pets that shouldn't be in your rental properties.

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Our Team Helps You Navigate Emotional Support Animal Laws

When it comes to allowing pets or not, the best property management San Antonio offers can help you make the best decisions for your properties and revenue. We help property owners navigate regulations for emotional support animals and service animals, set good criteria for allowing pets in properties, and screen all tenants and potential pets before allowing them to move in. With our best practices, property owners enjoy better quality tenants, lower vacancy rates, and more revenue.

If you're ready to work with a property management company that vets tenants and keeps your vacancy rates low, contact the MHN Property Management team!


MHN properties has managed our house in San Antonio since December 2014. Everyone on the team has always been professional and courteous. They are prompt in responding to questions and maintenance requests by the tenants. We feel like they have taken great care of our property! In addition, our property has not been empty since they took over the management. We would highly recommend MHN properties to anyone!

Adam Nyitray