Tenant turnover is an expensive part of owning rental properties, so doing everything you can to extend lease agreements with existing residents and minimize the time between renters will help you as a property owner remain profitable.

In our recent blog series, we’ve discussed several strategies for keeping vacancy rates low, including renting to high-quality tenants, offering incentives and paying attention to your fees. In this post, we’ll discuss how policies may affect your vacancy rate.

Are There Certain Policies That Affect Vacancy Rates?

When most people think of rental policies, they think of pets. And yes, pets are big. There have been numerous studies done to demonstrate that residents who have pets generally stay in a unit longer. So, allowing your residents to have pets is a great strategy to reduce rental vacancy.

That said, you need a pet policy in place to accompany that allowance, and you shouldn’t do it for free. Having a pet fee or pet rent policy in place is very common and you should absolutely do it. For our clients we typically charge a one-time pet acceptance fee up front and then charge an ongoing monthly pet rent.

Residents who have pets understand that there’s additional wear and tear on the unit when pets are involved and are more than willing to pay a pet fee to accommodate their pets. Pet fees have been commonplace in the apartment and single-family unit industry for a long time now and are expected. What could, however, dissuade a potential resident from leasing your unit is not allowing pets in the first place.

If your units are sitting vacant for longer than you’d like, take a look at your pet policy. For more about what to include in your lease agreement when it comes to pets, read on here, and if you have any question about lease agreements policies, don’t hesitate to contact us at RL Property Management.

To hear more from us about how to reduce vacancies in your rental properties, watch our webinar replay on the topic where we discuss several strategies for reducing vacancy and helping you become more successful with your property investment.