There is certainly a growing desire to include family pets on vacations – and being able to do so is a definite advantage of renting a vacation home over staying in a hotel or inn, which rarely allow them. Should you cave in and let your tenants bring along their family pet? Or stand firm and say no?
Having a dog of my own, I allow my guests to bring them along, and my tenants are usually very grateful and respectful.
But be aware of the risks:
• Allergies and asthma levels have risen dramatically recently, especially in kids, and for each of the tenants who search for a pet-friendly home, there is another who requires a pet-free one. (Naturally, if your pet already frequents the house, your home wouldn’t be dander-free anyway.)
• The common concern for homeowners is for their furnishings that are vulnerable to the damage that dogs can cause.
• But another issue is your lawn and yard. It’s imperative, of course, that your tenants clean up any piles left by their dogs, but what about the brown spots in your grass caused by the urine? These are particularly insidious because they don’t appear until a week or two after the culprit has left – and there’s no quick and easy fix.
• By far the worst risk, though, is that of fleas. Although most dogs and cats are treated to prevent fleas and ticks, an infestation in your home can be disastrous, necessitating immediate extermination treatment and the risk of rendering your home uninhabitable for your next tenants.
One option is to allow pets but require an additional (either refundable or non-refundable) pet deposit. Also, be sure to inform your tenants of the pet policy on the local beaches. Often pets are banned on beaches between Memorial Day until after Labor Day or longer. In the off-season, many more Cape & Islands beaches allow pets.
Do you allow your tenants to bring pets? Do you have any pet-related stories you’d like to share? Any Fido-related nightmares?