A recent survey carried out by Standard Media Group shows that the percentage of people owning pets in Kenya has been rising steadily over the last couple of years. This is owed to the fact that most people consider pets to be more than just loyal companions but are also embraced as part of the family.
The days of “No pets allowed” and restricted pet policies in apartments and home buildings are fading away. Property managers are now gaining a competitive advantage by making their premises not only friendly for pet ownership but also providing the kind of amenities that allow homeowners to easily care for their pets. At the same time, the property managers have to ensure that having pet owners in a building does not detract the quality and way of life of fellow residents. Striking this balance can be a major challenge for property managers, however with proper and careful planning property managers can create homes in which everyone feels welcome.
Satisfying Both Parties
To attract pet owner’s, property managers can offer amenities that will allow the tenants to give their pets a truly remarkable quality of life. This can be done by creating animal parks within the premises that are fitted with wood ramps and balance beams to allow the animals to play. Such an area will not only provide recreation for the animals but also allow them to have much-needed exercise. Other features might include; gated entrances and exits and curved enclosures to prevent harm and injuries to the pets.
For those residents who don’t own pets, property managers can enhance their comfort by providing pet –waste bags to allow the pet owners to clean up after their animals. They should also put up a pet policy in the general lease/rental agreement that clearly outlines all the rules regarding having pets on the premises.
Increasing the Bottom Line
The biggest fear of property managers when leasing out their property to pet owners is that the pets will cause damage to property. Though this is rarely the case especially when the animals are well trained, it is advisable for the building manager to take precaution. The property managers can charge pet fees and additional rent to cover any related expense that might come up as a result of leasing to pet owners.
Licensing and Vaccination
Recently, the Nairobi County Government passed a law that required all dog-owners within the city to license their dogs and vaccinate them against rabies. Failure to do this would result in the dog being classified as a stray and eradicated. Consequently, before leasing out property to pet-owners, property managers inquire for the relevant licensing and identification documents for the furry friends. In addition, they should also ensure that the pets have received the necessary vaccinations.
Pets and Real Estate Decisions
Pet ownership affects homeownership and selling decisions. For example, cat owners will choose a house with a basement to house the unsightly litter whereas dog owners might decide to go for a house with a larger fenced property where the animals can run and play. Dog owners also face the risk of being sued when their dogs bite and injure other people. One way of mitigating this risk is taking up a renter’s or home owner’s insurance. Pet’s fit in the liability portion that covers you in case anyone in your policy is found liable for some type of damage to property. As a result of the financial responsibility, these insurance companies assume by covering pet liability the breed and weight of the dog also matters. Some dog breeds are considered a higher risk compared to others and it is, therefore, the responsibility of the home buyer/renter to know which type of insurance they should take to cover their dogs in case of such events.
On the other hand, when pet owners decide to sell their homes or rent it, they need to know that pets can depreciate the value of their homes. Pets can deter the potential buyers as they affect the cleanliness and smell of the home. Therefore, before showing the house to potential buyers, thorough cleaning needs to be done to remove any odor that might be present and fix any damages that might have been caused by pets. Small remodels are worth it every time to a home seller and give a good impression to the potential buyer.