Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Opening Your Doors to More Pets

Opening Your Doors to More Pets

To be truly pet-friendly, apartment owners and operators should consider reducing or even entirely eliminating their breed and weight restrictions. 

That was one of the major takeaways of How Do Your Residents Feel about Pets … and What Does that Mean for Ancillary Revenue?, a presentation by PetScreening CEO and Founder John Bradford during the recent AIM Reinvent digital conference. 

To start with, prospects and residents aren't demanding these restrictions. Citing a joint PetScreening-J Turner Research study, Bradford noted only one in four apartment residents supports breed restrictions while just one in five is in favor of weight restrictions. In addition, many insurance companies have removed pet breed restrictions from their general liability policies. 

Add it all up, and "it’s clear that old-school pet policies with breed or weight restrictions could benefit from some fine-tuning," Bradford said. "Reconsider your blanket pet-related restrictions."

Reviewing individual pets and their owners on a case-by-case basis during the screening process will allow apartment communities to boost revenue and demand because they are opening their doors to more pet owners. 

Atlanta-based apartment operator The Management Group has dropped all breed and weight restrictions across its portfolio and seen striking results. 

"After this policy change, 80% of their pet-owning residents have renewed their lease," Bradford explained. "While their competitors reject pets based on weight and breed, their communities warmly welcome all pets, attract more applicants, increase resident satisfaction and improve their bottom lines." 

To attract and retain pet-owning renters, it's also important to have the right amenities in place. The good news, according to Bradford, is that the most in-demand amenities are relatively easy and affordable to install. 

"Some new multifamily housing developments feature dog-washing stations, cat cafes and onsite boarding facilities," he said. "But not all communities have the budget or space for these amenities. While lavish pet amenities look great in marketing, they may be less important to driving resident satisfaction than more basic features."

According to the PetScreening-J Turner Research study, the three most important pet amenities to residents are pet waste stations, outdoor pet parks and fenced dog-runs. 

"It’s interesting to note that these same amenities help alleviate concerns voiced by non-pet owners. In this same survey, non-pet owners were asked what their concerns are when living among other peoples' pets," Bradford added. "You know what’s at the top of the list? Pet waste, excessive barking and unleashed dogs." 

While apartment operators need to be as pet-friendly as they can be, they must also make sure they're prepared to properly vet accommodation requests for assistance animals. Unfortunately, some residents will submit insufficient requests to try and get around breed and weight restrictions. 

"It's interesting to note that the breeds associated most frequently with these accommodation requests are those most likely to be restricted under blanket pet restrictions," Bradford said. "Looking at the top five breeds, three out of the five are typically categorized as an 'aggressive' breed, and four out of the five are considered large breed dogs. Relaxing pet-related restrictions could lead to fewer reasonable accommodation requests for animals that fit the restricted criteria like weight, breed and age. By generally being more acceptable, there are fewer hurdles for pet owners to circumvent and more revenue opportunities for operators."

Rate this blog entry:
0
 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great information here, and a terrific session moderated by John. Owners and operators really should consider revisiting their policies, it's good for business!

  Judy Bellack
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I am all for relaxing breed/weight restrictions for the reasons you mentioned. Excellent article. Thank you for sharing.

  Michelle Wood

Comment Below

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
It’s not just about diminishing curb appeal – unscooped pet waste also puts the health of entire apartment communities at risk. When pet owners don’t pick up their pet’s waste, there are massive health and environmental implications.  As more apartment communities allow pets and assistance animals onsite, the animal waste problem continues to grow. According to the latest Multifamily Pet Policies and Amenities survey conducted by PetScreening and J. Turner Research, 84% of respondents ranke...
It isn’t only non-pet owners who can be put off by irresponsible pet owner behavior. According to a multifamily survey conducted by PetScreening and J. Turner Research of nearly 23,000 apartment residents, more than half of respondents support the idea that irresponsible pet owners should be charged more in pet-related fees. Pet owners are liable for any damage or harm caused by their pets. And while there are multiple offenses that can land an irresponsible pet owner in hot water, a few commonl...
The time has come for apartment operators to rethink pet policies such as traditional breed and weight restrictions. That was one of the primary points made by expert panelists during the Pets: Love, Marketing and Lifetime Value session at the 2021 Apartment Innovation and Marketing Conference (AIM). The panelists noted that by removing or reducing breed and weight restrictions, apartment operators can attract and retain more residents and boost revenue.  The need to become more pet-friendl...