So you have decided to rent… Go Team Rental! But there is one large Elephant in the room. You are an allergic landlord with SEVERE allergies to pets!
So now you are trying to figure out what to do, right? In my mind you have 3 choices:
- Sell the House
- Rent to Tenants: No Animals
- Allow Animals and Prepare for the Consequences
Choices of an Allergic Landlord:
1. Sell Your House
This is easy! You change your mind; it’s not worth the effort and stress. You get rid of the house and now you the allergic landlord has no worries. But here’s the downside…
- No tax benefit: You will pay taxes on the profit instead of writing off the mortgage interest.
- Place holder: You will now need to find a new home should you need to move back.
- No one else paying off your mortgage.
2. Rent To a Family that has ABSOLUTELY no pets
So you decide to market to another allergic family. Great! You’ll get one in a million; another family just like you. You lower the rent, you want to keep this awesome family.
That sounds great until… They’re not “that” great. While they are allergic, its not to the thing you are allergic too! You don’t know it but they smoke or have a cat because Aunt Sue died etc.
Then you find out that your house in unlivable without doing *$8,000 worth of improvements (carpet, paint, cleaning air ducts, etc). Since there are specific rules regarding your lease and laws regarding what you can and can’t charge for. You are now So Out of Luck.
Let’s not even remind you that you gave up $200 (a month) *12 months *3 years = $7,200 because they were supposed to keep you house perfectly and you wanted to do whatever it took to “keep” them.
2.5 Or Go the less extreme
You say “no pets” but they pet sit, which contaminates the house. It all works out the same. You took a loss (you lowered the rent, didn’t collect a pet deposit or don’t collect pet rent) for no pets; but can you really guarantee no pets?
3. Allow for Pets
So lets look at the total opposite of this question: What if you were to allow for pets and just be prepared for the consequences?
- High Market Rent– Now you can charge market rent and, depending on the area, a pet rent or a security deposit. So not only do you get top rent you get a separate security deposit to cover pet damages.
- New carpets/ Paint etc.- If you are out of the house for 4-6 years I bet you are going to want to have a fresh house anyways. Now you have those funds that you have been stocking away monthly to totally clean the house up.
- Air Duct Cleaning- Many landlords require the air ducts to be cleaned after pets.
- Expect to Kilz/Extra Cleaning Costs– You add into the budget extra money to Kilz (special sealer) the walls and the floors.
Lastly, if you keep this house a rental, and use the “profit margin” to save for your next house. then you can use a conventional 5% loan to buy another home and now you have an investment basket and a new house.
While, yes, animals can damage SO much more than the amount of money you set as your security deposit, there is no guarantee that just because you say no animals you will get no animals. While you can certainly evict the tenants, charge them to clean up the house, etc., there is no guarantee you will ever be able to collect on the judgement. (Which will require court costs too).
While I do not have deathly ill allergies I would rather go with the poison I know than the unknown that I have discounted because money can “fix” the problem.
Are you an allergic landlord? What decision did you make?0