Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: How Can We Create Pet Friendly Rentals?

How Can We Create Pet Friendly Rentals?

                                                                              Pets

This was an interesting conversation today at a meeting of Realtor leadership.  I found this to be an interesting topic of conversation.  It was started because of my Active Rain / Localism blog posts listing pet friendly buildings in some of our communities.  Believe it or not people actually read those.

I was waiting for our meeting of regional chairs and vice-chairs for the Honolulu Board of Realtors to start.  One of the former employees of or Board entered the room.  She was there to make a presentation to the group on Smart Growth. She is coincidently involved with the Hawaiian Humane Society.

She saw me and came up to say hi.  She also said she read my blog posts that displayed the Humane Society's data on pet friendly buildings.  Wow, she saw them.

During our lunch break she mentioned them to the group and a discussion broker out that was quite interesting and would make a great discussion on our forum.

The Hawaiian Humane Society spent a lot of man hours to develop a list of the buildings in our county that are pet friendly.  With the help of area Realtors that list might be updated in the future in a lot less time.  I would be willing to participate with that.

Then the bigger question came up; the one that does not have an easy answer.  How do we create more pet friendly situations?  

Most buildings are pet friendly.  Many have some restrictions on size, number or type of pet.  The toughest area is for renters.  Very few landlords allow pets.  In our state it is illegal to charge an addition deposit for pets.  Not many landlords are willing to allow them, due to the liability.  Our legislators seemed unwilling in the past to allow changing our statutes to allow additional rent deposits for fear they open Pandora's Box.

I am sure that in the next legislative session this will be taken up again, writing a bill so tight as to not allow it to be used for other motives or issues.

There were a few creative thoughts tossed out, but none seemed to be easily done.  One suggestion was a clause in the rental agreement to replace the carpets when you leave. 

I will open this up to the group.  Do you have any thoughts or practices in your community that have been effective in taking the sting away from landlords, so they will allow pets?

Before I sign off, I must disclose something.  The only pets we have are two very large goldfish.  I like dogs, tolerate cats and think rabbits taste like greasy chicken.    

I have many clients with pets who struggle with this issue and think it is a topic worthy of our collective ideas.

 

Aiea Pet Friendly Buildings

Waikiki Pet Friendly Buildings

Kailua Pet Friendly Buildings

Honolulu Pet Friendly Buildings

Kaneohe Pet Friendly Buildings

Ewa Beach Pet Friendly Buildings

Mililani is Pet Friendly

 

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Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Principal Broker, ABR, AHWD, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

Island Style Realty Inc.

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 48 commentsRandy Prothero • April 24 2007 12:42AM

Comments

Informative and good for all of us to recognize in our communities
Posted by Dan Allred, DRE#01761967 (Allred Realty ) over 10 years ago
Dan - It seems to be a regular issue for my clients.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Get a better bunny picture...haha.   It sure helped with my aunt's friend....Karen and I showed her condos until we figured out she was wanting lunches and then snagged her on the fact she had two cats and the buldings she did want didn't allow two let alone one.
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Century 21 Liberty Homes) over 10 years ago

Sally - Free lunches are always good.  Did she ever buy a place?

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy,

Yes, I read one of your blogs and geroge souto did a comment on that, but great idea that you got, good localism :) 

Posted by Ray Saenz, Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor (Exit Realty Laredo) over 10 years ago
Ray - I am trying to slowly build helpful stuff in the area communities.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Randy- It's tough for folks with pets to find a place to rent... I know most of my clients with rentals don't want pets after one or two bad experiences.. but people will pay big bucks if they can find a place that takes pets..
Posted by Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA (Real Estate West) over 10 years ago

Kaye - One of our problems is that the law does not allow a higher deposit for pets and or any other reason.  Many pet owners would gladly pay that if that got them the home.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Randy:  I think it is unfortunate that HI law doesn't allow for the "pet deposit!"  Perhaps installation higher end solid surface flooring could command more in HI?  It amazes me that more landlords here don't spend just a bit more to add tile or marble floors that will get less beat up over time than carpet.
Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 10 years ago
Perhaps approach it from the other direction?  Start with a well maintained pet kennel and add bungalows for rent in the same compound? :-)
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 10 years ago
Nope...I think we caught her and when I made a flat out list of what would accept two cats compared to the condos (she was VERY picky) she liked....she emailed and said she will wait for the prices to come down....I didn't answer. She only wanted lunches and me to join her Yoga class. Can you see me trying to attempt that?
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Century 21 Liberty Homes) over 10 years ago

Renee - In the old days when I was helping amnage rentals, We generally installed sheet vinyl wherever possible.

Tony - Most of our rentals are condos.  Very few apartment houses that are single owner.  Not many that could do something like that.  Most condos already allow pets it is the individual owners that put the restrictions on their units.  A couple of years ago they tried to regulate pet restrictions, but that will only hurt the rental market further and it is already tight.

Sally - I could do yogurt, but not yoga.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Wow Randy, that is a tough one. Being the pet lover I am and having cats in Hawaii I never knew that fact about deposits! They really get you here in Florida with a per pet deposit, at least in my county. With the dogs I've had in the past I can understand though (I had a cocker that liked to eat carpet!) I would suggest posting this here in the Pet Friendly Real Estate Group They may have some helpful ideas!
Posted by Lysa Napolitano over 10 years ago
Lysa - I just posted it to the group, thank you for the heads up.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
I simply charged a premium in rent (on average $50 a month more than what comparable houses were renting for) on a monthly basis for posssible extra wear and tear.  My husband & I use to own alot of single family rentals and we targeted graduate students and veternarian students from the nearby University of Georgia for our rental market.  We fenced the rear yards of most of our properties and advertised them as pet friendly, I always had  multiple applicants to choose from.  I'd rather have 2 mature students and 2 dogs than 3 frat boys renting from me anyday!
Posted by Michelle DeRepentigny, Broker Athens, GA (Success Realty) over 10 years ago
Michelle - Not many landlords think that way.  The current environment locally makes it unattractive for landlords to allow pets in most cases.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy, I would say the easiest thing to do would be to change the legislation for landlords to charge a larger deposit.  Pets can make a big mess, I have gone into houses that the smell is pretty bad.  Allowing landlords to be able to charge a larger deposit would probably make some of them more agreeable to renting to people with pets.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 10 years ago

George - That is being worked on.  You can see how government in the infinite wisdom tried to protect renters by not allowing the additional deposits.  All they did was make it harder for them to rent.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Your Welcome Randy! It's a good group and a good group of people. Molly of the Pet Realty Network may be able to help some too :) She started that group.
Posted by Lysa Napolitano over 10 years ago
Lysa - It will be interesting to see what creative ideas may come from this conversation.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy.... I totally agree with Dan's comment. You don't hear about this that much in my area. I guess it goes back to making renters and landlords aware of the issue and to educate the average person. And you definitely must have been excited that a former board member had read your blogs.  awesome...

                                                                                                              jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago
Jeff- Education is important.  I believe that landlord tenant codes need to be looked at.  If they are not balanced they sometimes hurt those they are trying to help.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
so true...... again, some more good points.
Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

Jeff - from your first comment

I was a little surprised, that my blogs were being read by her.  I thought that was pretty cool.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy,

Rabbit = greasy chicken.  You are too funny!

I don't know how far this reaches but I attended a seminar conducted by Davenport, Iowa's Civil Rights Commission that was at our local rental property association meeting and the director of the commission told us that there is a new protection for "COMFORT ANIMALS".  Being a landlord for over 30 years and never hearing of this, I was shocked!  Apparently if someone has a note from their doctor stating that their pet is a "COMFORT ANIMAL" for them, we CANNOT refuse them their right to keep the pet in our rental property or we will be in violation of their CIVIL RIGHTS. 

I love my two dogs, I like a lot of different pets, and sometimes (depending on the pet and circumstances) I will allow pets in my rentals with an additional deposit. 

My viewpoint would be that REASON should RULE.

Lucky :)

 

Posted by Lucky Lang, SRES, Davenport, Iowa Real Estate (Mel Foster Co.) over 10 years ago

Having been both a property manager and a landlord, I can give multiple reasons why landlords dont want pets,  from having to replace expensive carpets, to removing foul odors, to flea infestations, to lawns full of droppings, to neighbors and other apartment dwellers complaining about noise, to insurance companies being unwilling to insure homes with certain breeds of dogs, to scratched doors & window sills, to the inconvenience and sometimes danger of trying to enter the homes or apartments.

 Some landlords are willing to put up with the expense, inconvenience and risk of losing other good tenants in the same building, by charging extra security deposit or a premium on the rent.  These landlords should be praised, not legislated against.

The idiots in legislatures who pass laws prohibiting premiums for pets, or forcing property managers to accept "comfort pets" invariably come up against the Law of Unintended Effects: in this case, fewer investors willing to put their hard-earned money into investments where they will either lose money or put up with problems and complaints. 

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 10 years ago

Brian,

Interesting.  Is "the Law of Unintended Effects" in your state code or was that passed by congress and I missed the e-mail?  :)

Correct answer:  Passed by popular vote!  Citing cases of Common Sense!

Okay, enough fun.  I agree with you.  It makes no sense to try to force people to do something that they don't want to do for whatever reason.  You must give them Reason or allow their reason to rule.

Take care,

Lucky :)

Posted by Lucky Lang, SRES, Davenport, Iowa Real Estate (Mel Foster Co.) over 10 years ago
 Okay Randy...I know you were getting all "j"...so here's a pet for you too!
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Century 21 Liberty Homes) over 10 years ago

Sally,

Where do you get all these little animated characters from?  I think they're pretty cool!

Lucky :)

Posted by Lucky Lang, SRES, Davenport, Iowa Real Estate (Mel Foster Co.) over 10 years ago

Lucky - I have heard of such laws, but we do not have that here yet.

Brian - I agree, if they make laws that put landlords at risk they will not want to invest in rentals.

Lucky - You can not force someone to do what they do not want to do.  The bigger question is how you can make the situation better so that more landlords will be willing to allow pets.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Sally - I new you couldn't keep the fairies away.

Lucky - She collects the fairies.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy,

If you have not already please feel free to post this to PETS ARE PEOPLE TOO.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Neal - Already done
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Good man!

I smell Sallies brain burning,what is she doing now?

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
I think she is home nursing her hubby and puppy.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
This is a good topic -- and sometimes difficult to resolve.  There are some important issues -- allergies are a big problem for many people -- so I think replacing carpets or keeping a deposit to do so are important.  Unfortunately, some of the pet owners have created the unfriendly attitude of landlords -- the pets are not the problem -- it is the owners.  Perhaps, they all have to go to Human training school and get a certificate!
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 10 years ago
Joan - Great points.  Under the current environment I would be extremely hesitant to rent to pet owners.  Being that locally you can not charge an additional pet deposit, there is no incentive for landlords to allow pets.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
The best pet friendly rentals usually have a great environment for pets to begin with. Fenced in yards, access via a doggie dog to that area, etc. For a landlord, I would say stick to easy to clean and durable flooring in most of the property, like ceramic tile or stamped concrete and one piece vinyl flooring in the kitchen.  Its very easy to clean up pet accidents, and renters that don't like the tile can always buy their own throw rugs to go over it. If the animal gets sick or has an accident indoors, clean up is a breeze (have bleach will travel). -Charles
Posted by Jacqulyn Richey, Las Vegas Real Estate (Prominent Realty Group) over 10 years ago

Randy:

Since I own pets and have lived in the rental environment - it is tough on both sides of the transaction.  The landlord expects certain requirements and the tenant would like LESS hassle.  I do not believe that carpet topic would solve the situation.  It just seems more costly to me.  

 

I did enjoy Joan and Jacqulyn comments as well. 

Posted by Sonja Phelps, REALTOR, Metro Brokers-Georgia (Metro Brokers/GMAC Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Jacqulyn  - Good tips on the flooring for owners with pets also.

Sonja - It is a tough balance.  If the landlord doesn't feel protected they will not allow pets.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy -

Great post, thanks! 

I have a rental and although I'm sometimes apprehensive about opening it up for pets, I believe I would be very hypocritical if I didn't.

Also, I do not charge deposits for pets, instead I choose to treat them as I do additional people and charge extra per month per animal (anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on the animal and potential for destruction).  Tenants seem to like this alternative, and it makes me feel like I'm treating the animals as I would a person... in turn, I seem to find tenants that do the same and are more responsible pet owners.

I find that these tenants stay in the house longer and treat it with respect as their options for another rental (especially a house) is limited.

Do you know if Hawaii would allow an increase in rent per animal?  I do not agree with Hawaii's local laws as I'm sure Hawaii's laws came with good intentions, but the end results will likely hurt renters with pets more than assist them.

Posted by Sara Goodwin, Portland, Oregon Appraiser (Ashcroft & Associates) over 10 years ago

Pet owners do tend to stay longer because their options are very limited.  I have also seen the bad tenants who bring in several pets and destroy a home.  Those few really hurt it for the responsible pet owners, because they make it harder to find a landlord willing to take a chance.

I know you can not charge a higher deposit for pets.  The Humain Society is working with legislature to try to fix that.  That may help pet owners in the future.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

"Those few really hurt it for the responsible pet owners" ...

Ah yes, but so do some tenants with kids... tenants with friends.... tenants with two legs... etc. ;-)

Posted by Sara Goodwin, Portland, Oregon Appraiser (Ashcroft & Associates) over 10 years ago
Sara - Good point.  The law does not allow for discrimination against family, but they can discriminate against pets.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
I am a Landlord in Sara's city and we can charge a pet deposit. I have accepted pets for 20 years. Not many Landlords do. I charge a little more rent, a pet deposit, and people stay alot longer. Sara's approach works also. All pets cause damage, so do children. Pet damage is more expensive. Allowing pets is a business decision and it fills a niche market (actually a big niche). Limit the number of pets. Cats cause the most damage indoors. Dogs tear up the lawn. The number of pet owners is exploding. Sell them houses!
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 10 years ago

Wayne - Unfortunately landlords are not allowed to charge a pet deposit in Hawaii.

When I meet pet owners looking to rent, my first question is if they have considered buying.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy -

Did the powers-that-be give reasoning for their decision to not allow pet deposits?  I fail to understand why they are even in the landlord/tenant's business...

Posted by Sara Goodwin, Portland, Oregon Appraiser (Ashcroft & Associates) over 10 years ago
It is state law. As with most laws they were made with good intentions, but not a lot of forethought.  The original intention I am sure was to help the group they are hurting.  Another example of how government is rarely the cure.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

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