Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Your Boston, MA Rental Property

Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Your Boston, MA Rental Property

What amenities do you most want in your next apartment? Do you want more storage space, in-unit laundry, or beautiful views?

Many renters want nothing more than to be able to bring their furry family members with them. Finding a landlord that allows them is difficult, but there are reasons for this.

Read on to learn the pros and cons of allowing pets in a rental property.


Having pets can be a win-win. It keeps tenants happy and helps the landlord's bottom line.

Larger Tenant Pool

70% of American households have a pet. That's a large percentage of the rental population landlords could be missing out on.

Increasing your tenant pool by allowing pets makes it easier to find the right tenant. It also reduces the property's vacancy times.

Higher, More Timely Rent

Letting in pets will increase your property's market value, especially if you're the only one in the neighborhood that does. This means you can charge a higher rent.

Massachusetts law doesn't allow for extra pet fees. It does allow for pet rent.

Pet owners are also more likely to deliver timely rent payments. They earn more and are more responsible.

Longer Tenure

Renters see pet-friendly housing as a permanent home.

These long-term tenants are more likely to renew their leases. Landlords enjoy fewer turnovers and longer streams of rent.


There are risks to allowing pets and reasons why it's rare.

Rental Property Damage

Pets are part of the family, but they're like children. They don't realize what they're doing when they scratch floors, tear furniture, chew cables, urinate or defecate in public, or damage landscaping.

This is one of the most common reasons landlords don't allow pets in a rental property. They don't want unsightly damage or high maintenance bills.

Physical Injury

Pets don't only damage property. Even the most well-trained dog could bite another tenant.

Landlords can be held responsible for these injuries. They'd rather avoid the potentially expensive and time-consuming legal battle.


What's worse; a rock band practicing for hours in the apartment above you or a dog barking all night beside you?

Both are causes of noise complaints. Refusing to allow pets is one way to prevent this.


You may smell a pet before you hear or see them. Odors come from unclean litterboxes, urine in common areas, and animals that aren't groomed.

These can spread throughout the property and affect all other tenants.

Losing Other Tenants

Not all tenants may want to live in properties that have pets. They may also be allergic to the animals.

Use a vacancy loss calculator to determine how much losing these tenants will affect you.

Before You Allow Pets in a Rental Property

Make your pet policies part of your rental property rules. Put them in every tenant's lease.

Include the pets in the tenant screening process. Look for any past issues with them. Meet them and ask their owners how they'll be cared for.

Let a Property Manager Decide

Allowing pets in a rental property increases a landlord's tenant pool and lets them charge higher rent. They can also damage the property or scare away other tenants.

Making these decisions is easier with an experienced property manager on your side. Get started with a free rental analysis from PMI Bay State today.